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‘Girlfriends’ Alum Reggie Hayes Opens Up About Battling Congestive Heart Failure & Struggle With Finding Work

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With “Girlfriends” debuting on Netflix, an unexpected update on the show’s lone lead male actor has come to light. Sadly, Reggie Hayes is battling congestive heart failure and he’s struggling with finding work. More inside…

Fans were excited to learn all eight seasons of the hit sitcom “Girlfriends” made its way to Netflix for their viewing pleasures. Now, there’s an upsetting update on one of the show’s stars.

”Girlfriends” alum Reggie Hayes was sitting on top of the world during the years the show was poppin’ (2000 – 2008). But these days, he has fallen on hard times and he’s struggling to make ends meet. On top of his financial struggles, he’s also currently involved in a health battle.

Just last week, Reggie had to be rushed to the hospital as he battles congestive heart failure amid the wildfires that are making it difficult to breathe on the west coast. Not to mention, we’re in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re still not sure what’s going on, I gotta take more tests,” he told the Chicago Tribune by phone earlier this week. “But I have congestive heart failure and it was difficult to breathe. Here in L.A., the sky has been orange with smoke (because of wildfires) and it was just really terrible. So I was in the hospital overnight, they were having trouble getting my blood pressure back down. Seems like the more they look, the more problems they find. The good thing is, I don’t have the coronavirus.”

Finding work after starring on the hit sitcom has been hard for Hayes.

“It’s not my most proud time,” he said. Few TV actors make enough money to never have to work again, and Hayes said he wasn’t getting many opportunities when the show came to a close. “I had starred on this long running show but I wasn’t Matt LeBlanc or one of the other kids from ‘Friends’ who had doors opening for them after their show ended. Pretty much, I was just another guy.”

A “Girlfriends” spin-off featuring Hayes was supposed to come down the pipeline, but it never happened. He said he would book guest roles here and there, "but it wasn’t really enough to get by. It’s hard, you can’t even get a day job because people come in and take pictures of you and put it on the internet.”  He revealed:

“I had started a complete rebuild on my house and all of a sudden I didn’t have a job. But the house was on an amazing piece of land and I was able to sell it and break even. So I moved from a house on the hill down to a little bungalow in a sketchy area and people would come by: ‘What the hell are you doing here?’ Those were pretty awful years. I made it work with my little residual checks for a year and then I ended up moving into my sister’s garage for six years.”

 

Before you say it, yes he tried other odd jobs, but they didn’t work out.

“I tried being a bouncer for a while, and everyone in the club wanted their picture taken with me,” the Chicago native said. “I’m 6′2” but everybody knows I’m like a mouse; once you know me, you know I’m a pushover. So that didn’t work out. I also tried being a furniture mover, but I was in my 40s so that only lasted a couple of days. My back never would have survived it."

 

With “Girlfriends” making a return on Netflix, hopefully that’ll help Hayes book something to get his bills paid. He shared how he had to learn some hard life lessons after the hit series ended.

“I’m not complaining about my lot in life,” he continued. “But I was never really a very important person in the world, you know? Here I am, this Black guy who’s kinda nice and most of my friends were white and I just kind of hung out on the periphery. No one really gave a damn. I was never the center of attention before and no one really cared what I said. And then all of a sudden, I was on this show and it went to my head. And then it disappears and it’s like, God, I wish I knew then what I know now. I wish I’d had more time to ease into it. That you have to save your money. And you need to develop good friendships with people that aren’t going to just go away. Try to find people who aren’t just after you for your money. And maybe pursue other interests.”

Sometimes the best lessons are the hardest to learn.  You can read his full interview here.

Prayers up for Reggie!

Photo: Reggie's IG

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