Stardom and wealth create resources and funding to help others. Occasionally, a celebrity comes along who truly works to cultivate a brighter world. Such is the case with funny man, Zach Galifianakis. He is well known for his hilarious role in The Hangover trilogy, releasing his own show on VH1, and appeared in a comedy special on Comedy Central. However, a lesser-known fact about him is the kindness he shows to strangers. He changed the life of one woman in particular, Elizabeth “Mimi” Haist.
Zach Galifianakis Takes Out an Unexpected Date
Zach Galifianakis met Haist in 1994. At the time she was volunteering at a laundry mat in Santa Monica, Ca., working for tips. Their ongoing friendship would last for years and nearly 20 years after meeting, she would be his date. In 2013, Galifianakis invited ‘Mimi’ to be his date to ‘The Hangover 3‘ premier.
In 2013, Elizabeth was interviewed by the NY Daily News. She said of the remarkable actor, “If he’s in town, he takes me,” She went on to explain, “Otherwise he lets me take a friend. I dress up nice and a friend helps me with my makeup. It’s fun, not something I’ve ever dreamed I’d experience. The limo takes me home afterwards.”
Showing Kindness and Changing Lives
But that’s not the most amazing thing he did for her. Zach Galifianakis also helped arrange living accommodations for her and maintained a friendship with her until she passed. Haist was 97 when she passed, but thoroughly enjoyed the remaining years of her life, thanks to the celebrity’s kindness.
When the unlikely friends met, Elizabeth was not just volunteering at the laundry mat. She also lived there. Prior to his incredible success, the actor went, frequently, to use the laundry mat and the pair got to know each other over the years. Although he stopped going to the laundry, he never did stop checking up on his friend. Upon finding out that she had no family left or no home, Zach Galifianakis took it upon himself to start making living arrangements for Haist. He found her a one-bedroom apartment in Santa Monica and paid her rent and utilities.
Other Celebrity Contributions
The actor also connected ‘Mimi’ with his friend Renee Zellweger, who graciously agreed to help as well. Zellweger helped the elderly woman decorate her new apartment and occasionally took her food so her fridge would never be empty. Even so, Renee is not the only celebrity who stepped up to help Zach make a better life for his friend. Filmmaker Yaniv Rokah started a Kickstarter Campaign to fund a project in her honor. Rokah is working toward creating a documentary about the elderly woman, Zach Galifianakis, and the beauty of their unlikely friendship.
A Sweet Response to Generosity
Elizabeth also commented on her amusement at the whole process. She has had a few opportunities to accompany the celebrity to the Hollywood premiers and after parties. “All the fans were taking photos and I waved at them, I said, ‘They don’t know who I am!’” She continued to share the pairs shenanigans, “Afterwards, they have a party at somewhere close by and you meet the stars. I drink lemon drop martinis with Grey Goose vodka.“
Unsurprisingly, Elizabeth isn’t the only person who thinks so highly of Zach Galifianakis. Film director, Todd Phillips, gave a few compliments to who Zach Galifianakis is, in a 2013 interview with Philippine Star. “If you talk to people who love these movies, they’ll often say they wish they had a friend like Alan, and that’s largely attributable to Zach. He has such sweetness behind his eyes, that he can say and do most anything and you’ll think, ‘Oh, he didn’t mean it like that.’ So, he gets away with all sorts of things.“
Can’t Help but Love Zach Galifianakis
The star has been known to be down to earth, kind, and funny. According to reports, Zach Galifianakis has gone so far as to jokingly hop in the back of fans’ cars. During autograph singings he has “pretended” to be going home with fans. He often takes pictures and signs autographs. Believing that celebrities should not be as idolized as they are, he often makes a point of treating people and fans with kindness and sincerity.