Shiv Grewal, from Peckham, London, suffered a huge cardiac arrest while he was out having lunch with his wife some five years ago.
The actor, who had just finished a Royal Shakespeare Company version of Much Ado About Nothing, had to be revived by paramedics, but he was clinically dead for at least seven minutes.
And now, the 60-year old has spoke out about what he believes he saw in the afterlife.
Mr Grewal said: “I knew, somehow, that I was dead.
“I was aware my brain was dying and crying out for help. But, at the same time, I felt things completely separate from my body. It was like I was in a void but could feel emotions and sensations.
“Despite knowing I was dead, I also knew that there was a chance of coming home.
“I also understood that I’d be reincarnated, but I didn’t want that just yet. I wanted to return to life, to the material world and to my wife.
“I demanded that I was coming back and I got my wish.”
During those seven minutes, Mr Grewal said he embarked on a “cosmic journey” where ultimately it was his choice as to whether he returned to the real world or remain in the afterlife.
He continued: “I felt there was a whole set of possibilities, various lives and reincarnations that were being offered to me. But I didn’t want them. I made it very clear that I wanted to return to my body, to my time, to my wife and to go on living.”
However, doctors and medical professionals say that experiences such as these are not necessarily proof of an afterlife.
Dr Sam Parnia, director of critical care and resuscitation research at NYU Langone School of Medicine in New York City, told a recent Oz Talk: “People describe a sensation of a bright, warm, welcoming light that draws people towards it.
“They describe a sensation of experiencing their deceased relatives, almost as if they have come to welcome them. They often say that they didn’t want to come back in many cases, it is so comfortable and it is like a magnet that draws them that they don’t want to come back.
“A lot of people describe a sensation of separating from themselves and watching doctors and nurses working on them.”
Dr Parnia says there are scientific explanations for the reaction, and says seeing people is not evidence of the afterlife, but more likely the brain just scanning itself as a survival technique.
He said thanks to modern technology and science “death does not have to be limited to philosophy and religion, but it can be explored through science”.
“They can hear things and record all conversations that are going on around them.”