UNION SQUARE — Move over Ryan Gosling — it seems New York has another celebrity savior.
Morrissey, the former Smiths front man with a cult-like following, was perusing the racks at The Strand in Union Square on Monday afternoon when a woman shopping nearby collapsed, said an employee at the bookstore who was working that day.
The employee, who asked that his name not be used, said he heard the sound of toppling books and ran over to investigate.
“When I got there, [Morrissey] was already there, on his knee,” the employee said. “But she was sort of unresponsive.”
While the employee ran to the intercom system to page for any doctors in the store, Morrissey stayed with the woman and remained there even after she came to, shaken and embarrassed.
The store offered to call for an ambulance, but the woman declined, preferring to wait for her husband. Until he arrived, Morrissey stayed at her side.
Morrissey had remained relatively incognito throughout his shopping trip, and none of the employees at the store realized the singer was in their midst until the woman collapsed and people took notice of the man quietly coming to her aid.
But Morrissey had fans in his midst. Joseph Williamson, 26, another Strand employee who came running to help when the woman fell, recognized him immediately.
“I was extremely excited,” said Williamson, who moved to New York from England just a few weeks ago. “I am a big fan of The Smiths and his solo work.”
Williamson said he was pleased to see that the notoriously ornery and “mercurial” singer has a softer side.
“He was very personal,” Williamson said. “He was very kindly to the lady.”
As for the woman, the employee who helped Morrissey that day said he has since seen her near the store. She appears to be in good health, but he said she was not aware of her celebrity encounter.
“She was just very thankful for his attention. She didn’t know who he was,” he said.