Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images
Angelina Jolie comforts a fan
It was a cold December night in 2014 when Academy Award winner (and all-around bombshell) Angelina Jolie showed up in New York City for a taping of The Daily Show. There, a large crowd formed, and when she approached the studio, “chaos” erupted.
All of the sudden, a young woman named Techna got trapped between the crowd and security. Jolie pulled her from the crowd just before the woman began to lose consciousness. Jolie then stayed with her, calmed her down, and even wiped away her tears. Techna said later on Instagram:
“Angelina didn’t leave till she made sure I was ok.”
Matthew McConaughey and the golf cart
“Say, you need a ride?” Matthew McConaughey said in Dazed and Confused, one of his first movies. Shortly after the famous actor won an Academy Award, he was spotted in March 2016 at the University of Texas (UT), where he previously got his undergraduate degree.
These four college students were coming home from a party when McConaughey, driving a golf cart, pulled up beside them and asked, “Say, you need a ride?” Evidently this was a move by UT to promote getting home safe. After the photo was posted on Facebook, one person commented:
“Gonna start using it now.”
The next comment read: “It’d be a lot cooler if you did!”
Keanu Reeves hangs out with a homeless man
Is Keanu Reeves really the coolest man on planet Earth? You be the judge! If he’s not the coolest, then he might be the nicest, as he’s been recorded doing random acts of kindness all over the place. But the ultimate moment had to be this random act of kindness in 1997.
Reeves was in West Hollywood when he encountered a homeless man on the street. For the next half hour, they exchanged snacks, drinks, a smoke, and Reeves was even seen laying down listening to the man’s stories. It was no PR stunt, and was only randomly captured by a passerby.
Kim Kardashian West and the Marine
In mid-2012, Kim Kardashian was invited to HQ Battery 10th Marine Birthday Ball by Sergeant Martin Gardner. Maybe he expected to be rejected, but imagine his surprise when Kardashian West showed up for the event (in a beautiful, skintight mermaid dress) in North Carolina.
Sgt. Gardner and all the Marines were very appreciative of her for attending, but maybe Gardner bit off a little more than he could chew. After the event, Kardashian tweeted: “Thanks to all of the Marines I had the opportunity to meet tonight! Thank you for all that you do!”
Zach Galifianakis and Mimi, the homeless woman
It was only in 2009, with the release of The Hangover, that actor Zach Galifianakis was able to finally stop using the Fox Coin Laundromat in Santa Monica. For years he cleaned his clothes there, and all the while a homeless lady named Mimi used the building as a home. The two became friends.
Mimi was able to survive 18 years off of tips from helping people with their laundry. But after Galifianakis made it big, he moved her into an apartment in the neighborhood, and paid all her utilities. If that wasn’t enough, he even took the 87-year-old to the premiere of The Hangover Part III.
Russell Brand, food insecurity, and crashing his car
Get Him to the Greek star Russell Brand has a special relationship with the homeless, and this wasn’t the first time he was seen helping them out. He has a special way with homeless people, and that’s probably because, ahem … he dresses just like one!
Brand, like many homeless individuals, has struggled with addiction (he even drove one to an AA meeting once upon a time). But he also understands food insecurity, and rather than giving homeless people money, he gives them his time, and breakfast. This was in February 2013, just months after he crashed his Range Rover into this man’s shopping cart full of recyclables.
Johnny Depp and the fifth grade mutiny
In October 2010, a 10-year-old girl in London named Beatrice wrote a letter to Johnny Depp, er, Captain Jack Sparrow, from Pirates of the Caribbean. She was obviously a bit peeved at her teachers, as she wrote:
“We were having a bit of trouble mutiny-ing against the teachers, and we’d love if you could come and help.”
To her surprise, Depp showed up at a school assembly, in full Captain Sparrow regalia. During an assembly, he asked Beatrice to stand up. He gave her a hug, and then is reported to have said to her:
“Maybe we shouldn’t mutiny today ’cos there are police outside monitoring me.”
Tom Hanks’ morning workout interrupted
Speaking of multiple talents, did you know that Tom Hanks is an ordained minister? That’s right, and he was happy to share that fact with this couple on their wedding day in September 2016, as he stepped out into Central Park for a morning jog.
Elizabeth and Ryan didn’t take Hanks up on the offer to officiate their wedding, but they did invite him to the ceremony and reception after. Unfortunately, Hanks was otherwise engaged, but he did stop to take photos (this one is his own selfie), and even posed with the two ring bearers also.
Harrison Ford conducting traffic in NYC
Actor Harrison Ford has done a number of nice things, including several helicopter rescues (as the pilot), but none was more random than when he was seen directing traffic in New York City. In September 2017, a backup at the Queens Midtown Tunnel had him stuck, and he wasn’t about to wait.
