In today's society, celebrities and heroes are all too often considered one and the same. Often, when asked to name a personal hero, people will name a celebrity. Celebrities and heroes are different types of people with different definitions. It is true that some celebrities perform heroic acts, and some heroes attain celebrity by their acts of kindness, but a celebrity is not necessarily a hero, and a hero is not necessarily a celebrity.

Celebrities

Celebrities are people that are well known and easily recognized in society. Often they are known for their artistic abilities, athletic prowess or good looks. Some people are considered celebrities due to their wealthy ancestors, such as the Hiltons or Kennedys.

Heroes

Heroes are men who help others in need or make a change for the better in the lives of those around them. They are admired for their deeds and qualities. A heroine, the female form of hero, possesses the same qualities and attributes as a hero.

Similarities

While "celebrity" and "hero" have different definitions, there are often similarities between the two. Some celebrities have performed heroic acts using their wealth and fame. Some celebrities who are also considered heroes include Oprah Winfrey, Christopher Reeves and Angelina Jolie. These celebrities have used their wealth and fame to improve lives of others by starting foundations to help people in need.

Differences

A celebrity is often rich and famous for talents such as singing, and acting. Heroes -- although many never become famous -- are self-sacrificing and help advance others, not themselves. Examples of self-sacrificing heroes are nurses, fireman, volunteer workers, Anne Frank and Martin Luther King Jr. Examples of celebrities who are not especially known for heroic acts are actress Lindsay Lohan and celebrity personality Paris Hilton.