Happy 32nd birthday, Ryan Gosling: Five reasons he’s more than a pretty face

Thirty-two years ago today, a star was born … and a really, really handsome one at that. Ryan Gosling’s birthday is November 12, therefore we wanted to celebrate the ridiculously good-looking Oscar nominee, who successfully made the transition from child star on the “Mickey Mouse Club” (with Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears) to one of Hollywood’s most bankable and critically-acclaimed actors. But Gosling is more than just a pretty face. Here are five reasons why …

He’s a mama’s boy
Gosling was raised by a single mother, Donna, after his father, Thomas, left the picture when the “Ides of March” actor was just a young boy growing up in Ontario, Canada. And he’s never forgotten the sacrifices she made for him and his older sister, Mandi. Over the years, Gosling has brought his proud mother as his date to a number of his movie premieres and even to the 2007 Oscars, where he was nominated for Best Actor for his role as a drug-addicted school teacher in “Half Nelson.” In an interview with ABC’s “Nightline” last year, Gosling explained that his mother “just kept doing the right thing by me, every single time. She deserves to go to a fancy party and a have bunch of fancy people tell her she did a good job.”

He’s an animal lover

Gosling’s big heart is not just reserved for his girlfriends and his mother, but also for his dog, George. The mutt, who rocks a Mohawk cut, is often by his owner’s side whether it’s for a hike through Los Angeles’ Runyon Canyon, a jaunt around New York City, or even a TV interview. Last February, Gosling brought along George for an appearance on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” and the pooch, wearing one red sock to cover an itchy area on his foot, stole the spotlight from his famous master. “He’s more interesting than I am, so I just thought it would be helpful,” explained Gosling as he tossed George a piece of an apple. A month later, the “Notebook” actor visited the Cincinnati Zoo while filming “Ides of March” and posted a video he took of Charley the Penguin online. At the end of the clip, which Gosling recently took down from Vimeo, he can be heard whispering to the animal, “Charley, you’re the best.”

He’s very involved in charity work
The “Crazy Stupid Love” actor has lent his name and his time to a number of charities over the years, including PETA (he wrote a letter to KFC and McDonalds asking them to improve their methods of chicken slaughter). Gosling also traveled to New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, as well as to Darfur, Uganda, and eastern Congo to raise awareness of genocide. Most recently, Gosling made a surprise appearance on October 30 at an event benefitting The Texas School for the Deaf in Austin, Texas, where he’s currently filming an upcoming Terrence Malick film. "Ryan was extremely kind, allowing lots of photo ops with fans,” the school’s executive director Anne Adams told E! Online. “And when the director told him, 'Enough,' he said, 'No, one more,' and pulled a small deaf child out of the line for a picture. Ryan is a wonderful person and we were delighted that they came!"

He’s got all the right moves

We all knew Gosling was on “The Mickey Mouse Club” for two years until 1995, but we had no idea he had moves like this! In June, omg! was the first to break a newly-discovered 1991 video of the then-10-year-old, dressed in a red-and-black silk shirt and MC Hammer-style pants, singing “When a Man Loves a Woman” and busting out a dance performance of C&C Music Factory’s “Everybody Dance Now” with his sister Mandi at a local talent show. Gary Saldivia, who grew up in Cornwall, Ontario, with Gosling, told omg! the video treasure, which was recorded by his father, “was collecting dust in the garage” until he stumbled upon it. “[Gosling] had some moves even as a kid!” But performing wasn’t the future star’s only pastime. “He liked to play basketball in the inside one-sided court [at church],” adds Saldivia. “And he used to always carry around Bubblicious bubble gum and give me some.”

He’s a peacemaker/lifesaver

It’s a bird, it’s a plane – it’s Ryan Gosling! The “Drive” star not only was videotaped stopping a street fight between two men as he walked home from the gym in Manhattan’s East Village in August 2011, but this past April he rescued a British journalist from being struck by a NYC taxi. "I literally, LITERALLY just got saved from a car by Ryan Gosling. Literally. That actually just happened," Laurie Penny tweeted moments later. "I was crossing 6th avenue in a new pink wig. Not looking the right way because I am from London. Ryan Gosling grabbed me away from a taxi." But Penny, who writes for The Nation and Al-Jazeera, says she didn't realize it was the actor until it was "confirmed by girl near me, who said 'you lucky bitch.'

Can you think of any other reasons we forgot?

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