BEVERLY HILLS—Local cardiologist Dr. Rico Simonini is not only prepared to save lives in the operating rooms at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, he also told us last week that he saved a man’s life while hiking in our nearby canyons. “I am happy to report that the man is doing well and hopefully he’s taking better care of himself so as not to have another heart attack. I’m no hero, I was just at the right place at the right time,” said Simonini.

As we ended with Dr. Simonini last week, he recalled the incident in which he encountered a man who was suffering a major heart attack during a hike through the canyons. The respected doctor also explained that in addition to everything he does, he really loves research. “It was my dream to do research initially when I finished college, but when you have to come up with funding it can become very stressful, so I found another way to help others in the medical field,” said the doctor. Rico Simonini’s dream is to create a television show similar to NBC’s “ER” and to use much of the proceeds from the series to fund research that will help solve so many of our world’s medical issues. “There are so many needs in the world and here in the U.S., and now with the economic downturn in the global economy, funds that were once available to researchers are disappearing and they are trying to find new ways to fund their work in research. I’d really like to be able to make a difference in this area,” said Simonini.

Acting is also in the forefront of the handsome man’s life. “I enjoy acting and I don’t mind being a doctor on the screen either. I’ve played one many times, but I enjoy the creative side of acting as much as the serious side of medicine. Both are important in society. The arts are no less important than medicine. Both have had a positive influence on our lives,” said Dr. Simonini. “I am one of the luckiest people I know. Growing up in New York City was a great thing. It gave me the understanding and respect for many different cultures and lots of other people. I think growing up in New York prepared me for what I am doing today.”

He’s currently filming “Fortune 500 Man” as well as the “Dante” series.

Look out for the handsome guy on your movie and TV screens, and if you just happen to be hiking around L.A.’s canyons, let’s hope you won’t need a doctor, but if you do, yell for Dr. Rico Simonini.