Famous people seem to be fairly accustomed to getting what they want. While the spotlight can be a high-pressure place, it tends to come with perks such as riders, personal assistants, and a whole bunch of money. Despite their fame and fortune, however, these nostalgic celebs proved that a little kindness goes a long way, and this kindness may be part of what has helped them stand the test of time.
Whether it involved a co-star, a fan, a child, or a furry friend, these heartwarming moments stood out to us in 2022 and made our year a little bit brighter.
- Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing11 VOTES
Danny DeVito And Rhea Perlman Were Like Family When Mara Wilson’s Mom Was Sick During ‘Matilda’
The beloved film Matilda introduced audiences to Mara Wilson and her precocious titular character. She's currently not actively seeking starring roles, but the film cemented Wilson as a famous child actor. Starring alongside her was Danny DeVito, who played Matilda’s less-than-loving and comedically shady dad. He also directed the film.
Wilson was 8 years old when she was cast as Matilda, and her mother Suzie was especially supportive of her acting career. Unfortunately, Suzie was diagnosed with breast cancer during the film's production. This resulted in DeVito and wife Rhea Perlman stepping in and offering to care for Wilson whenever her family had to go to the hospital. A now-adult Wilson remembered,
I was going through a hard time, and I know I had hard days, but everyone on the film was so nice. Danny and Rhea were like my favorite aunt and uncle. It was wonderful. I remember feeling anxious when the movie wrapped, and it was really hard to go back to being normal and dealing with my mom’s sickness… I definitely feel like having that family there, and having people willing to take care of us and help us out, made it easier.
Wilson’s mother passed in April 1996, a few months before Matilda was officially released. Years later, DeVito revealed to Wilson that he had visited her mother in the hospital and shown her a near-finished version of the film so that she could enjoy it before her passing.
- 21 VOTES
André The Giant Wouldn’t Have Arnold Schwarzenegger Paying For Dinner
Back in the 1980s, while filming Conan the Destroyer, Arnold Schwarzenegger became acquainted with both Wilt Chamberlain, an NBA player who stood at 7’1,” and André René Roussimoff (AKA André the Giant), a French WWE pro wrestler and actor who stood at 7’4.” Aside from his illustrious career in wrestling, André became well known for his roles in films such as The Princess Bride.
The trio became good friends and often joked about Chamberlain and André being the only two people who could make Schwarzenegger seem dainty. However, it turns out André was not only big in size but also big on generosity. During an interview for the HBO documentary Andre the Giant, Schwarzenegger highlighted Andre’s magnanimous nature by sharing a story of what happened one night the trio went out to dinner:
André was the most generous. Wilt Chamberlain was cheap, right? He was always penny-pinching - but André always wanted to pay for the dinner. So this one day, I said, “I’ll be right back…” and I snuck out to give the waiter my credit card. I said, “Don’t let André or anyone pay. No matter how much he complains. I’m going to pay…”
I came back to the table and sat down and in the end, the waiter came and gave me the bill to sign. All of a sudden, [André’s booming voice] “NOOO… YOU MAKE ME VERRY ANGRY ARNOLD…”
He picked me up - and then, of course, Wilt joined in, “Oh yeah, I wanted to pay…”, I said, “Oh, dat’s a good one…” They both carry me out of the restaurant—people are freaking out - and they sat me on the roof of my car out front. It was a very funny scene.
André proved to be a figure who would be remembered for stories just like the one Schwarzenegger shared. He passed in 1993 at age 46 from congestive heart failure, likely due to his size.
- 31 VOTES
Dolly Parton Turned Her ‘Coat Of Many Colors’ Into An Anti-Bullying Message
Dolly Parton has had a groundbreaking career in American country music and entertainment. She's also earned a lot of fan love from actions like helping fund Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine and sharing heartwarming stories from her youth.
Parton has been open about her childhood, where she grew up financially poor but rich in love - a sentiment she shares in her hit song, “Coat of Many Colors”:
In my coat of many colors
I hurried off to school
Just to find the others laughing
And making fun of me
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me
And oh, I couldn't understand it
For I felt I was rich
And I told 'em of the love
My momma sewed in every stitch
Parton explained in an interview that the song is one of her personal favorites, and elaborated on the story behind it:
To me, it's more than a song. It's an attitude. It's a philosophy. It speaks about family. It's anti-bullying… They use that, actually, in schools now as an anti-bullying song. It lets people know that we're supposed to love one another for who and what we are, and to celebrate our differences, because we shouldn't all be the same.
The song means so much to me personally because it is a true story from my childhood, about a little ragged coat that Mama made for me, and tried to make me feel proud of it by telling (me) the story of Joseph from the Bible.
Parton turned the negative childhood bullying into a positive with her song, which even inspired a 2015 film by the same name that was based on her upbringing.
- 41 VOTES
Meryl Streep And Robert De Niro Showed Unwavering Support When John Cazale Was Fighting Lung Cancer
Back in 1978, Meryl Streep was 29 years old and wasn't yet the Hollywood star we know today. She was dating and living with actor John Cazale, who had recently found fame through roles in The Godfather and Dog Day. The couple were very much in love and seemed to be on the rise when tragedy struck - Cazale was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.
Streep stayed by his side as much as possible, taking less desirable roles to pay for medical bills and taking a role in a film she didn’t want simply because he was starring in it. It was The Deer Hunter, and it also starred Cazale’s friend Robert De Niro. The production company wasn’t happy with Cazale being in the film due to the costs associated with insuring a terminally ill actor. Director Michael Cimino recalled:
I was told that unless I got rid of John, [they] would shut down the picture… It was awful. I spent hours on the phone, yelling and screaming and fighting.
Allegedly, De Niro stepped in and covered the insurance costs for Cazale, though he never outright confirmed or denied this. Regarding the situation, De Niro said, “He was sicker than we thought, but I wanted him to be in it.”
Michael Schulman, who wrote Streep’s biography, noted:
She was always a strong-willed, persistent, hopeful person, and I think she just applied all her spirit and strength to taking care of him. She wasn’t one to create drama around it or draw attention to herself. She just bore down and did what needed to be done.
Various other actors came to admire Streep for her fierce dedication to Cazale. Among them was Al Pacino, who told media:
When I saw that girl there with him like that I thought, “There’s nothing like that.” I mean, that’s it for me. As great as she is in all her work, that’s what I think of when I think of her.