Tom Hanks

Thomas Jeffrey Hanks (born July 9, 1956) is an American actor and filmmaker. Hanks is known for his comedic and dramatic roles in such films as Splash (1984), Big (1988), Turner & Hooch (1989), A League of Their Own (1992), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Apollo 13 (1995), You've Got Mail (1998), The Green Mile (1999), Cast Away (2000), Road to Perdition (2002), Cloud Atlas (2012), Captain Phillips (2013), Saving Mr. Banks (2013), and Sully (2016). He has also starred in the Robert Langdon film series, and voices Sheriff Woody in the Toy Story film series. He is one of the most popular and recognizable film stars worldwide, and is widely regarded as an American cultural icon.

Hanks has collaborated with film director Steven Spielberg on five films to date: Saving Private Ryan (1998), Catch Me If You Can (2002), The Terminal (2004), Bridge of Spies (2015), and The Post (2017), as well as the 2001 miniseries Band of Brothers, which launched Hanks as a successful director, producer, and screenwriter. In 2010, Spielberg and Hanks were executive producers on the HBO miniseries The Pacific.

Hanks' films have grossed more than $4.6 billion at U.S. and Canadian box offices and more than $9.2 billion worldwide,[2] making him the fourth highest-grossing actor in North America.[3] Hanks has been nominated for numerous awards during his career. He won a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Philadelphia (1993), as well as a Golden Globe, an Academy Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a People's Choice Award for Best Actor for Forrest Gump (1994). In 1995, Hanks became one of only two actors who won the Academy Award for Best Actor in consecutive years, with Spencer Tracy being the other.[4] In 2004, he received the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).[5] In 2014, he received a Kennedy Center Honor, and in 2016, he received a Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama,[6] as well as the French Legion of Honor.[7]

Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks 2016
Hanks in September 2016
Thomas Jeffrey Hanks

July 9, 1956 (age 62)
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma materChabot College
California State University, Sacramento (BFA)
OccupationActor, filmmaker
Years active1977–present
Net worth$390 million (May 2014)[1]
Political partyDemocratic
Samantha Lewes
(m. 1978; div. 1987)

Rita Wilson
(m. 1988)
Children4, including Colin Hanks
RelativesJim Hanks (brother)
Larry Hanks (brother)
AwardsFull list

Early life

Thomas Jeffrey Hanks[8] was born in Concord, California on July 9, 1956,[9][10] to hospital worker Janet Marylyn (née Frager)[11] and itinerant cook Amos Mefford Hanks (1924-1992).[10][12][13] His mother was of Portuguese descent (her family's surname was originally "Fraga"),[14] while his father had English ancestry.[15][16] His parents divorced in 1960. Their three oldest children, Sandra (later Sandra Hanks Benoiton, a writer),[17] Larry (an entomology professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign),[18] and Tom, went with their father, while the youngest, Jim (who also became an actor and filmmaker), remained with their mother in Red Bluff, California.[19] In his childhood, Hanks' family moved often; by the age of 10, he had lived in 10 different houses.[20]

While Hanks' family religious history was Catholic and Mormon, he has characterized his teenage self as being a "Bible-toting evangelical" for several years.[21] In school, he was unpopular with students and teachers alike, later telling Rolling Stone magazine, "I was a geek, a spaz. I was horribly, painfully, terribly shy. At the same time, I was the guy who'd yell out funny captions during filmstrips. But I didn't get into trouble. I was always a real good kid and pretty responsible."[22] In 1965, his father married Frances Wong, a San Francisco native of Chinese descent. Frances had three children, two of whom lived with Hanks during his high school years. Hanks acted in school plays, including South Pacific, while attending Skyline High School in Oakland, California.[23]

Hanks studied theater at Chabot College in Hayward, California, and transferred to California State University, Sacramento, two years later.[24] During a 2001 interview with Bob Costas, Hanks was asked whether he would rather have an Oscar or a Heisman Trophy. He replied he would rather win a Heisman by playing halfback for the California Golden Bears.[25] He told New York magazine in 1986, "Acting classes looked like the best place for a guy who liked to make a lot of noise and be rather flamboyant. I spent a lot of time going to plays. I wouldn't take dates with me. I'd just drive to a theater, buy myself a ticket, sit in the seat and read the program, and then get into the play completely. I spent a lot of time like that, seeing Brecht, Tennessee Williams, Ibsen, and all that."[26]

During his years studying theater, Hanks met Vincent Dowling, head of the Great Lakes Theater Festival in Cleveland, Ohio.[12] At Dowling's suggestion, Hanks became an intern at the festival. His internship stretched into a three-year experience that covered most aspects of theater production, including lighting, set design, and stage management, prompting Hanks to drop out of college. During the same time, Hanks won the Cleveland Critics Circle Award for Best Actor for his 1978 performance as Proteus in Shakespeare's The Two Gentlemen of Verona, one of the few times he played a villain.[27] Time magazine named Hanks one of the "Top 10 College Dropouts."[28]


