Published May 08, 2012
He played an accidental hero in a film of the same name -- and Hollywood megastar Dustin Hoffman earned the title for real when he saved a heart attack victim.
The two-time Academy Award winner was taking a morning stroll in London's famous Hyde Park when he saw 27-year-old jogger Sam Dempster staggering and frothing at the mouth before collapsing, The Sun reported Tuesday.
Hoffman jumped into action immediately, racing to Dempster's side and ringing emergency services. When professional help arrived, the 74-year-old actor remained at the scene until paramedics restarted Dempster's heart.
"Dustin was fascinated. He seemed impressed we'd got this guy back so quickly," paramedic Martin Macarthur said. "When we were carrying the patient into the ambulance he walked up and said 'Great job, guys.'"
The emergency crew left with Hoffman's sunglasses and iPod, which they placed in a bag, believing that the items belonged to Dempster. The belongings have since been returned to the actor, who owns a $16 million home in nearby Kensington.
Following the incident last month Dempster was transported to a hospital, where he is expected to make a full recovery after a life-saving heart operation.
"I have no memory of what happened. The paramedics told me I had been saved by Dustin Hoffman. It's unbelievable," he said. "I want to say 'Thank you' to Dustin Hoffman. He saved my life."
In the 1992 comedy-drama "Hero," Hoffman played a petty criminal who anonymously rescues survivors of a plane crash then sees another man take the credit.