BEVERLY HILLS—Dr. Rico Simonini’s handsome face has been seen in television and in films a lot lately. His excellent work in “My Sister’s Keeper” has been discussed by many, and speculated that he deserved an Academy Award® nomination for that role; however, he has also starred in “Days of Our Lives,” “Judging Amy,” the TV movie “Mama and Son” and “Max Payne.” When the talented actor is not on set, he’s a renowned cardiologist at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. However, it’s not just at Cedars that the gorgeous doctor and star saves lives. Recently on a hike in our local canyons, Rico Simonini happened upon a heart attack victim.

When Dr. Simonini is acting, he’s in control of the audience. His mesmerizing leading-man good looks keep him working on a regular basis. He’s currently filming “Fortune 500 Man” as well as the “Dante’s” series. A trained physician whose true love in medicine is research, Dr. Simonini tells Canyon News, “I would love to do a TV series one day that is a drama, but also could benefit medical research with the show’s profits. I initially wanted to go into research, but it became arduous in dealing with funding. I wish that perhaps Michael Crichton, who created ”˜ER’ had thought about doing that with his series. He was a doctor also.” Dr. Simonini, however, is equally creative and talented, if not more.

Last week on a hiking path in a nearby canyon Simonini, who loves to exercise and relax in the hills, found himself in a life or death struggle to save a hiker who was having a heart attack. “I was walking up this steep path and I saw some people looking down; they said that there was a man down there, over 50, a bit overweight and he was sick. Many stated that he should not have been on the hike in the first place,” said the physician. “As I was going down the cliff, which was difficult for even me, I was wondering why this man would even attempt this hike. When I got down to him, he was sweating, and had tingling in his left arm and chest pains. I told him that I was a cardiologist at Cedars, which finally calmed down people around him who were wondering what I was doing. The man had a great sense of humor, but he was in bad shape.”

Dr. Simonini told hikers to call 9-1-1, to give the location and within 20 minutes a helicopter was there with EMT’s assisting the famed cardiologist. “It was touch and go for him for a while. Five minutes after the copter took off, he flat lined and they had to shock him, then upon arriving at UCLA, he flat lined again and had to be shocked yet again. However, the next day I went by to see him, and he was doing much better and had a great sense of humor about being lucky that a cardiologist was there when he needed one on the hike,” said Rico.

Whatever Rico Simonini has in mind for his life and career, he’s a man with vast talent and genius as resources to make that happen. His work on screen always caught my attention, and his reputation as a cardiologist at Cedars Sinai is legendary. However, Rico has a lot more in mind for the world. “There is a lot more I’d like to do in acting and in medical research. I love both parts of my life and careers and hopefully will have the opportunity to continue them both in the future,” concluded Simonini.

Next week is our second part of this exclusive interview.