AceShowbiz - "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted" - Aesop. This also applies to the good deeds done by celebrities in real life. Though most of them are blessed with wealth and fortune, often times they have shown that their generosity comes from sincerity.
Whether it's saving someone from drowning and a car accident or helping a homeless man on the street, a number of actors and public figures have received praises for their acts of kindness. To give props where it's due, here are a number of stars' Good Samaritan moments that have touched the hearts of people and fans in particular over the years.
Denzel Washington is known for his protagonist roles in movies which apparently reflect his personality in real life. The actor was praised after helping a homeless man who looked distraught on the street. It happened at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020 and as protests erupted nationwide against police brutality and racial injustice in the wake of George Floyd's death.
The man was in some peril with oncoming traffic, so Denzel got out of his car and brought him to safety. After another bystander called the police, "The Equalizer 3" star stayed until the police arrived and continued comforting him, serving as a barrier between the man and the police. He only left when the law enforcement officials determined the homeless man was not a threat to himself or others.
Years of playing neurosurgeon Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd on "Grey's Anatomy" apparently taught Patrick Dempsey to use his quick wit in an emergency situation. The actor rescued a teen after his car flipped over near Patrick's Malibu, Calif., home in April 2012. Using a crowbar and a fire extinguisher, he pulled the boy to safety.
"I was scared for my life. I was upside down," then-17-year-old Weston Masset told ABC News after he lost control of his Mustang. After rescuing Weston, Patrick called paramedics and stayed by the teen's side until he was airlifted to the hospital.
Jennifer Garner's kindness was evident during her recent encounter with a stranger in Santa Monica Beach, California. The "13 Going on 30" star was in a car in a parking lot when she saw a homeless man in a wheelchair. She gave the man a plastic bag full of essential items.
When she realized the man was barefoot, she got out of her vehicle and began putting socks on his feet. She even offered her own shoes to the homeless man, but they were too small. The mother of three then ran to a paparazzo who was filming her, asked what size shoes he wore and offered to buy his footwear to donate to the man. The paparazzo eventually gave the shoes to Jennifer without taking any payment from her.
In what sounds like a movie's scenario, Jamie Foxx and an off-duty paramedic once teamed up to save a man from a burning car. The man's pickup truck crashed and caught fire in front of the actor's home. The "Django Unchained" star immediately called 911 and ran to the scene. The off-duty paramedic, who was driving by at the time, used large scissors to break the window and cut the man's seatbelt.
The paramedic and Jamie then pulled the man out and the truck, just in time before it went up in flames. Being humble, the Oscar winner told KCAL after the incident, "I don't look at it as heroic. I just look at it as ... you just had to do something. It all worked out."
Before he saved the president in "Olympus Has Fallen", Gerard Butler jumped to the rescue of a 14-year-old boy who was drowning. The then-26-year-old actor was having a picnic at Taymouth Castle in Scotland back in 1997 when he heard Daniel Smith screaming for help. He then ran to the riverband, jumped in and pulled him to safety.
"I wouldn't call myself a hero. I just acted instinctively," the Scottish hunk told The Herald. "When I brought him out he was lifeless. I'm just glad he's all right now." Turns out the story didn't end there. The actor kept in touch with the boy he saved and nearly 20 years later he made a speech at Daniel's wedding.
Tom Cruise isn't only willing to risk his life to perform his own dangerous stunts, but also he is willing to use his resources to help those in need. One of the times that showed this happened when he witnessed a 23-year-old woman, Heloisa Vinhas, get hit by a car in 1996. The "A Few Good Men" star sprung into action by directing nearby pedestrian to call an ambulance and waited with her until paramedics arrived.
The "Mission: Impossible" actor even followed Heloisa to the hospital and when he found out that she was uninsured, he covered her $7,000 hospital bill. His sweet gesture didn't end there as his spokesperson later told Entertainment Weekly that the actor followed up with Heloisa after her release "just to check in on how she was doing."
Years before he would debut as Marvel superhero Groot in "Guardians of the Galaxy", Vin Diesel had his own heroic moment when he saved a family from a car that was about to blow. One day in 2022, he was riding his motorbike through Hollywood when he saw a high-speed car crash.
Instead of keeping going, the "Fast and Furious" star stopped his bike and ran to the twisted wreckage and pulled several family members who were trapped beneath the car wreck. Thankfully, he managed to get the family from the car before it went up in flames.
