Tom Cruise, who has played many a film hero, filled the role in real life when a woman was struck by a hit-and-run driver.
The actor was on his way home from dinner March 4 when he saw Heloisa Vinhas lying in the street. Cruise stopped and called for help on his cellular telephone, his publicist Pat Kingsley said Thursday.
Vinhas, 22, was in excruciating pain and didn't even recognize her rescuer, who made sure she got to the hospital.
Cruise checked and learned that the woman had torn ligaments in a knee and would be hospitalized two days.
The actor also found out she had no medical insurance, so he paid the bill, said Warren Robak, a spokesman at the University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center.
In other news . . .
Julie Andrews originally had been scheduled to return to Victor/Victoria on Broadway Thursday night but instead will extend her recuperation until Saturday. Andrews underwent gall bladder surgery Feb. 29.
Tickets still remain for the Richard Elliot concert, with Craig Chaquico, tonight at 8 p.m. at the Mahaffey Theater. Tickets range from $14.50-$24.50, and are available through Ticketmaster and the Mahaffey Theater box office at the Bayfront Center.
The theater in New Castle, Pa., where the Warner brothers began showing movies was saved Thursday by a last-minute offer of $150,000 from the Hollywood studio they founded.
Wiseguy star Ken Wahl, arrested in December after a neighbor complained about loud music at the actor's home, pleaded innocent to disturbing the peace. Wahl, 38, entered the plea Wednesday. He is free on $5,000 bail.
Healing the Hate (8 p.m., USA): Dennis Franz _ who plays a loud-mouth racist cop on NYPD Blue _ hosts this public affairs special exploring the effects of violence, prejudice, intolerance and fear, and what communities are doing to fight back against hate crimes.