Celebrities: They're richer than us, better-looking than us, and their shoe closets make our houses look tiny by comparison. But are they better people, too?
From the way famous people made news this week for saving lives and other minor acts of heroism, maybe the answer is yes.
When Hurricane Irene hit The Bahamas on Monday, lightning struck the private island home of Sir Richard Branson. Among the 20 guests in the house was Academy Award-winning actress Kate Winslet, vacationing with her children and her boyfriend. As fire broke out in the estate, Branson's sons helped evacuate everyone, but it was Winslet who carried Branson's 90-year-old mother to safety in addition to her own children.
If that wasn't enough celeb do-gooding, we learned Gwyneth Paltrow saved someone's life on 9/11 — by nearly running over the woman with her car.
"She swept her up into her arms and got them out of the house as fast as possible,” Branson told Britain’s ITV News. The house was completely destroyed, but everyone staying inside made it out unharmed.
On the same day footage emerged of actor and heartthrob Ryan Gosling showing that his charms work on more than just the ladies. In June, as two men broke into a street fight in Manhattan, bystanders watched and unsuccessfully tried to break up the skirmish until Gosling — Bloomingdale's bag in hand — stepped in and handled the situation within seconds. (I wonder if he opened with "Hey girl.") Don't believe it? Watch the video.
If that wasn't enough celeb do-gooding, last week we learned Gwyneth Paltrow saved someone's life on 9/11 — by nearly running over the woman with her car. Nearly 10 years after the fateful day, Lara Lindstrom Clarke told The Morton Report the story of how she was cutting across Seventh Avenue in New York's West Village when "all of the sudden a silver Mercedes SUV came barreling down towards me."
The car stopped in front of her, but Clarke was hesitant to continue in front of it until she made eye contact with the driver — Paltrow. The incident lasted just long enough for Clarke to miss her subway train, and she arrived for work at the World Trade Center just as the first plane hit the tower. Clark and others coming out of the subway were cordoned down into the station and eventually released but told to steer clear of the buildings.
"If I had made that train I would have been at my desk on the 77th floor of 2 World Trade Center," Clarke told the paper. Four of Clarke's co-workers died in the attacks. As for Paltrow, driving recklessly doesn't usually get you plaudits but she has confirmed the story and says she is "deeply moved."
Frankly, if celebrities keep doing good deeds the gossip industry will screech to a halt. Where's Lindsay Lohan when you need her?