Eric Risberg/AP. Inset: Gilbert Carrasquillo/Filmmagic
February 07, 2014 07:00 PM

Clint Eastwood added another starring role to his resume – lifesaver.

Eastwood was attending a volunteer party for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at the Monterey Conference Center in California on Wednesday when he noticed tournament director Steve John choking on a piece of cheese. The 83-year-old actor quickly performed the Heimlich maneuver.

“I was drinking water and eating these little appetizers, threw down a piece of cheese and it just didn’t work,” John said Friday. “I was looking at him and couldn’t breathe. He recognized it immediately and saved my life.”

Eastwood is a prominent figure at the golf tournament, formerly as an amateur contestant and now as chairman of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation. It has raised over $100 million for charity as the host of the PGA Tour event.

But the Hollywood star wasn’t expecting an additional duty this week.

“I looked in his eyes and saw that look of panic people have when they see their life passing before their eyes,” Eastwood tells The Carmel Pine Cone. “It looked bad.”

He said it was the first time he had used the Heimlich maneuver.

“Clint came up behind me and he knew exactly what to do,” John said. “I can’t believe I’m 202 pounds and he threw me up in the air three times.”

John, 50, said it was the second time in his life someone had to perform the Heimlich on him.

“It was in Colorado about seven or eight years ago. But it wasn’t Clint Eastwood,” he said. “I haven’t talked to him since that night. It was crazy.”

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