ByJerome Maida, writer at
Jerome Maida

One of the biggest movie stars of our time may be literally working herself to death.

According to this week's "National Enquirer", in a story supported by sources and photos, Jolie collapsed on the set while filming the World War II-era drama "Unbroken", which she is directing.

Clad in black, the 38-year-old Jolie suffered a collapse so sudden and terrifying, cast and crew feared she had died and rushed to her side immediately.

The star, now an unhealthy 93 pounds, recovered, and proceeded to brush off everyone's concerns and went back to working on the film immediately.

The real-life drama and near-tragedy unfolded on December 2. while she was directing several actors dressed as soldiers while they rehearsed a scene, her legs buckled, her knees rocked back and she slumped to her knees.

"When Angelina dropped to the ground, some of the cast and crew weren't sure what was going on", said the Enquirer's source. "At first, they thought she was play-acting. Then, they rushed to her side, believing she was seriously ill - or worse, dead!"

"She was sickly pale and gasping for air. But Angie refused to be taken to the hospital. After that she composed herself, she assured everyone she was fine and went back to work."

Despite her quick recovery, Jolie's low weight is likely putting extreme stress on her heart and her non-stop air travel to accommodate her projects, charity work and raising her kids, while admirable, is putting her under more strain.

"Angelina's been putting herself through the wringer, and it's taken a severe physical toll on her body", says another Enquirer source. "She's been working around the clock - directing at least nine to 12 hours a day and looking after her kids."

Her constant travel may be what pushes Jolie over the edge.

She's crisscrossed the Pacific Ocean numerous times since September, when she scouted "Unbroken" locations in Hawaii and Australia, jetted to Hong Kong to meet up with fiance Brad Pitt, and then flew back to Australia to work.

In November, Angelina flew to California to attend the Governors Awards in Hollywood with Brad and their son Maddox. Afterward, she immediately headed back to the "Unbroken" set in Australia.

"The constant air travel increases her risk of dehydration", Dr. Gabriel Mirkin - a board-certified physician from Orlando, Florida and author of "The Healthy Heart Miracle" told the Enquirer. "That can cause an imbalance of the body's electrolytes, potentially causing life-threatening swelling of the brain and seizures."

"In addition, she's probably not getting enough sleep, which research shows can cause a multitude of health problems."

But it's Jolie's being significantly underweight that can cause the most problems, especially since she is a whopping 40-50 pounds lighter than the ideal weight for he 5 foot, 7-inch frame.

Malnutrition of such a likely magnitude can also cause heart arrhythmia due to muscle wasting which can be life-threatening.

Some close to Jolie say she is pushing herself beyond all reasonable limits because she is fearful she has as few as three years to live and wants to make the most of them.

But it was apparent right before the collapse, when Jolie was spending time with her family on November 29, that though she was putting on a brave face she was beyond physically exhausted.

One of the Enquirer's sources summed up everyone's fears very simply.

"Angelina could easily suffer a heart attack and die!"


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