There are many different kinds of heroes, some famous and some not so much. Some celebrities fit that description simply by donating a portion of their vast fortunes to charities. Sandra Bullock, for instance, donated $1 million to the Red Cross after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and Angelina Jolie donated the same impressive sum to the U.N. Afghan relief fund. Both are definitely heroic actions.
Sometimes a heroic act can be as simple as calling attention to someone's needs. That was the case for these three celebrities on Twitter where they all have tons of followers. All of them sent tweets that ended up saving lives because of that. When one of actress Demi Moore's Twitter followers posted about killing herself, Moore responded, asking if she was serious. Just doing so directed enough attention that the authorities were able to locate the girl and get her some help before she could inflict harm upon herself. When one of actor Donnie Wahlberg's fans tweeted about needing a kidney transplant, he retweeted to get the word out, and a donor was found. Singer Rihanna has helped many children who suffer from cancer by searching for donors for bone marrow transplants as well.
Then there are the other types of celebrity heroes; the men and women who happen upon dangerous situations, but instead of running away, they run towards it to see if they can be of any assistance. Here are some truly heroic celebrities, all of whom acted bravely under stressful circumstances. We wanted to say, “bravo” to them on these very special performances.
12 Arnold Schwarzenegger
While vacationing in Hawaii with his family, then-California governor and action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger noticed a man in the water who seemed to be struggling. Schwarzenegger swam out to the man, who told him that he was having cramps and couldn't swim back to shore. Schwarzenegger then helped the man onto a boogie board and swam him back to shore, then sat with him until he regained his breath and composure.
11 Garth Brooks
Two young brothers, ages 10 and 14, were home alone on school vacation when they heard someone pounding on their door. When they opened it, there was country music star Garth Brooks and another (unidentified) man, yelling for them to leave the house because a dangerous grass fire was heading their way.
The boys got in Brooks' truck, and he drove them through thick smoke to safety. The fire burned over 600 acres of land, but firefighters were able to save the boys' home. Luckily, the fire was stopped just a few feet from the house.
10 Tom Cruise
Actor Tom Cruise gets a lot of bad press, but he has also done several heroic acts that don't get a lot of media attention. In 1996, for instance, Cruise witnessed a woman who got hit by a car (which then sped off without stopping) in Los Angeles. Cruise called for help and stayed with the woman until the ambulance arrived. He then followed the ambulance to the hospital, and when he found out that the woman wasn't insured, he paid for the whole $7,000 hospital bill himself. Cruise is also credited with saving two young boys the same year, from being crushed against a fence by crowds of fans and paparazzi at one of his premieres.
9 Ryan Gosling
While walking along a New York City street, actor Ryan Gosling happened upon a disagreement between a street vendor and another man. Without saying a word, Gosling stepped in and broke up the fight. The actor then gave the vendor $20 to end the dispute over a $10 painting. Gosling then carried on with his business as if nothing had happened. In April of 2012, the actor pulled British journalist Laurie Penny out of the way of a speeding taxi in New York City. A good man to have around.
8 Mila Kunis
When a 50 year-old man who was working in Kunis’ home began having violent seizures, the actress immediately told her friend to call 911 while she herself turned the man on his side to prevent him from choking. Paramedics quickly arrived at the scene and rushed him to the emergency room, where he made a full recovery.
During his morning walk through London’s Hyde Park things went from casual to a life-or-death struggle for Dustin Hoffman. The actor spotted a jogger stagger and collapse. Hoffman rushed to the man’s side, called police and stayed with him while paramedics treated the 27 year old heart attack victim who survived.
7 Sean Hayes
The comedic star of television’s “Will & Grace” was driving in Los Angeles when he noticed Courtney Cunningham lying in the street. The 33 year-old man had been robbed and shot in the leg. Hayes pulled over, ripped off his shirt and pressed it to the wound to stop the bleeding. He called an ambulance and waited with Cunningham until paramedics arrived.
6 Vin Diesel
As if shooting a movie scene, actor Vin Diesel was riding his motorcycle through Hollywood, CA, when the car in front of him lost control, rolling several times and bursting into flames. Thinking quickly, Diesel stopped his bike, ran to the burning car, and pulled two children from the backseat. He then calmly instructed the driver to climb over the back seat and get out of the car. Minutes later, the car was engulfed in flames.
5 Patrick Dempsey
This longtime star of television’s “Greys Anatomy” races cars in his spare time. So Dempsey knew exactly what to do when a teen driver flipped his Mustang and ended up in the actor’s front yard in April of 2012. He ran to the flipped and totaled car with a crowbar in hand and pried the teenager out of it before the police had even arrived.
4 Prince Harry
There have been a couple of instances when this royal was deemed heroic. He came to the aid of a rival polo player who was knocked unconscious in a collision during their match. Prince Harry apparently turned the player, Bash Kazi over and did all he could to make sure his opponent regained consciousness.
When on the phone with a friend who was suddenly being mugged as they spoke, Prince Harry reportedly raced across the city to help his friend, couldn’t find him and ultimately went to the local police station to give a witness statement which helped to arrest a suspect.
3 Harrison Ford
Actor Harrison Ford has a home in Wyoming, and like a good citizen, he sometimes offers the use of his private helicopter for rescue missions to save his town the $1,000 fee for an airlift. Recently, two young women were hiking on Table Mountain when one of them fell ill and could not make it down the mountain on her own. Her friend called for help on a cell phone, and they were able to move the injured hiker to a nearby meadow to await rescue. Imagine their surprise when the helicopter landed and they got on board to find that the pilot was non-other than Hollywood superstar Harrison Ford! Wearing a cowboy hat and a simple tee shirt, Ford flew the sick woman to safety... and didn't even complain when she threw up in his helicopter. A year later, he rescued a 13-year-old Boy Scout who wandered away from his camp in Yellowstone National Park. Ford also flew medical supplies and volunteers to Haiti after the earthquake. What a guy!
2 John Malkovich
Actor John Malkovich's time in films must have prepared him for real-life heroism. The actor came to the rescue of a man who tripped on a curb in downtown Toronto and was reportedly bleeding profusely from the neck. The actor saw it happen and rushed to the aid of accident victim, 77 year-old Jim Walpole, applying pressure to the wound until the ambulance arrived. Malkovich humbly said, "Any citizen would do the same. It's nothing special."
1 Kate Winslet
Actress Kate Winslet was staying at British billionaire Richard Branson's multi-million dollar Virgin Island estate called Necker Island in the summer of 2011 when the home was struck by lightning and burned. After Kate made sure that her children were safely outside the house, she went back in and scooped up Branson's 90 year-old mother, Eve (pictured here with Winslet), carrying the woman out of the house to safety on her back. The entire estate was burned to the ground.
Branson, who says he woke up and fled into the night buck-naked, describes how Winslet said, "It was like being on a film set where you're waiting for the words 'cut' but they just don't come."