Being a hero on screen is one thing, but being a hero in real life is quite another. It’s easy to look like a big shot when you’re acting and everything you say is taken from a script. It’s another thing entirely to actually step up to the plate in any given real life situation.
A lot of actors have it all, and are stuck in their own bubbles, seemingly not caring about the general public. Yet, there are some actors who feel responsible to help, to be kind, and to do whatever it takes in order to contribute to society (even if that means putting their own life on the line too).
Whether they are using their good fortune to give back to the community or are just simply being good citizens, actors are capable of saving lives, and many of them have done just that.
Here are the 15 Actors You Didn’t Know Were Real Life Heroes.
15. Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx is best known for his roles in Django Unchained, Ray, and the new Baby Driver movie. He has played the hero on screen before, but he’s also been a hero in real life. The event? Foxx saved a man from a burning vehicle once.
Brett Kyle was driving his car and going way too fast. After a sharp turn, he found himself stuck, as the car began rolling over and over again down into a ditch. Once the car came to a stop, it caught fire with Kyle still inside it.
Fortunately, the car accident happened right in front of Foxx’s house, and Foxx went into action. He ran outside and, without hesitation, cut the man lose and dragged him out of the car.
14. Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet is best known for her roles in Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and The Dressmaker. She’s secured herself an Oscar and is known as one of Hollywood’s best leading ladies.
In 2011, she was a guest at billionaire Richard Branson’s private island. While there, a tropical storm hit and, through a series of strange events, the mega-mansion caught on fire. There were over twenty people staying at Branson’s home, so of course there was a major panic.
One of the guests just happened to be Branson’s ninety-year-old mother who couldn’t walk on her own very well, let alone run. Instead of fleeing with the other guests, Kate Winslet picked her up and carried her out of the home, making sure to avoid the fire while also not hurting Branson’s mother.
13. Harrison Ford
Fortunately, Ford is also a pretty great person in real life. In 2001, a boy scout got lost near Yellowstone National Park. The boy was only thirteen years old at the time and made news when almost twenty-four hours went by and no one had heard from him.
Having a home in Wyoming at the time, Ford decided to take matters into his own hands. Ford loves to fly, so he got into his helicopter and started his search.
Rapper and actor T.I. has made some headlines for the wrong reasons before. However, in 2010, he managed to singlehandedly talk someone off a ledge.
T.I. is known for his roles in Ant-Man, House of Lies, and Get Hard. More known for his rapping, rather than his acting, T.I. has made it known that he takes acting seriously and wants to pursue more opportunities in the future.
While on his way to a video shoot, T.I. heard a man yelling, threatening to jump off a building. Instead of just calling the police, T.I. recorded a message for the guy standing on the ledge. (Don’t worry, he called 911 too.)
In the video, T.I. said “nothing is that bad. Nothing in life is worth taking your life. I’m here to help you. Please come down to talk to me.”
11. Matthew McConaughey
“Alright, alright, alright.” Matthew McConaughey has become one of America’s favorite actors. Having starred in Mud, Interstellar, and True Detective, the actor also won an Oscar in 2014 for Dallas Buyers Club, and will be starring in the The Dark Tower this year alongside Idris Elba.
Off screen, McConaughey is just as effective. In 2001, a woman had a seizure during the Toronto Film Festival. While everyone panicked and called for help, McConaughey decided to do something about it instead.
McConaughey gave the woman mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Toronto police would later announce that this act alone is the reason why the woman was still alive. McConaughey not only knew how to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but also knew that it was what the woman needed after she had a seizure. Acting isn’t his only talent.
10. Gerard Butler
Gerard Butler is best known for his roles in 300, The Phantom of the Opera, and P.S. I Love You. The actor also plays a major part in the How to Train Your Dragon animated film series.
What you may not know about him, though, is that when Butler was only twenty-six years old he saved a boy from drowning. While on set in the UK, Butler heard a boy shouting and yelling that his friend needed help. Instead of doing nothing, Butler jumped up and was ready to do what they needed of him.
It turns out that a fourteen year old boy was drowning in a river. Butler didn’t hesitate, immediately jumping in. He pulled the boy back onto land and made sure he was okay. Butler was probably a lifeguard in a past life.
9. Ryan Gosling
Ryan Gosling has become famous across the internet for the various memes involving him. The actor has starred in many films including, The Notebook, La La Land, and Drive. He’s a seasoned professional at this point and you can’t really find many others who are as A-list as he is in Hollywood.
In 2012, Gosling was in Manhattan when he saw a woman about to be hit by a taxi. The woman was from England and wasn’t looking at the right side of the road, instead checking the opposite side for cars before crossing the street– and everyone knows how crazy driving in New York can be.
