Celebrities are the New "Avengers"

Ryan Gosling, Dustin Hoffman and Patrick Dempsey are competing on Captain America and Thor's turf

By Colin Bertram
|  Thursday, May 10, 2012  |  Updated 12:46 PM CDT
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Ryan Gosling, Dustin Hoffman and Patrick Dempsey are competing on Captain America and Thor's turf.

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Stand aside Thor, Iron Man and Captain America. Dustin Hoffman, Patrick Dempsey and friends have taken your place when it comes to saving mere mortals.

Bold-faced names have been making headlines in recent months, and it’s not for their latest cinematic blockbuster or upcoming primetime series. It’s the everyday heroic acts that have the public talking.

“Because we have elevated celebrities to such a high level it almost seems as though they are stepping down from the heavens – these gods are stepping down from the heavens – to help mere mortals,” said Dr. Carole Lieberman, psychiatrist and author. “It takes on much greater proportions.”

On April 27, a jogger in London’s Hyde Park suffered a heart attack. Actor Dustin Hoffman, who has a house in the area, was nearby and waited with the man until the paramedics arrived. The jogger was resuscitated and taken to hospital.

Earlier in April, Ryan Gosling saved a British journalist from being struck by a car while she was in New York, and looked the wrong direction for oncoming traffic before crossing the street. And that was after he broke up a fight last summer.

The "Drive" star has said he gets embarrassed by efforts to portray him as a modern day superhero.

“I should have just kept my nose out of it," Gosling said after it emerged that the fight he broke up turned out that the man being attacked had allegedly stolen a painting and was being confronted by the robbed artist.

Later, the British journalist he rescued penned a piece on Gawker titled “Ryan Gosling Saved Me From a Speeding Car But There’s a War In the Middle East So Everyone Calm Down.”

If it were only so easy. Celebrities, says Dr. Lieberman, add a cinematic aspect to selfless acts we would expect from any caring individual, famous or not. “The rescue seems like part of a movie,” she said. “It elevates an everyday rescue to a heroic feet that one would see in a movie. Not that they don’t deserve credit for possibly risking their wellbeing.”

Patrick Dempsey, from the television series “Grey’s Anatomy,” was also recently named to the list of celebrity saviors of recent times that includes Garth Brooks, Matthew McConnaughey and Sean Penn. Dempsey came to the aid of teen whose car had flipped on California’s Pacific Coast Highway near the actor’s Malibu home. The TV doc – known as “McDreamy” on the drama series – called 911, helped evacuate the injured man from the damaged vehicle, then remained on the scene until the patient was airlifted to a nearby hospital.

We associate them with movies, television shows, drama,” adds Lieberman. “It glamorizes the actual situation.”

So if The Hulk or Black Widow is not available next time you need a savior, Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling or Ryan Kwanten may be your next best hope of salvation.

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