Celebs Share the Kindest Thing Anyone's Ever Done for Them

From the littlest things (a smile at the right moment) to the biggest (chartering a jet to be there at a tough time), celebrities share the most meaningful kind moment they've experienced, in hopes of inspiring others to share their own kindness with others. For more, pick up PEOPLE's Kindness Issue, on stands now

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Michael J. Fox

Michael J Fox
Michael J. Fox. Jason Merritt/Getty

Reflecting to PEOPLE on kindnesses that his colleagues had shown him throughout his career, from River Phoenix to Rob Reiner, Fox remembered one particularly kind act from his Family Ties mom Meredith Baxter when he was just getting started.

"Meredith used to do this sweet thing," Fox recalls in PEOPLE's most recent Kindness Issue. "I lived in a one-room apartment over a garage, and I could never wake up on time. I put my alarm clock in a birdcage so I'd have to get up and take it out. Meredith said, 'Why don't I just pick you up and take you to work? You're on my way.' I mean, I was this 21-year-old guy, and she wants to pick me up in her Mercedes? She would show up every morning. She didn't have to do that. I was a kid on her TV show."

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Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie attends Variety's Power Of Women at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on September 30, 2021 in Beverly Hills, California.
Angelina Jolie. Jon Kopaloff/WireImage

In PEOPLE's Kindness Issue, the star recalled a moment while visiting the Syrian border where she was truly struck by kindness.

"This little girl came up to me and offered me some biscuits that she had in her pocket," Jolie said. "Knowing what she'd come from, knowing what she was heading into, knowing everything she'd experienced, yet in that moment she wasn't thinking of herself or everything she had lost. She wasn't sitting with self pity. She just saw me—I must have looked tired and she just walked over and thought to just be kind. That's what makes human beings so wonderful."

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Oprah Winfrey

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"I was going through a really, really difficult time, and I was on the phone with Tyler Perry. I was feeling bad. Next thing I know he flies from Atlanta to L.A., shows up at my house and puts his hands on my face. He said, I need to see your face in person to know you are okay. That was something I won't forget."

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Tyler Perry

Tyler Perry Is 'Excited' to Leave Madea's Wig and Wardrobe Behind
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"I remember being broke, and I was trying to get enough change together to buy some cookies so that I could have some food. So I am in line at the store counting my change. This woman behind me was like, 'Go ahead, I got it.' That I will never forget."

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Lin-Manuel Miranda

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"My parents instilled empathy in me, which is a hard thing to do. You can't aspire to anything unless you can put yourself in someone else's shoes and see how they see the world."

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Jon Hamm

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival

"When I was growing up, my best friend's parents filled in when I lost my mom and then my dad. I had a lot of rally around from the community. I'm always aware of it and grateful."

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Kerry Washington

Celebrity Sightings in New York City - October 29, 2018
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"One of the kindest things that anybody's ever done for me is asked me how I am and really wanted to know. Because I think when we ask people how they are, we're often not prepared to really be present for an honest answer."

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Bryce Dallas Howard

Bryce Dallas Howard Cannes
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"I had to do press six days after I had surgery for an injury. I could barely walk. I needed compression garments for stitches. I called Bloomingdale's, and I told the woman I couldn't get there. She said, 'I'm going to get you those Spanx.' She walked to my place on New York's Upper West Side and left a note: 'You feel like a caterpillar and you're going to be a butterfly.' This woman I didn't even know. When you're vulnerable and someone does something for you, it says everything."

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Chip Gaines

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"The kindest thing someone has ever done for me was believing in me. At the time there was no logical reason, no sure bet behind that belief, they just believed. That support gave me the courage to keep going. Looking back, that belief may be the only reason I'm doing what I'm doing today. Take that belief away, and it's scary to think how differently things could have turned out. Moral of the story: Find someone to believe in today. It may just change the world."

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Brie Bella

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"I was on a plane recently with [my 3-year-old daughter] Birdie and [my new baby] Buddy, and this older man saw that I was struggling. He said, 'Ma'am, can I please help you?' I think he could tell I was about to bawl my eyes out."

