There’s something deep inside that drives certain people to do the seemingly impossible. It’s this special quality that separates heroes from regular humans. Director Damien Chazelle’s First Man tells the story of one such icon: astronaut Neil Armstrong (played by Ryan Gosling). The exhilarating, gripping feature doesn’t shy away from Armstrong’s gut-wrenching struggles and sacrifices as it pays tribute to his legacy as an American hero.
Since life imitates art, Gosling himself has also been called by the universe to perform small acts of heroism. And he’s not the only one. In this slideshow, we celebrate the courage and compassion that celebrities have displayed off-screen. While this entire list could focus solely on the hunky heartthrob, we wanted to expand it to include other famous folks who’ve done the incredible.
Queue up The Fray’s “How to Save a Life” in another window in your browser, and let’s dive into all the celebrity heroics that have occurred in recent years.