Perhaps it was self-serving, but Ford got out of his Mercedes and began directing traffic around construction obstructions. Clad in a beautiful blue suit, dress shoes, and shirt, Ford cleared the traffic jam, then went on his way. Between doing his own stunts, helicopter rescues, and directing traffic, what can’t Harrison Ford do?
Bill Murray and drink orders
When Bill Murray tends bar, you can go ahead and order a martini, a Manhattan, or a mai tai, but that’s not what you’ll get. This has happened a number of times — Bill Murray showing up at a bar and taking over drink order duties, just like he did in March 2010 when he showed up at the Shangri-La bar in Austin, Texas.
He wasn’t alone, as he was accompanied by Wu Tang Clan members RZA and GZA, all in town for the SXSW Film Festival. When they got to the bar, though, Murray headed behind the counter, and no matter what people ordered — beer, wine, a cocktail, whatever — he only served shots of tequila.
Ryan Gosling breaks up a fight
Here we have The Notebook actor Ryan Gosling, who broke up a fight sometime in the summer of 2011 in New York City. A passerby shot a video where two men appear to be fighting over a painting. Gosling and several others stopped one of the men from pummeling the other.
The only problem was, the man who was winning the fight was the artist, and the other man was a great admirer of his, and was trying to steal his painting. Gosling later said he was “embarrassed” and “sad,” adding:
“So (the thief) finally steals the painting, and then he’s getting his ass kicked by his hero (the artist), and then the guy from The Notebook shows up and makes it weirder.”
Colin Farrell saves a life
Actor Colin Farrell was leaving a restaurant in Toronto one evening in 2007 when he spotted a homeless man alone on the sidewalk. He asked to buy a cigarette, and the two struck up a conversation. Evidently the man had been on the streets for five years, and had substance abuse issues.
Farrell gave the man a wad of cash, and then took him shopping for a new wardrobe. Not only that, but he rented an apartment for the man for a year, and most of all, he gave him his friendship. The man is now off the streets and living a prosperous life, thanks to the kindness of actor Colin Farrell.
Amy Adams salutes the troops
Six-time Academy Award nominee Amy Adams was flying to Los Angeles from Detroit in June 2014. She spotted a soldier in uniform at the gate, and she decided she wanted to do something nice for him. This wasn’t surprising, as Adams is an Army brat, having been born on a base in Italy.
When they boarded, she noticed the soldier was in coach. She said something to the flight attendant, and poof! She gave up her seat for the soldier. She avoided interviews after the fact, but did have this to say:
“I didn’t do it for attention for myself. I did it for attention for the troops.”
Jeff Gordon and the superfan
Barbara Yocum watched NASCAR races with her husband for decades before he passed away in 2004. After that, she still watched the races, but she watched them alone — all the while, cheering for her favorite driver, Jeff Gordon.
Of course, Yocum, at 87 years old, liked him so much that she called him “Jeffie.” In 2014, the Wish of a Lifetime organization, which grants wishes to seniors, arranged a meeting between Jeffie and his biggest fan. Yocum later said, “I’m fine today, yesterday I wasn’t so good, I was very nervous! I’m still nervous … I was proud that he took time out to make my wish come true.”
Bill Gates and the Reddit Secret Santa
Billionaire Bill Gates has been participating in the Reddit Secret Santa gift exchange since 2013. With all that money, he can afford a few random acts of kindness (Steve Ballmer, we’re talking to you buddy), and in 2019 he was at it again.
Shelby (last name omitted) got word on Dec. 17, 2019, that an 81-pound package from Washington state was on its way. She received a manuscript of The Great Gatsby signed by Gates (am I the only one who finds that weird?), and he made a donation to the American Heart Association on Shelby’s mother’s behalf, who died earlier in the year.
Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively donate $1 million to Feeding America
This celeb couple announced via Instagram that they would be donating $1 million to both Feeding America and Food Banks Canada. They encouraged others to donate as well and encouraged everyone to take this time to stay connected with friends and family through the COVID-19 crisis of 2020.
Blake said, “We can all do something for one another, even if that’s staying home” She would go on to joke about her husband, saying, “Now can someone just tell Ryan that ‘emotional distancing’ from his mother-in-law is not a thing. Nothing can save him.”
Josh Gad reads to kids to help out parents
On Friday, March 13th, 2020, the voice actor for beloved Disney character, Olaf from Frozen, hosted “10 minutes of free daycare” by live-streaming himself reading a children’s book, Olivia Goes to Venice.
He said, “Since we’re all stuck at home right now, I figured we would have a little fun together, so I’m going to see how this goes, but I decided I’m gonna read to your and your children or just you, depending on what you prefer…”
Amidst the outbreak of COVID-19 here in 2020, there are little bits of good that shine through the cracks of darkness. In this case, Zion Williamson of the Pelicans taught the rest of the NBA a lesson in humanity with his latest announcement via Instagram.
