Earlier this month, Netflix added Girlfriends to its lineup of seven iconic Black sitcoms that are rolling out on the streaming platform over the next month. One of the show’s stars, Reggie Hayes, is back in the spotlight on the heels of the show’s revival sharing that he has been struggling with congestive heart failure. Last Friday (September 18), Hayes was hospitalized in Los Angeles. In a new interview with the Chicago Tribune, Hayes talked about his diagnosis, life after Girlfriends wrapped in 2008, and more.
In the conversation, Hayes revealed that he didn’t know what led to his diagnosis. “We’re still not sure what’s going on, I gotta take more tests,” he said. “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.”
After Girlfriends ended, several of its members went onto larger projects. For Hayes, it was hard to find work. “It’s not my most proud time,” he said. “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.”
Money became a problem and it changed his life completely. “I had started a complete rebuild on my house and all of a sudden I didn’t have a job,” he said. “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.”
He’s managed to make things work over the years and, looking back on his role on the show, he holds it in high regard. “It really changed my life,” he said. “Of all the parts I could have played on TV, I think that was the best job I could have gotten.”
(Photo: John Heller/WireImage)