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus

69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals
Steve Granitz/WireImage

"I was the recipient of many acts of kindness during my illness — from people who had walked through cancer, who shared with me their really intimate experiences, to the nurses and caregivers and doctors who helped me get through that incredibly challenging time. I'm a big believer in generosity in moments of crisis."

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Giada de Laurentiis


"Anytime a fan posts a picture of a dish of mine that they wowed their family with, that feels so good. When I get feedback that what I'm doing is helping people, my soul just fills up."

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Judith Light

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

"Recently, I received two emails from two extraordinary people and they wrote to tell me just how much I meant and that really touched me. Those acts that we think we forget about like 'Oh I should tell somebody that' and we don't – they remind you that there are people are out there listening. It's very special."

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Thomas Brodie-Sangster

Thomas Brodie-Sangster

"The builder who's been working on my house is very sweet. Recently, he said, 'My wife's seen all your movies and wouldn't let me come in if I didn't give you a present. Do you like honey?' Then he got out this huge tub of honey. He said it's from Ukraine, straight from his neighbor's bees. It's amazing honey."

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Jimmy Fallon

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"We had to sell chocolate bars [as a fundraiser] when I was in grade school. Our neighbor Mrs. Bono wouldn't buy from any other kid, just me and my sister. She bought 20 chocolate bars that she didn't need."

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Chelsea Clinton

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"The kindest thing people have ever done for me is just show kindness, show empathy, to stand up to bullies, to comfort me after my grandmother died. I fundamentally believe this—and the research shows—kindness begets kindness. It's sounds circular, but there's something important there."

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Lauren Miller & Seth Rogen

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Seth Rogen: "Lauren married me. It was a lovely thing."

Lauren Miller: "And I was going say that Seth uses his voice to bring light to [Alzheimer's,] a disease that has affected my family, which has of course become his family. But that we do this together, I think is the kindest thing anyone's ever done."

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Kate Bock

Kate Bock
Kate Bock. Karwai Tang/Getty

"When I first started modeling, I moved to Paris. My first year there was rough, and I remember right around my 18th birthday I was having a tough time. I was alone, going to castings and feeling bummed that for the first time I wouldn't be spending the day celebrating with my friends and family. When I returned to the apartment at the end of the day, there were hundreds of birthday cards waiting for me. My mum had called almost everyone I knew in the world and asked them to send me a card. I sat on my little bed and read so many special birthday cards, and it absolutely made my day, week, month, birthday!"

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Kelly Rowland

Stefanie Keenan/Getty

"When I lost my mother, someone who was super-far away dropped everything they were doing and came to see me. A whole bunch of my friends that did that - once they heard the news, they were like, 'I'm on a plane first thing this morning.'

They didn't have to do that. But I appreciated that because I needed it, and I didn't know how bad I needed it until they got there."

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Jessica Biel

70th Primetime Emmy Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 17 Sep 2018

"My mom lets me sleep in and gets up with my son when I just need that extra hour. My son tells me I look beautiful when I get dressed up. I think his dad [Justin Timberlake] prompts him to do that, but it doesn't matter. It's the greatest thing when your 4-year-old's like, 'Mom, you look so pretty.'"

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James Murray

James Murray and Melyssa Davies
Melyssa Davies (left) and James Murray. Jamie McCarthy/Getty

"My grandmother made a blanket for me when I was born, and it has not aged well. I brought it to multiple tailors and was told it could not be repaired. I was out of town for a couple of weeks on tour, and Melyssa [my wife, pictured] somehow figured out how to reassemble it. It's the only thing I have left of my grandma, who has long since passed, and she had somehow sewn it all back together."

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Priyanka Chopra Jonas

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"The kindest thing is when my team forgives me every time I'm demonic because of the pressures of life."

