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Matthew McConaughey reveals what triggered his father’s fatal heart attack

It’s how his dad always predicted he would go

When speaking about the death of a loved one, humor is rarely ever involved, but in the case of  Matthew McConaughey , his father has been able to keep him laughing even after suffering a tragic death.

The actor spent 52 days alone in the desert, without electricity, in order to write his new memoir Greenlights, remembering the good, the bad, and the ugly stories from his life over the years. As part of his People cover story, the actor released an exclusive excerpt from his new book, in which he reveals that his dad, James Donald McConaughey, died exactly how he always knew he would.

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“I got a call from my Mom. ‘Your dad died,’” McConaughey writes. “My knees buckled. I couldn’t believe it. He was my dad. Nobody or nothing could kill him. Except for mom. He’d always told me and my brothers, ‘Boys, when I go, I’m gonna be makin’ love to your mother.’ And that’s what happened. He had a heart attack when he climaxed.”

McConaughey’s father and his mother, Kay, had a tumultuous on-again, off-again relationship, in which they repeatedly divorced and re-married each other over the years. Regardless, McConaughey says “those moments were so quickly superseded by the love and humanity.”

He continued, “They were, at times, violent. As I say in the book, that is how they communicated. They were divorced twice, married three times, I mean, yeah, it was like the Pacific Ocean in a storm.”

James Donald McConaughey died in 1992. In January of this year, the actor decided it was time for his mom to once again find love, which is when he attempted to set her up with the widowed father of his co-star from The Gentleman, Hugh Grant.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, McConaughey joked, “His father’s 91, my mother’s 88. Yeah, why not? Next week, they’re supposed to meet, and we probably won’t see them for the rest of the night.”

Judging from this excerpt, it’s safe to say the star’s memoir is going to be filled with even more shocking and unusual stories you’ll just have to read to believe. Greenlights hits shelves on October 20.

Elsewhere in his People cover story, McConaughey opened up about his life with his wife, Camila Alves, and their three children. Just like everyone else with kids, the star has faced the unique challenge of raising his little ones in quarantine. Luckily, his creative clan has risen to the occasion.

“They have doubled down on their hobbies, creative things and parts of themselves I don’t think they would have leaned into if they were back in school,” the actor said about his family. “One of the assets of this COVID quarantine is they’ve been forced to be more self-reliant. They’ve been forced to create their way out of their boredom.”


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