Before Tom Cruise became the couch-jumping, “glib”-bashing, and Scientology-loving actor we all know and sometimes love, the Mission: Impossible star was an off-screen hero as well. In March 1996 he came to the aid of a hit-and-run victim in Santa Monica. After seeing the incident, Cruise called an ambulance, followed the wounded 23-year-old Heloisa Vinhas to UCLA Medical Center, and arranged to pay her $7,000 emergency-room bill. "If he's not Superman, he can be Batman,” Vinhas told People magazine. That July, at the British premiere of Mission: Impossible, Cruise saw two boys being crushed by barricades and lifted them out from the crowd to safety. "We could have had a tragedy on our hands—we are very grateful to Tom," one of the boys' mothers told People afterward. And if that wasn’t enough heroism for the year, in August, Cruise and his then-wife, Nicole Kidman, were sailing near Capri when they spotted a sailboat on fire and five passengers floating on a raft. The actor sent over his yacht skiff, saving the passengers as their boat sank. Cruise’s publicist at the time told People that he “did what any decent person would do.” She added: “If I ever get in trouble, I hope Tom Cruise is nearby."