IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Kind celebrities warm hearts by shining a spotlight on the needy

They have bold-faced names and are famous for their work on the stage or on the screen. But these celebs are also notable for their kindness.
/ Source: Today

With some of the biggest, boldest names in the land, celebrities could hide behind a wall of privacy and we'd still think they were neat. But many stars showed extraordinary kindness throughout 2015 — and that deserves its own kind of spotlight. Here are some of our favorite ways celebs proved they were extra special.

1. Chris Pratt brings joy to patients at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Chris Pratt went straight for the laughs while visiting a children's hospital in Atlanta, making funny faces as he posed for pictures. He also answered questions, handed out toys and signed autographs.

All smiles: Chris Pratt meets with kids at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.Courtesy of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

2. Taylor Swift gives little girl battling cancer the night of her life

A 6-year-old girl fighting cancer got to see Taylor Swift perform — and meet the star in person.

3. Country newcomer Kelsea Ballerini gives teen fighting cancer a night to remember at the CMAs

Young country music star Kelsea Ballerini took a 17-year-old with brain cancer to accompany her at the Country Music Awards. The two first met when Kelsea mistook Allie for another musician.

4. Johnny Depp visits children's hospital as Jack Sparrow

Dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp surprised a group of smiling young patients at an Australian children's hospital.

5. NFL quarterback Cam Newton brings treats to Halloween bash for boy with cancer

Cam Newton paid a surprise visit to a block party and early Halloween celebration for a 10-year-old boy with a rare form of cancer. The boy learned in September that his disease had spread, so he celebrated his favorite holiday early this year.

6. See why Robert Downey Jr.'s cute gesture for ill fan went beyond a tiger costume

Robert Downey Jr. slipped into a tiger costume to cheer up a 7-year-old boy who had been bullied because of his cystic fibrosis and considers the "Iron Man" actor his idol.

7. Celebrities, strangers rally behind teen after 'not one kid' RSVPs for his birthday party

Pop star Carrie Underwood joined actors Elijah Wood and Molly Ringwald in sending birthday tweets to a boy to help celebrate his 13th birthday after nobody accepted the invitation to his birthday blowout.

8. Taylor Swift sends fan gifts, $1,989 to help pay student loans

Taylor Swift surprised one of her biggest supporters with a personalized care package that included jewelry, a watercolor painting and money to help with student loans.

9. Taylor Swift invites boy with autism to show after he plays awesome '1989' medley

Taylor Swift loved a medley of her hits performed by 7-year-old piano prodigy and invited the talented boy to come to one of her shows and say hello.

10. Who is the nicest celebrity? The NBC News State of Kindness survey says ...

Talk show host, actress, writer, comedian and all around humanitarian Ellen DeGeneres stood out from the rest of the pack and topped the NBC News online State of Kindness poll.

Ellen DeGeneres topped the NBC News online State of Kindness poll.Getty file

Looking for more pop culture news? Check out our TODAY Pinterest board for more.

11. Chris Pratt shares video of adorable 3-year-old son in honor of Prematurity Day

Chris Pratt shared a tender video of his 3-year-old son, Jack, in support of a cause close to his heart. The post was in honor of World Prematurity Day, which focuses attention on babies born too early.

12. Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson donates $1,500 to save abandoned puppy's life

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson helped save the life of an abandoned puppy he had never met by donating $1,500 toward life-saving surgery for the pooch.

13. Broadway's Kelvin Moon Loh seeks compassion after child with autism disrupts show

Kelvin Moon Loh had barely left the stage after his performance in "The King and I" on Broadway when he took to Facebook to ask for empathy for a boy with autism who had made loud noises during an intense scene in the show.

Broadway actor Kelvin Moon Loh asked people to have more empathy for families of children with autism after an issue with an autistic child at a recent performance in a post on Facebook.Kelvin Moon Loh

14. Patrick Dempsey opens up about how he honors his late mother after her cancer battle

Patrick Dempsey honors his mother, who died of ovarian cancer, through a cancer center he founded with his two sisters. The center offers free support, education and wellness services to anyone affected by cancer.

Patrick Dempsey, here with Joan Lunden, honors his mother, who died of ovarian cancer.TODAY

Love these stories? Sign up for the TODAY Pop Culture newsletter to get more celebrity news in your inbox.