This article is from the archive of our partner .

Saving people's lives: So hot right now. On Tuesday, Dustin Hoffman and Mila Kunis became the latest A-listers to get plaudits for their recent acts of decency. Both did good things that helped people, but their "hero" status is a little questionable because neither particularly put themselves at risk: Hoffman stayed with a jogger who collapsed after cardiac arrest in London's Hyde Park. Kunis rushed to help an employee of hers who had a seizure. Both good things! Given the recent spate of celebrity heroism, it's getting so that the word "hero" is being thrown around haphazardly.

Hoffman's response actually sounds like what you'd expect from any decent human being: The actor waited with jogger Sam Dempster after he saw him go down, then gave the responders an account of what happened. But Dempster gives Hoffman credit for saving his life after a cardiac arrest, according to The Associated Press. And TMZ has already crowned Kunis a hero for saving her employee's life.

It looks like hero status is quickly becoming an A-list necessity. There was Ryan Gosling, of course, who "saved" a woman from getting run over by a cab in New York. And then Newark Mayor Cory Booker ran into a burning building and led someone out. And let's not forget Patrick Dempsey, who pried a young driver out of his crashed jeep with a crowbar. By comparison, Hoffman's act of patience and decency involves far less derring-do, but then again, he's 72-years-old so we can cut him some slack. Still, one would hope that anybody who saw someone collapse would stick around to help.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to