ByAllanah Faherty, writer at
Senior staff writer | Twitter: @allanahfaherty | Email: [email protected]
Allanah Faherty

While the sight of our favorite characters saving lives on the big screen is par for the course, it's slightly less ordinary when the actors who play the characters end up saving people in real life - but it does happen! Take a look below at six of TV and cinema's biggest stars who were in the right place at the right time, and didn't hesitate to step in and help out:

1. Arnold Schwarzenegger

His characters are famous for saving people in movies, but back in 2004, Arnold Schwarzenegger literally had the chance to tell someone "come with me if you want to live."

While on vacation in Hawaii with his family, Arnie was swimming when he noticed a man in distress. While the man wasn't drowning he was suffering from cramps, and after borrowing a boogie board Schwarzenegger brought the man back to shore, where he walked away unharmed.

2. Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher [Paramount Pictures]
Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher [Paramount Pictures]

It seems like Tom Cruise is never far from lending a hand, with many reports of his kind and heroic behavior being reported. Back in 1996 he assisted a family whose sailboat had caught alight, as well as helping the victim of a hit-and-run. After Cruise witnessed a 23-year-old woman get hit by a car, he ensured someone would phone an ambulance, before following the young lady to UCLA Medical Center and paying her $7,000 hospital bill.

In 1998, Cruise also rushed to the aid of a neighbor while she was being mugged. With help of his bodyguard, Cruise pursued the muggers, who had attempted to rip thousands of dollars worth of jewelry off the woman. Finally in 2012, Tom Cruise had his private jet fly a crew member to a specialist spinal injury clinic in Baton Rouge, after he was crushed in an accident on-set of Oblivion.

3. Patrick Dempsey

In 2012 Patrick Dempsey took a leaf out of Dr. Derek Shepherd's book when he jumped into action to pull a 17-year-old Weston Masset to safety after he lost control of his car. Dempsey jumped into action, and using a crowbar and fire extinguisher managed to pull the teen to safety and call the paramedics. He stayed with Masset until he was airlifted to hospital, where he was treated for a concussion and injuries to his eye.

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4. Gerard Butler

Back in 1997, Gerard Butler was awarded with a certificate of bravery by the Royal Humane Society of Scotland after rescuing a 14-year-old boy from a river. Butler was picnicking with his mother when he heard the boy's friend shouting for help, and jumped into to pull the boy to safety. In 2012 Butler recalled the incident, saying he went into shock afterwards. "I tried to take him up hill but my legs were like jelly from the adrenalin and everybody's watching me and I couldn't make it up the hill," the actor said on Live With Kelly and Michael. Previously the actor had said that the incident didn't make him feel like a hero at all. "I was initially gripped by fear and an empty feeling, thinking that the boy was dead," he said.

5. Mila Kunis

Kunis in 'Bad Moms'
Kunis in 'Bad Moms'

In 2012, Mila Kunis showed her heroics when she rushed to the aid of a man who collapsed while working at her LA home. The man suffered a severe seizure, which caused him to bite through his tongue. The man was choking, coughing up blood and vomiting when Kunis came to his side, turning his head to the side to ensure he wouldn't choke, while another friend put a wallet in his mouth so he wouldn't swallow his tongue. Fortunately paramedics were quick on the scene, and the man was reported to have made a full recovery.

6. Mark Harmon

Mark Harmon in NCIS [CBS]
Mark Harmon in NCIS [CBS]

He might play a hero on screen as Senior Lead Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs in the hit TV series NCIS, but Mark Harmon is also a hero in real life! Back in 1996, Harmon rescued two 16-year-old boys when he pulled them from their burning car after it crashed near his LA home. One of the teens suffered severe third degree burns, and the other suffered minor injuries, but both survived thanks to Harmon's actions.

In 2013, the victim who suffered the more serious injuries, Colin Specht, spoke out about the incident. "I owe everything to him, Specht said. "I have no doubt that I would not be alive." Meanwhile Harmon deflected any talk of heroism. "I won’t take credit for it, because if the car explodes and I’m there next to the car, then you’re talking about two young boys who don’t have a father," Harmon said. "And you’d be doing this interview with my wife and talking about how stupid it was."


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