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Dove Cameron

"Clueless, The Musical" Opening Night
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"My mother moved out to Los Angeles when we had no money. It was a big transitional time for her just to kind of like trust me to see if I could make it happen. It was unbelievably selfless. Mothers are the MVPs of the world. I could never honor my mother enough or women in general. Honestly, thank God she did it. It changed my life."

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Fran Drescher

Opening Night of Husdon Theatre's Production of 'SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE', New York, USA - 23 Feb 2017
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"When I was battling my cancer, the man that I was involved with at the time actually kind of put his own life on the back burner. He literally quit his job and moved in with me and took care of me. That was pretty incredible."

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Olivia Wilde

Olivia Wilde attends the 3rd Annual Hollywood Critics Awards at Taglyan Complex on January 09, 2020 in Los Angeles
Olivia Wilde. Rachel Luna/Getty

"The kindest thing someone has ever done for me is believe in me. When I made the transition to directing, I had so much support from people who truly believed in me, and that meant the world to me."

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Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

"I can't help but think, my son. You know, my labor was very quick with him. That was pretty kind."

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Renée Elise Goldsberry

Renée Elise Goldsberry

"I was trying to get to an event for my movie, and my connecting flight from Dallas was canceled — I could not get out of there, and I couldn't get my suitcase. They put me up in a hotel around 1:00 a.m., and when I got there, I had the clothes I was wearing all day and nothing else — no toothbrush, no nothing, and I knew I was going to have to leave first thing in the morning to do press.

The woman at the front desk said I could use the hotel washing machine ... but when I hung up I realized, I don't have any clothes to wear to go down and I think it is probably not a good idea to wear a towel to a basement of a hotel in a city that I don't live in.

So I called her back and said, 'Thank you so much but I am not going to come down and get the detergent because I don't have any clothes to wear.' She called me back two minutes later and she said, 'I will wash your clothes.' I started crying and she said, 'I am just going to be working the front desk all night long. I will wash your clothes. I will dry them. And I will have them waiting for you before your flight tomorrow.'

It was an act of kindness. And I woke up and opened my door and there was a little package with my clothes. Nicely folded. And when I walked out she said, 'I got you, girl.' I don't even know her name!"

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Garth Brooks

50th Academy Of Country Music Awards - Arrivals
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"I am holding hands with a very kind human being here [wife Trisha Yearwood]. There is a movie [About Time] where the guy ... has to make this toast at a wedding ... and finally he decides that the word is: Kind. You want to marry someone who is kind. And that is a beautiful thing."

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Heidi Klum

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"When I arrive at the airport and my husband picks me up from the airport instead of me having to [call] a car. Anyone else would be like, 'Oh yeah, I'll see you at home!' He would actually take that time out of his day and come to the airport to pick me up. Who does that? No one does that."

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Geoffrey Owens

Larry Busacca/Getty
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

"Maybe Tyler Perry singlehandedly reaching out and rejuvenating my career. It's just incredible what he's done for me, what he's done for so many people.

People are doing kind things all the time. I am embarrassed by all of the kind things people do for me. I go into stores and people want me to go in line in front of them. People offer to pay for my goods. I mean, people are so kind and so nice and so supportive all the time."

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Aasif Mandvi

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"Any time anyone has taken a chance on me, I consider it an act of kindness because in this business, nobody ever has to do anything for you. So, in a weird way, any time anyone has pointed at me and said, 'Yeah, sure. You can be part of our group or our club, or we'll give you a job,' it's an act of kindness."

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Candace Cameron Bure

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"Smiles go a long way for me. I know that sounds really simple. But it can change a day when you walk by someone and they smile at you. Whether you're in a good mood or bad mood, when you interact with someone, a smile is so kind. Never underestimate the power of a smile."

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Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson
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"When someone sees me and tells me they appreciate my work. Not just saying, 'I'm a fan, can we take a picture?'"

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Viola Davis

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

"My husband is also my manager. And that's hard to do sometimes. He just lifts me up."

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Bill Hader

Bill Hader
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"My kids let me make them pancakes and they said they were good and that was pretty kind because it was a lie."

