For the benefit of all our hearts and minds, we’ve decided to list uplifting celebrity news stories that made us feel happy. And if these tales of mirth and altruism prove anything, it’s that 2016 really wasn’t all that bad, and hopefully, we’ll have many more to look forward to in 2017.
Eddie Redmayne is the ultimate actor’s actor
Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne started off the year with some good news for struggling actors in London. In an interview with British GQ on Jan. 5, the Fantastic Beasts star revealed that he sometimes covers aspiring actors’ rents. The actor said he often receives letters from fellow thespians who can’t afford living in the “impossibly expensive” English capital, and admitted that he’ll “occasionally” pay their rent for them. Way to (literally) pay it forward, Eddie!
Amy Schumer tips her way to the booze hound hall of fame
What happens when a famous stand-up comedian and her entourage walk into a bar? A 1,200 percent tip, apparently. In March 2016, every server in North America kicked themselves for not applying to Richard Rogers Theatre in New York City after Amy Schumer left a bartender a $1000 tip — on a $77 bill. Now that’s a punch line.
Chris Hemsworth and Ellen DeGeneres celebrate NAPY-D
Thor a.k.a. Chris Hemsworth, accompanied by Dory a.k.a. Ellen DeGeneres, stopped by Warner Bros.’ offices to surprise a few lucky workers in honor of National Administrative Professional’s Day (Apr. 27), or as Ellen preferred to call it, “NAPY-D.” While the Ellen segment gifted us with quite a few memorable interoffice fan reactions, one particular image will stay with us forever: a 6’3” Chris crawling on his hands and knees in the middle of the Warner Bros. hallway.
Channing Tatum and autistic reporter have best interview ever
Barbara Walters, who? Carly Fleischmann, a journalist with autism who uses a computer to communicate, sat down with A-list actor Channing Tatum for a pretty epic interview on Apr. 29. During the very first episode of her online talk show, aptly titled Speechless with Carly Fleischmann, the 21 Jump Street star could not stop laughing as he was subjected to a series of wildly inappropriate questions, including, “If your daughter was able to date today, which one of your actor friends would you forbid her from dating and why?”
Iron Man, Captain America, and Pepper Potts pay visit to young cancer patient
In May 2016, a young leukemia patient named Ryan Wilcox took to social media to campaign for a meet and greet with Avengers stars Robert Downey, Jr, Chris Evans, and Gwyneth Paltrow. When Gwyneth caught wind of the young man’s wish, she decided to make it come true. The actress, along with Robert and Chris, subsequently made the trip to San Diego to spend the afternoon with Ryan and his family.
Taylor Swift donates $1 million to flood victims
Taylor Swift‘s 2016 wasn’t all about squads and boys, some of it was actually spent on the betterment of society. In August, the charitable “Shake It Off” singer donated $1 million to help Louisiana flood victims. Following the natural disaster, the Grammy winner gifted the generous sum to the Louisiana’s disaster relief fund and encouraged fans to send “love and prayers” to the victims.
Mark Zuckerberg invests billions for a disease cure-all
On top of founding the most influential social media platform ever, and doing stellar work p*ssing off Avril Lavigne, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has proven himself to be one of the most philanthropic people of his generation. It was reported in September 2016 that he and his wife Priscilla Chan, by way of their company — the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, invested a whopping $3 billion into scientific research to fight against four major diseases over the next decade. Time to call up your local SPCA, folks.
Chris Hemsworth sports nail polish for a good cause
Another image we won’t soon forget: the sun shining through Chris Hemsworth’s golden beard, while the thunder god rocks red nail polish on an uber-manly finger. The small gesture, which was posted to Instagram at the end of September, was in support of the Polished Man campaign. First launched in 2014 by the Australian non-profit organization YGAP, the Polished Man campaign is a movement to help prevent child abuse. If you think Chris is adorable, just read the touching story behind how the painted nail idea came to be.
Bill Murray makes a baseball fan’s dream come true
While it wasn’t $3 billion, to some people, a ticket to the MLB World Series is worth just as much, if not more. And for Karen Michel, a random run-in with Bill Murray made her the luckiest Chicago Cubs fan to ever set foot in Cleveland. While standing outside Cleveland’s Progressive Field, Michel was randomly approached by the legendary comedy actor, who suddenly handed her the golden ticket to sit right next to him behind home plate.
Tom Hanks proves he’s the coolest guy in Hollywood
On Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016, just days before Christmas, America’s Sweetheart Tom Hanks helped one Canadian fan earn quite a few holiday vodka tonics. Toronto’s own Zena Gopal made a bet with her friends (over drinks) to see who could get an autograph from a celebrity the fastest, so naturally, she sent a request to none other than the Forrest Gump star. What she got back was a Polaroid selfie of the Oscar winner holding a photo of her, as well as a personalized letter, which touched on his beard, the holidays, her hometown, and even referenced their mutual love of Tom’s greatest cinematic achievement That Thing You Do! Tom Hanks for president in 2020, anyone? ~Shelby Morton