Another MCU star, Benedict Cumberbatch, has once become a real-life superhero. It occurred in 2018, when he and his wife Sophie Hunter were riding in an Uber and spotted a Deliveroo cyclist being attacked by a group of muggers who attempted to steal his bicycle in central London.
The "Doctor Strange" star jumped out of his Uber cab and dodged punches as he yelled, "Leave him alone." The Uber driver also helped pull the attackers off the man, and they eventually fled. Deliveroo thanked the Emmy winner for his "heroic actions," while he played it down as saying, "I did it out of, well, I had to, you know."
John Krasinski made use of his swimming skills to save a girl from drowning. The "Jack Ryan" star spent a few months teaching English in Costa Rica after high school and on a visit to Manuel Antonio Beach, he saw a woman get swept out by a riptide.
"In that moment, I didn't ask anyone," he told Playboy magazine. "There was no one to help me. I just went out and tried to save her. And then of course when I got out there, I was in a crosscurrent with her." He admitted that he was scared for his own life, but it didn't stop him from jumping into action and getting the woman out of water.
Kate Winslet's Rose may abandon Leonardo DiCaprio's Jack in "Titanic", but the actress could not stay still when Richard Branson's house caught fire. The Oscar winner was staying in the Virgin Group mogul's private island residence in the British Virgin Islands with her children and his family when it was struck by lightning, setting it ablaze. All escaped the fire unharmed and Richard credited Kate with saving his 90-year-old mother.
"My mum is 90 and can walk, but it was more just to speed the process up than anything else," he told The Telegraph after the incident. "But anyway, she was great. She swept her up into her arms and got them out of the house as fast as possible."
T.I. has had a few controversial moments in his life, but there's nothing harmful about him talking to a suicidal man. The rapper/actor helped police persuade the man not to jump off the roof of high-rise office building in Atlanta, Georgia in 2010. He recorded a video message that the police then showed to the man on the ledge.
After watching the video, the man stepped back from the ledge and agreed to meet with T.I. in person in the building's lobby. After a brief conversation with the "Ant-Man" star, the man was taken to a local hospital for a psychological evaluation. The police said, "[T.I.] didn't have to stop. He could've kept on going about his business. We're happy it ended the way it did, and we thank him."
Despite his multiple villainous roles, John Malkovich is actually a good person. The "In the Line of Fire" star showed this when he helped save the life of a man who suffered a freak accident in Toronto in 2013. The actor and 77-year-old Jim Walpole were on a weekend bus tour for seniors when Jim stumbled and fell into scaffolding, slitting his throat.
John rushed over and used his scarf to apply pressure to the man's throat. When paramedics arrived and Jim asked what his savior's name was, The Toronto Sun reported that he merely said, "My name is John and you're going to be alright." Jim only later figured out that it was the famous actor.
In a dramatic way that could be turned into a movie, Tom Hardy once nabbed a runaway thief. As reported back in 2017, two thieves stole a moped and crashed it into a car. One of the thieves remained at the scene, but the other fled. That's when the "Venom" star switched to superhero mode and chased the thief through gardens and across a building site.
The Bane depicter in "The Dark Knight Rises" dragged the thief into a bus stop and patted him down to make sure he didn't have any weapons before handing him over to the police. "Tom must have been walking down the road. He went off like a shot in pursuit and looked furious," an eyewitness said, adding, "Tom did the public a great service."
Breaking up a fight may sound familiar to some people, but it's a different case when it puts someone's life at risk. Dev Patel did this despite knowing the danger that it posed. The actor, best known for starring in Danny Boyle's drama "Slumdog Millionaire", once broke up a violent knife fight in Australia.
The British actor, who has been living Down Under since April 2022, made headlines in August of that year after trying to intervene a fight between a man and a woman in Adelaide. "Dev acted on his natural instinct to try and de-escalate the situation and break up the fight," a spokesperson for the 33-year-old said, stressing that there were "no heroes" in the situation.
Mark Harmon's most heroic scene unfolded in real life. The "NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service" star has a person owe his life to him after he saved a California man from a burning car. Then-16-year-old Colin Specht was riding shotgun with his buddy in 1996 before it crashed outside of the actor's home in Brentwood, Los Angeles. Colin's friend got out, but he was pinned.
Mark broke the window with a sledge hammer and pulled the teenager from the fiery vehicle. "He tugged me, because I was still upside down with the seat belt in, and he ripped me out of the car," Colin recalled years later. "I owe everything to him," he added.