— Max Page of “Little Darth Vader’’ fame is another step closer to ruling his empire again after undergoing open-heart surgery last week.
The 7-year-old actor, who found fame while playing a pint-sized Darth Vader in a popular Volkswagen Passat commercial during the Super Bowl in 2011, is expected to be discharged from the hospital late Monday, according to a hospital spokeswoman. Now that Page is heading home, he can expect another six to eight weeks of recovery time.
Page underwent a two-hour surgery on Thursday at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles to replace to replace the pulmonary valve in his heart as a result of a congenital condition that was diagnosed when he was three months old.
By Sunday, he was up and walking around in the intensive-care unit, according to a hospital spokeswoman. He also was on blood pressure medication.
“Max had a great night," his mother, Jennifer Page, told a hospital spokesperson Sunday in a report by People.com. "This morning, he is able to get himself out of bed and walk around a little bit."
On Saturday, he wrote a list of goals like sitting in a chair, eating, and walking, according to People.com.
Max, who serves as an ambassador to Children’s Hospital to raise money for other children with heart issues, also has recurring roles on “The Young and the Restless’’ and “Prime Suspect.’’ This was his eighth surgery in seven years. He suffers from Tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart defect that causes too little oxygen to be present in the blood, and will have to have surgery again in 10 to 15 years to once again replace his pulmonary valve.
Max gained notoriety when he appeared unmasked on TODAY in February 2011 after being the star of an ad that went viral on YouTube leading up its debut during the Super Bowl. In the commercial, Max dresses as a mini Darth Vader and attempts to use the Force around the house to no avail before being surprised that he can start his father’s Volkswagen with the wave of a hand — unaware that Dad, watching through a window, has started the car via remote control.
To donate to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in Max Page’s name, click here.