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Laverne Cox

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock (6323358x) Laverne Cox Variety's Power of Women Presented by Lifetime - Inside, Los Angeles, USA - 14 Oct 2016 Variety's Power Of Women Luncheon 2016 - Arrivals

"When I couldn't afford acting classes, I had teachers who were like, 'Well, can you help out around the studio?' And back in the day I would mop floors for acting classes and clean toilets. My teachers have been amazing to me. I wouldn't be here without them."

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Jenna Bush Hager & Barbara Bush

Hudson River Park Friends Playground Committee Fourth Annual Luncheon - Inside
Jenna Bush Hager (left) and Barbara Pierce Bush. Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Jenna Bush Hager: "The kindest person that I know is my sissy. She has a very big heart. She is super kind and generous and loving and I am so glad that I got to grow up with her."

Barbara Bush: "I think that everyone has the opportunity to be kind every day to people that they know or don't know. And we should take that opportunity every day because it's a way to make sure that others around us feel comfortable and happy and supported."

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Natasha Lyonne

Through Her Lens: The Tribeca Chanel Women's Filmmaker Program Luncheon, Inside, New York, USA - 17 Oct 2017
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"Something that was sort of an unnecessary gesture of love: Uzo Aduba sent me a gorgeous bouquet of flowers the morning of the Emmys. We're so close it felt like a really unnecessary act for no particular reason ... I was like, That's the way we're supposed to be treating each other! Now I want to take Uzo's lesson and celebrate the women in my life that I love so much."

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Tony Hale

Tony Hale
Jim Spellman/WireImage

"Anytime friends show up and tell you simple truths like, It's going to be okay, hang in there, you're loved — all that stuff."

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Seth Rollins

Seth Rollins
Stuart Ramson/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

"We get to do a lot of work with Make a Wish. A lot of times we go in and we have gifts for the kids that we get to meet. But there was a specific kid who used to collect rocks from the lake that he vacationed at with his family, and he saw a rock that was red and orange. I have a catch phrase, 'Burn it down,' and the rock reminded him of me; he knew he was coming to meet me, and he brought the rock.

For some reason it just hit me so hard. I have the rock and I keep it in my car wherever I go. He said it was to keep me safe. He rubs his rock whenever he gets anxious, so I wanted the rock to be near me too. It was always just a reminder of wherever I go, whatever I'm doing, if I feel anxious, I can just rub that rock and think of him."

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Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg
Roy Rochlin/Getty

"The kindest thing that someone has done for me? They took care of my kid when I needed it. The person was really kind and said, I know you need some help. Now [my daughter's] grown up."

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Storm Reid

Storm Reid Details How She Met Beyoncé — And Found Out the Singer is a Fan!
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"Just listening to me. Especially as a young person. There's a lot going on and it's hard to listen to young people. People need to understand that we are the present and the future and we are going to be change makers."

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D'Arcy Carden

NBC Fall Junket, New York, USA - 06 Sep 2018
Erik Pendzich/REX/Shutterstock

"Recently, my husband fixed our air conditioning because I complained about it and I don't know how to do something like that. I didn't ask him to do it, it was just him realizing I was so miserable being hot in our house that when he got it fixed — I was like, Is that the most romantic thing anyone has ever done?"

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Jameela Jamil

Jameela Jamil
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

"I was very sick over the summer and my boyfriend looked after me day and night. He'd come back early after work to nurse me — that's really one of the kindest things I've had a man or anyone do for me."

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Martha Stewart


"One night in a snow storm, my dog split my lip right here; I had to go on the Today Show the next morning. And my daughter drove up in the snow storm to my house to take care of me. That was the kindest thing."

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Billie Jean King

Courtesy Citizen

"When I started [playing tennis] in the parks in Long Beach, Calif., I got free instruction from Clyde Walker, and it changed my life."

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Loretta Devine

Loretta Devine
Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty

"I have grandbabies, they do kind things all the time. The hugs and kisses they give you when you come around make you feel so special. Sometimes it's the smaller things that really get to you and are the most important things."

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