He announced publically, “I am pledging to cover the salaries for all of those Smoothie King Center workers for the next 30 days.” Hopefully, his initiative sparks more contribution not only in the NBA but across all of sports and beyond.
During the COVID-19 outbreak here in 2020, Roger Federer decided to donate one million Swiss Francs for the most vulnerable families in Switzerland. His message reads, “These are challenging times for everyone and nobody should be left behind.”
He closed out his message by saying, “Our contribution is just a start. We hope that others might join in supporting more families in need. Together we can overcome this crisis! Stay healthy!”
Leonardo DiCaprio helps launch $12M coronavirus relief food fund
Leonardo DiCaprio announced that he’d help launch America’s Food Fund. This organization has already raised $12 million to help communities that have been hit hard by COVID-19. America’s Food Fund aims to help low-income families, the elderly, the unemployed, and children who rely on school lunch programs.
“In the face of this crisis, organizations like World Central Kitchen and Feeding America have inspired us all with their unwavering commitment to feed the most vulnerable people in need,” DiCaprio said in a statement. “I thank them for their tireless work on the frontlines, they deserve all of our support.”
Justin Timberlake and the Marine
Friends with Benefits star Justin Timberlake was actually the one who gave Mila Kunis the idea to attend a Marine Corp ball. Two weeks prior to Kunis’ night at the ball, Timberlake attended one in Virginia, after being asked via an online video by Corporal Kelsey DeSantis.
Corporal DeSantis was described as “sassy” in her video, and she later showed that when she said, “My friends keep saying, ‘Dance-off!’ They know about my skills. I honestly don’t think he’ll be able to keep up with my group of people.” But Timberlake was impressed, and later said:
“This was the type of person our Marine Corps was building. I was really blown away.”
Mila Kunis and the Marine
Sergeant Scott Moore of the United States Marines Corp (USMC) actually thought he had a chance of getting actress Mila Kunis to attend a ball with him. With some legendary Marine courage, and a little help from the web, Kunis accepted Sgt. Moore’s invitation, and the two “had a blast.”
The gorgeous actress was careful not to take the spotlight for herself, and honored Sgt. Moore with her presence and grace. They promised to stay in touch after the November 2011 ball, and Sgt. Moore added:
“I’ve seen a couple of her movies and she’s obviously a pretty girl so … I thought she’d be fun so I picked her … She’s just a normal girl.”
Jon Voight and the Thanksgiving turkeys
Thanksgiving brings out the big hearts in all of us, and that was certainly the case for Academy Award-winning actor Jon Voight. In November 2016, he visited a Walmart in Kentucky, where he encountered Sydney Gholston, who had six turkeys in her cart.
“You look like Angelina Jolie’s dad,” said Gholston.
After a few jokes, Voight asked what Gholston was doing with six turkeys. It turns out she was preparing a feast for needy children, and Voight decided to help out. It’s not so strange that the millionaire actor bought her the six turkeys, but it was strange that Voight was in a Walmart in the first place!
Robin Williams and ‘Radioman’
In this case, it’s difficult to figure out who did the good deed and who received the random act of kindness. That’s “Radioman” on the left, and he’s been described by many (including Robin Williams himself) as Williams’ doppelgänger. Thing is, the two have probably been in an equal amount of films.
This photo was taken in May 2004, nearly 15 years after the two met. When Williams played the role of a homeless man in The Fisher King, it was Radioman who taught him the ways of the homeless. Likewise for Bruce Willis in The Bonfire of the Vanities. Radioman has been sober ever since, and considered Williams his favorite actor in Hollywood.
Kobe Bryant helping out
Car crashes in Los Angeles are very common, and seeing Kobe Bryant helping out crash victims was very common too. In September 2018, Bryant witnessed a car crash that didn’t involve his own car, and stepped onto the road to direct traffic.
Likewise in December 2019, when this video was shot, as Bryant braved oncoming traffic to check on the victims. He spent significant time with each, checking in to see if they were all right, and only leaving once paramedics arrived. This occurred just before he lost his life in a helicopter crash, a mode of travel he took to avoid the nasty Los Angeles traffic.
Random Shaq’s of kindness
Patrick Martin of Georgia was shopping at a Best Buy in Georgia when he spotted an enormous presence down the aisle. The man was Shaquille O’Neal (“Shaq”), and even though Martin was a fan, Shaq’s 7-foot-1 and 324-pound frame was unmistakable. The man decided to approach the famous four-time NBA Champion.Martin offered his condolences for the loss of Shaq’s sister three months earlier, and for the loss of his friend, Kobe Bryant, who perished in a helicopter crash just three days earlier. Martin walked away, and then heard the words, “I like y’all, so get the nicest (laptop) in here and I’ll pay for it.”
