"I was a heart attack waiting to happen," Reynolds told People magazine before being honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award during the Palm Beach (Fla.) International Film Festival Friday night.
Reynolds, 74, said he was surprised when his doctor diagnosed his heart condition during a regular physical exam.
"I went home and shaved then had the operation the next day," he said.
One month later, he said he "feels fabulous" and wants to "live to be 199," People said.
Reynolds said his only regret was missing the British opening of his film, "A Bunch of Amateurs."
"I was in the hospital when it opened over there," he told People. "I was sorry to have missed that, but I am happy that I am still alive to talk about it!"