She reigned as one of Hollywood’s sexiest stars in the '90s — Basic Instinct and Casino are just two of her famous movies! — but when Sharon Stone suffered a massive brain hemorrhage in 2001, she was left unable to walk, speak or read. "I [bled] into my brain for nine days. I had a five percent chance of surviving," the actress shares of her miraculous but grueling years-long recovery. "I had to relearn everything."

Sharon, who turns 60 on March 10, is so grateful to be fully recovered 17 years later that she insists on making her sons Roan, 17, Laird, 12, and Quinn, 11, her priority. "She just wants to be the best mother she can be," an insider exclusively tells Closer Weekly. "She’s also learned to accept her imperfections and to not apologize for being ambitious. As she likes to say, 'I'm done with playing small.' She likes showing women that you’re still vital no matter how old you are."

Coming off her lead role in the HBO miniseries Mosaic, Sharon’s thrilled to soon start filming The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife with Bette Midler. A few other projects are in the works, too, so she strives to stay healthy to meet the demands of her frenetic schedule. "She hikes and swims with her boys," the insider notes of how motherhood is helping to keep her young, "and she also does Pilates and yoga. She eats well, but she doesn’t deprive herself."

Sharon doesn’t deny herself a little romance, either (she was spotted kissing a mystery man at a January event), but the twice-divorced actress says it’s unlikely she’ll marry again. "[I'm] just not the girl who was ever told a man would define me," she shares, adding that she’s happy to stay focused on her kids and career. "I've got a manager and an agent again, and I’m going back to work!"