TEMPLE CITY, Calif. (AP) _ An off-duty sheriff's deputy who five years ago rescued actress Theresa Saldana from a knife-wielding attacker kept a wounded man from being stabbed a second time early Tuesday, officials said.

But this time the rescue effort by Jeff Fenn came too late to save the victim, who died from his wound.

Eddie Abeyta, 38, and two guests had been drinking at Abeyta's home, said Deputy Chris Robbins.

One of the guests went outside to sleep in a van, and Abeyta and the other man, identified only as a 31-year-old from El Monte, became involved in a heated argument, Robbins said.

The El Monte man was stabbed, stumbled to the van and drove for a short distance before losing control and crashing into a wall, Robbins said.

Fenn heard the crash, went to see what was wrong and stopped a knife- wielding Abeyta from stabbing the wounded man, Robbins said.

The man died from his first wound less than an hour later at Methodist Hospital of Southern California in nearby Arcadia.

Abeyta was booked for investigation of murder and held without bail, officials said.

Five years ago, Fenn, then a bottled-water deliveryman, rescued Ms. Saldana, star of ''Defiance'' and co-star in ''Raging Bull,'' as she was attacked outside her West Hollywood apartment.

He later became a sheriff's deputy. The attacker, Arthur Richard Jackson, was sentenced to 12 years in prison.