Nate Collins and the daddy-daughter dance
Nate Collins was playing defensive tackle for the Chicago Bears when he got an odd request in 2014. He learned that a little girl, Nadia, who was just 10 years old, had lost her father to brain cancer just two years prior, and she didn’t have a date for her school’s daddy-daughter dance.
Even though the big man had a draft party to attend at Soldier Field in Chicago, he made the two-hour trek to Prairie Grove Elementary School. He showed up in a stretch limo, and the two had a ball. Nadia and her mother were so thankful, to say “thank you” in fitting form, they got Collins a bear.
J.J. Watt and the pretend proposal
In January 2013, 6-year-old Breanna and her mom posted a video on YouTube where she professed her love for Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. In the video she was crying, broken up by the fact that she wanted to marry Watt, but she was not 25 years old yet (her minimum age requirement for marriage).
When Watt saw the video, he was brokenhearted, and wanted desperately to help the little girl. So Watt tracked her down, found her, and then asked her if she would be his pretend wife for a day. She said “yes,” and added that Watt “is one cool dude.”
Another random Shaq of kindness
Five-year-old Syari was on her way to the school bus stop with her friend one morning in Atlanta. All of the sudden, two dogs ran at them, and attacked them like they were intruders. Syari suffered several major injuries, including almost losing her ear. But she was lucky, as her friend didn’t make it.
When Shaq heard of the incident, he wanted to do what he could to help. There wasn’t much he could do for Syari, as she underwent half a dozen surgeries, so he reached out to her mom. Upon seeing the state of their home, Shaq decided to buy the family furniture to fill their house.
John Cena and the Make-A-Wish Foundation
Well, it goes without saying that John Cena is the man, but since he’s such a good guy, we’ll go ahead and tell you why. Cena, the former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) champion, has made not one, not two, but over 600 Make-A-Wish dreams come true.
Here we have Alex pictured with Cena, and the two are spending some precious moments together prior to Monday Night Raw in August 2016. A John Cena action figure is no surprise, but in this case, toy maker Mattel, Toys “R” Us, and WWE teamed up to create an action figure of Alex.
Nicki Minaj and the pink wig
Washington Wizards basketball player John Wall helped 5-year-old Miyah post a video online, asking Nicki Minaj if the two could meet. She loved Minaj’s pink hair, and Minaj was happy to set up a meeting. Upon giving her the wig, Minaj said:
“I’m so happy that you got your pink wig. I think you’re beautiful without the pink wig, okay?”
The Wizards helped set up a meeting at a recording studio, and after exchanging many fond moments together, Minaj said:
“Whenever you want to play dress up and feel like a little Barbie Doll, that’s fine. But, remember you promised me that you were gonna stay in school.”
Marcus Cannon and the Lombardi Trophy
In February 2015, the Patriots were celebrating another Super Bowl victory, and did so in fine fashion. During the parade in downtown Boston, superfan Sam Macasay handed Patriots offensive tackle Marcus Cannon a fake Lombardi Trophy, and Cannon promised him he would give it back.
Cannon tracked down Macasay, and showed up at his work, which happened to be a hardware store. Cannon not only returned the trophy, but also gave Macasay a little piece of sports memorabilia: his jacket from Super Bowl Media Day. It may have been an XXXXL, but Macasay still loved it.
Bill Murray did the dishes at a party?
Ah yes, the lore of Bill Murray. Yes, the legends are true: When he’s not busy acting and making hilarious films, he’s out there, crashing bachelor parties and weddings, popping his face into restaurant booths to eat people’s food — but did he really crash a party only to do their dishes?
When a 22-year-old anthropology student in Scotland spotted the famous actor in a pub, she struck up a conversation and invited him to a party. Murray showed up, and the student later said:
“Nobody could believe it when I arrived at the party with Bill Murray.”
If that wasn’t confusing enough, how did he repay his invitation? By doing the dishes, of course!
Tom Hanks posed with a man who had one too many
Two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks was in North Dakota in 2012 when this photo was taken. In the series of at least three photos, we see this man, facedown in his pizza, but not before he steals Hanks’ glasses, and passes out on his shoulder.
After that, the man was so wasted that his face fell in his food! Or, is that how it actually happened?
After over a million views online, it was revealed that the man in his pizza was actually a fan. He asked Hanks if he would pose in some funny photos for him, and Hanks was more than happy to oblige.
Woody Harrelson and the random selfie
A man in Queenstown, England, was having a night on the town once upon a time in January 2019. Apparently, the man had a bit too much to drink, and like so many before and since who’ve had one too many, he lost his phone.
Fortunately for the man, his phone ended up in the hands of Queenstown police, who were happy to give it back to him. They couldn’t tell him who turned the phone in, but when he got it back, he checked his photos. The last photo taken was unmistakable.
Actor Woody Harrelson had found the man’s phone, then snapped a selfie for the man to find.