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Originally published Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 12:58 PM

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Off-Broadway actor gains fame for jumping onto subway tracks to rescue unconscious man

Two days after rescuing a man from the subway tracks as a train was pulling into the station, an off-Broadway actor said he was finding his sudden celebrity overwhelming.

Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK —

Two days after rescuing a man from the subway tracks as a train was pulling into the station, an off-Broadway actor said he was finding his sudden celebrity overwhelming.

"I'm an actor. I've spent most of my life trying to get attention and then I do something that's a no-brainer, and now I have more than I need," Chad Lindsey said Wednesday.

The 33-year-old actor, who stars in the musical "Kaspar Hauser," said the role had prepared him for the emergency because in the play, he's required to repeatedly lift a character who cannot walk.

The rescue happened Monday on the subway platform at Pennsylvania Station, where Lindsey was waiting for a train to go to a reading at the downtown theater.

He said he saw a man who appeared drunk come very close to the platform, rock back and forth, then pitch headlong onto the tracks. The man struck his head on the rail and began bleeding profusely, Lindsey said.

The actor jumped down to the tracks and tried to rouse the man. When he didn't respond, Lindsey lifted him under the arms and hoisted him onto the platform, with the help of others standing on the platform. The entire incident, first reported in The New York Times, lasted about 30 seconds.

Lindsey said he could see the lights of the train approaching and about 15 seconds later — after the man was safely on the platform — the cars arrived in the station.

Someone had already called 911. After giving police a quick report, Lindsey boarded the train, where passengers greeted him with applause.

Lindsey said he didn't know if his newfound fame would boost his career.

"I really wasn't thinking about that at the time. I really wasn't thinking about it at all even afterward," said Lindsey, who also works as a proofreader. "I sort of just did it and thought afterward, 'Well, that's just a pain, now I'm all dirty and bloody.'"

Lindsey said he acted on instinct. "I just thought the guy fell down there and I needed to get him out of there," Lindsey said.

The injured man was treated at a hospital and later released.

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The incident was reminiscent of another subway hero, Wesley Autrey, who in 2007 jumped on top of a man who had fallen onto the tracks after having a seizure. The train passed over the two of them.

Autrey, a construction worker, was awarded the city's highest civilian honor and invited to President George W. Bush's State of the Union address.

Lindsey's mother, Barbara, reached at her home in Harbor Springs, Mich., on Lake Michigan, said her son had always been very athletic. But she also thought that her son "felt he could do it because of the play."

"But still..." she said, her voice trailing off. "It was very scary for a mom."

"It was the right thing to do. We're very proud of him," she added.

The play, which opened Feb. 13 and closes March 28, was written by Elizabeth Swados and Erin Courtney.

___

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