Facts about Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks is 64 years old
Born: July 9, 1956
Best known as: The Oscar-winning star of Forrest Gump

     

     

Tom Hanks Biography

Tom Hanks won back-to-back acting Oscars for the films Philadelphia (1993) and Forrest Gump (1994), confirming his place as one of the busiest and best actors of the 1990s.

Tom Hanks was first known for his comedic skills in the 1980s crossdressing sitcom Bosom Buddies. Somehow, he rose above that dopey comedy and ended up starring with Daryl Hannah and John Candy in the mermaid comedy Splash (1984).

Despite the box office success of Splash, his film career didn’t really take hold until Big (1988) — he earned an Oscar nomination for his role as an adult in a child’s body.

After several more light comedies, he appeared as an AIDS victim in Philadelphia (with Denzel Washington) and won his first Academy Award for best actor. The next year he won again as the charming simpleton Forrest Gump, whose statement “Life is like a box of chocolates” became a pop-culture catch phrase.

Hanks also was Oscar-nominated for Steven Spielberg‘s WWII epic Saving Private Ryan (1998) and for the 2000 film Cast Away. Hanks’s dramatic roles get him the Oscar nods, but audiences also love his comedies, which include Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail (1993 and 1998, both with Meg Ryan), and Toy Story and Toy Story II (1995 and 1999; Hanks is the voice of Woody).

He starred as globetrotting professor Robert Langdon in the films The DaVinci Code (2006) and Angels and Demons (2009), and played a prison guard in The Green Mile (1999, based on a Stephen King novel). He also starred in 2007’s Charlie Wilson’s War (co-starring Amy Adams). By then, his reputation was firmly established as one of Hollywood’s nice guys, and one who could play both comedy and drama to great effect.

In the 2010s he had a string of successes playing real-life figures: As the captain of a tanker kidnapped by pirates in 2013’s Captain Phillips (directed by Paul Greengrass); as animation god Walt Disney, in Saving Mr. Banks (2013); as hero pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger in Sully (2016); as Watergate-era editor Ben Bradlee in The Post (2017); and as beloved children’s TV host Mister Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.  For the latter film he earned his sixth Oscar nomination, and his first since the 2000 film Cast Away.

 

Extra credit

Tom Hanks married actress Samantha Lewes in 1978. They had a son, actor Colin Hanks (born 1977) and a daughter, Elizabeth (b. 1982) before their divorce in 1987. Hanks then married actress Rita Wilson in 1988. They have two sons: Chet (b. 1990) and Truman (b. 1995)… The only other male star to win back-to-back best actor Oscars was Spencer Tracy (for movies in 1937 and ’38); Luise Rainer (1936-37) and Katharine Hepburn (1967-68) both won consecutive Oscars as best actress… Tom Hanks played real-life astronaut Jim Lovell in the 1995 movie Apollo 13.


     

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