John Malkovich is character actor. He's a natural when it comes to switching roles. So when Malkovich found himself standing in front of a man bleeding profusely from his neck, he did what he does best. Malkovich switched into a new role: lifesaver.
Jim Walpole, a 77-year-old Ohio native, and Marilyn, his 79-year-old wife, were recently visiting Toronto, Ontario when something terrible happened. Jim tripped and slashed his neck on some scaffolding while they were walking on a busy Toronto street. The cut appeared serious and blood was starting to pool around Jim. "The way he was spurting I thought it was the carotid [artery] or the jugular [vein]," Marilyn, a retired nurse, told CBC News.
Malkovich was smoking a cigarette nearby and jumped to help. Malkovich, with assistance from two others, immediately started working to stop Walpole's bleeding. Malkovich used a towel to apply pressure to Walpole's wound while the Ohio couple waited for the ambulance. "I was bleeding so bad on my neck and Chris bought him a towel and John kept pressure on my bleeding neck and then Quinn kept me from turning over and made me stay there until EMS arrived," Walpole told the Toronto Star.
"I’m forever grateful to him, he really helped me out," Walpole told the Star.
The incident happened Thursday evening, but was making its way into the press Saturday because Walpole had no idea his hero was someone famous. "I asked, 'What's your name?' He said, 'John.' And I didn't ask the last name 'cause I didn't figure I'd remember it anyhow," Walpole told the CBC. Once the ambulances came, Malkovich was gone into the night.
Malkovich is in Toronto to perform as Casanova in the The Giacomo Variations at the Elgin Theatre. No word yet if Malkovich has received a call from Ontario-native and fellow lifesaver Ryan Gosling since the incident occurred.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.