When stars get real

Updated 2047 GMT (0447 HKT) November 13, 2016
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Dan Barkalow, a member of the Freehold American Legion - Monmouth Post 54, stopped when he saw a motorcycle rider stranded by the road. The stranded biker turned out to be rocker Bruce Springsteen, right, who invited Barkalow and his buddies for a round of drinks. Courtesy Ryan Bailey
Actress Troian Bellisario treated the guy who found her phone to an epic weekend by letting him have her Coachella wristbands. Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images
Rapper 2 Chainz is in charge of the charitable T.R.U. Foundation, and most recently gave furniture and a year's rent to a disabled veteran in his home state of Georgia. Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images for BET
We could probably dedicate this whole gallery to Taylor Swift, who's known for surprising fans with nice gestures, including gifts for what fans call "Swiftmas." She most recently donated $50,000 toward her backup dancer's young nephew, who has cancer. mike coppola/getty images
Director James Gunn posted a Facebook comment he received from a father thanking him because his movie "Guardians of the Galaxy" helped a struggling child learn better motor skills. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
"Supernatural" and "Gilmore Girls" star Jared Padalecki admitted that he had suffered from depression for years, and he announced a new campaign and charity dealing with the issue: "Always Keep Fighting." Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images/File
When she heard about a little girl with an inoperable brain tumor, who was also a big fan of "Frozen," Kristen Bell called the girl to share a special message from "Princess Anna." Michael Buckner/Getty Images
Ed Sheeran gave a young fan the thrill of her life in June. Sydney Bourbeau was singing Sheeran's hit "Thinking Out Loud" for a fundraiser at a mall in Edmonton, Alberta. Sheeran ran up on stage and joined her for a quick duet. Theo Wargo/Getty Images
Rapper Layzie Bone of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony posted a picture on his Instagram account after he and others rushed to the aid of a driver who was having a diabetic crisis in Wyoming. The rapper fed the man fruit and wrote in the photo's caption "Dear Lord, thank you for your mercy, grace and forgiveness for 2nd chances." from instagram
Stan Lee made headlines for drawing a Spider-Man sketch for an 8-year-old Spidey fan with autism. CNN
Angelina Jolie didn't just make a fan happy; she helped comfort her. According to the New York Daily News, Jolie was leaving the "Daily Show" studios on December 4 when a waiting fan named Techne exclaimed that she was having a panic attack. Jolie took time to wipe her tears, signed some memorabilia and took two selfies with her. Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images/File
Peter Capaldi, who plays the 12th incarnation of Doctor Who, sent a video message to a 9-year-old fan grieving the loss of his grandmother. "You should know that we're on your side. So you look after yourself, take care and be happy." Courtesy Ross Goodall
When Benedict Cumberbatch wanted to share news of his engagement to director and actress Sophie Hunter, he kept it delightfully traditional. The announcement was made with nothing more than a six-line notice in the UK's The Times. Way to keep it real, Sherlock! Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI/File
Sir Ian McKellen had a laugh with some schoolkids in October 2014. Invoking his "Lord of the Rings" character Gandalf the Grey, McKellen warned a gaggle of British students gathered outside a library window that they'd better buckle down. "If you don't do your revision properly, do you know what will happen?" McKellen said to his rapt audience. "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" Cue the cheers, and extra points for McKellen for not being too famous to encourage young fans. Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images
Is there a better surprise for a Trekkie than a visit from Patrick Stewart? The actor took some time out from his appearance at Atlanta's Dragon Con in August 2014 to meet a fan named Dawn Garrigus. The young girl has mitochondrial disease and asked to meet Stewart through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Stewart talked with her for a while, signed autographs and gave her a heartwarming hug. CNN/Merv Teo
Bradley Cooper wasn't just stopping by a London Burger King for a Whopper run in July 2014. He was actually doing work -- and in more ways than one. According to E! News, the Oscar nominee got behind the grill and learned how to flip burgers for a role in an upcoming movie. Alex Huckle/GC Images/Getty Images
With the cancellation of Sarah Michelle Gellar's CBS show "The Crazy Ones," the actress has turned to less glamorous career options. In July 2014, the mother of two joked that a lemonade stand was her newest way to bring home the bacon. "Got to earn a living somehow (right)?" Gellar tweeted, along with a snapshot of the roadside watering hole. (No word on how much she earned on the job.) Sarah Michelle Gellar/Twitter
David Schwimmer was praised for his actions in May 2014 after he showed police some video of a bloody brawl, helping authorities solve a crime. Jeff Schear/Getty Images for Michigan Avenue Magazine
Bryan Cranston has gone from "Breaking Bad" to Broadway, but the actor is happy to turn himself back into Walter White for a fan. While signing autographs after a performance of "All the Way," Cranston agreed to help one teen ask a girl to prom: "Maddy, if you don't go to the prom with Stefan," Cranston intoned, "then maybe your best course of action would be to tread lightly." Maddy must be a "Breaking Bad" fan, because she said yes. Monica Schipper/Getty Images
After an online effort to make it happen, Jon Bon Jovi walked Australian bride-to-be Branka Delic down the aisle before her wedding to Gonzalo Cladera at the Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas on October 12, 2013. Courtesy The Outside Organisation Ltd.
Despite being one of the biggest celebrities around, Tom Hanks has a reputation for being a man of the people. Case in point: The actor quietly reported to jury duty in September 2013 before the case came to an abrupt end. Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
Dave Matthews gave one of his fans the experience of a lifetime when he hopped into the back of her car after his bike broke down on his way to a concert in July 2013. The fan, Emily Kraus, has said how kind Matthews was, inviting her and her boyfriend to dinner and giving them front-row seats to the concert.
Jay Z proved that he's not too famous for NYC's subway when he took the train to a performance at Brooklyn's Barclays Center in 2012. The artist chatted with another artist, Ellen Grossman, along the way. From YouTube/Life +Times
Most celebrities will announce their presence months before they arrive anywhere, especially if it's an event that will bring them positive press. But when Tom Cruise gave a commencement speech last year to aspiring actors at Joanne Baron/D.W. Brown Studio in Santa Monica, California, he showed up completely unannounced. One source told the New York Post that it was "one of the most inspiring speeches we've had." From Twitter/@StefanieUncles
David Lee Roth is another celeb who can assist in an emergency. The rocker switched gears from music to medical help in 2004 when he worked as an EMT in New York. Jesse Grant/Getty Images for IMG/File
Since her relocation to New York, Katie Holmes has been seen taking full advantage of the city that never sleeps. Aside from frequently strolling the streets of New York like a regular Joe, Holmes was also photographed sneaking in a catnap on the subway in November 2012. Fame Pictures