8. Miles Teller
Miles Teller has certainly come into his own. The actor, known for his roles in Whiplash, The Spectacular Now, and Divergent, has finally become a major movie star and we’re extremely happy for him, especially since he’s such a hero.
During his time filming War Dogs alongside Jonah Hill, Teller went to the beach. While there, he took the time to relax since it was his day off from filming.
When he went into the water, a pregnant woman and her child came up to him. They were panicking because there had been a shark sighting and she needed help getting out of the water.
7. Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood has certainly done some crazy things throughout his career. Known best for his roles in Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino, and Unforgiven, Eastwood has become a sensation as one of Hollywood’s most renowned actors of all time.
In 2014, Eastwood was at a golf tournament at Pebble Beach. The director of the tournament, Steve John, began to choke on something, panicking and saying that he could not breathe.
Jumping into action, Eastwood performed the Heimlich maneuver on John. At the time, Eastwood was eighty-three years old, but age is just a number, especially when someone’s life is at stake. His age certainly wasn’t going to stop him from saving the day, as well as a man’s life.
6. Ryan Kwanten
Ryan Kwanten is best known for his role as Jason Stackhouse in True Blood. That being said, did you know that he actually saved someone’s life for real once?
In 2011, Kwanten was driving down a street in Hollywood when he spotted a man lying in the road. Not only was the guy man in the road, though, but he was also completely covered in blood. Kwanten knew he had to do something, and quick.
Kwanten pulled over, jumped out of his car, and carried the man to safety out of the road. Apparently, no one else who was in the area was doing anything to help the man, and instead, people were just walking by like it was normal.
5. Arnold Schwarzenegger
In 2004, Schwarzenegger was vacationing in Hawaii, specifically in Maui. While on the beach, he saw a man who really needed help and instantly jumped into action.
Out in the ocean, a man was holding onto a boogie board. He wasn’t drowning and could swim, but his entire body had cramped up to the point where he could barely move.
4. Matthew Underwood
Matthew Underwood hasn’t done much since his Nickelodeon days, but he did once save a baby. After finding success on Nickelodeon’s Zoey 101, he became a hero earlier this year after coming upon a pretty scary scene.
While in Florida, he drove by what looked to be a car crash. He stopped his car, got out, and checked to see what was going on. What he saw shocked him.
A man and a woman were passed out in the front seat. They didn’t seem to be hurt, and in fact, it was later discovered that they had overdosed. The two adults were surrounded with drug paraphernalia. The woman even had a syringe in her arm.
There was a four month old baby sitting, unrestrained, in the backseat of the car. Underwood grabbed the baby and got him out of the car as quickly as possible. He then called the cops and took a video of the scene to give to the police as evidence.
3. Patrick Dempsey
Patrick Dempsey is best known for his role in Grey’s Anatomy where he played Dr. Derrick Shepherd. His character met his ultimate demise after a car accident in the show. Coincidentally enough, Dempsey was the hero in a similar type of accident in real life.
In 2012, a car flipped upside down right near Dempsey’s home in Malibu. There was a teenager stuck inside the vehicle. Dempsey noticed the accident, grabbed a crow bar, and managed to use it to get the car door open.
After the door had been opened, Dempsey pulled the boy out of the car. He then called the authorities and had them take the boy to the hospital.
2. Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks truly is America’s sweetheart. He’s not only recognized as one of the best actors out there, but also as one of the kindest. The actor is best known for his roles in Forrest Gump, Toy Story, and Saving Private Ryan (plus many, many more).
Speaking of Saving Private Ryan, Hanks actually was able to save a man’s life during the filming of the movie. There was one extra on set who didn’t know how to swim and was thrown overboard for a scene and, of course, that didn’t go well.
The extra had told Hanks he was worried about doing the stunt, so Hanks knew imminently that something was wrong. Hanks jumped into the water and managed to save the man’s life before anything bad happened.
1. Mark Harmon
Mark Harmon is best known for his role as the lead in NCIS, where he portrays Leroy Jethro Gibbs. He has been on the show since 2003 and is still going strong.
In 1996, before he became the star he is today, Harmon was able to save two kids from a burning car. The car had crashed right near his home in Los Angeles, California. When Harmon ran out to the scene, he saw two boys trapped inside the car and knew he had to act.
Harmon busted open the windows and managed to pull both of the boys out. One boy, unfortunately, had burned 30% of his body, but at least he had survived. The other teen only had minor injuries.
Without Harmon’s help, it’s safe to say that things would have been a lot worse.
Did you know that these actors were heroes? Do you know of any other actors who’ve saved people? Let us know in the comments!
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