1979–1986: Early work

Hanks at the Academy Awards after party in March 1989

In 1979, Hanks moved to New York City, where he made his film debut in the low-budget slasher film He Knows You're Alone (1980)[12][29] and landed a starring role in the television movie Mazes and Monsters.[30] Early that year, he was cast in the lead, Callimaco, in the Riverside Shakespeare Company's production of Niccolò Machiavelli's The Mandrake, directed by Daniel Southern. The following year, Hanks landed one of the lead roles, that of character Kip Wilson, on the ABC television pilot of Bosom Buddies. He and Peter Scolari played a pair of young advertising men forced to dress as women so they could live in an inexpensive all-female hotel.[12] Hanks had previously partnered with Scolari on the 1970s game show Make Me Laugh. After landing the role, Hanks moved to Los Angeles. Bosom Buddies ran for two seasons, and, although the ratings were never strong, television critics gave the program high marks. "The first day I saw him on the set," co-producer Ian Praiser told Rolling Stone, "I thought, 'Too bad he won't be in television for long.' I knew he'd be a movie star in two years." However, although Praiser knew it, he was not able to convince Hanks. "The television show had come out of nowhere," Hanks' best friend Tom Lizzio told Rolling Stone.

Bosom Buddies and a guest appearance on a 1982 episode of Happy Days ("A Case of Revenge," in which he played a disgruntled former classmate of Fonzie) prompted director Ron Howard to contact Hanks. Howard was working on the film Splash (1984), a romantic comedy fantasy about a mermaid who falls in love with a human.[31][32] At first, Howard considered Hanks for the role of the main character's wisecracking brother, a role that eventually went to John Candy. Instead, Hanks landed the lead role in Splash, which went on to become a surprise box office hit, grossing more than US$69 million.[33] He also had a sizable hit with the sex comedy Bachelor Party, also in 1984.[8] In 1983–84, Hanks made three guest appearances on Family Ties as Elyse Keaton's alcoholic brother, Ned Donnelly.[34][35]

With Nothing in Common (1986) – a story of a young man alienated from his father (played by Jackie Gleason) – Hanks began to extend himself from comedic roles to dramatic roles. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Hanks commented on his experience: "It changed my desires about working in movies. Part of it was the nature of the material, what we were trying to say. But besides that, it focused on people's relationships. The story was about a guy and his father, unlike, say, The Money Pit, where the story is really about a guy and his house."[36]

Hanks on the film set of Forrest Gump (1994)

1987–2003: Established Star

After a few more flops and a moderate success with the comedy Dragnet, Hanks' stature in the film industry rose. The broad success of the fantasy comedy Big (1988) established Hanks as a major Hollywood talent, both as a box office draw and within the industry as an actor.[8][12][37] For his performance in the film, Hanks earned his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor.[38] Big was followed later that year by Punchline, in which he and Sally Field co-starred as struggling comedians.

Hanks then suffered a run of box-office underperformers: The 'Burbs (1989), Joe Versus the Volcano (1990), and The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990).[12] In the last, he portrayed a greedy Wall Street figure who gets enmeshed in a hit-and-run accident. 1989's Turner & Hooch was Hanks' only financially successful film of the period.

Hanks climbed back to the top again with his portrayal of a washed-up baseball legend turned manager in A League of Their Own (1992).[12] Hanks has stated that his acting in earlier roles was not great, but that he subsequently improved. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Hanks noted his "modern era of moviemaking ... because enough self-discovery has gone on ... My work has become less pretentiously fake and over the top". This "modern era" began in 1993 for Hanks, first with Sleepless in Seattle and then with Philadelphia. The former was a blockbuster success about a widower who finds true love over the radio airwaves.[39] Richard Schickel of TIME called his performance "charming," and most critics agreed that Hanks' portrayal ensured him a place among the premier romantic-comedy stars of his generation.[40]

In Philadelphia, he played a gay lawyer with AIDS who sues his firm for discrimination.[12] Hanks lost 35 pounds and thinned his hair in order to appear sickly for the role. In a review for People, Leah Rozen stated, "Above all, credit for Philadelphia's success belongs to Hanks, who makes sure that he plays a character, not a saint. He is flat-out terrific, giving a deeply felt, carefully nuanced performance that deserves an Oscar." Hanks won the 1993 Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Philadelphia.[12][41] During his acceptance speech, he revealed that his high school drama teacher Rawley Farnsworth and former classmate John Gilkerson, two people with whom he was close, were gay.[42]

Hanks followed Philadelphia with the 1994 hit Forrest Gump which grossed a worldwide total of over $600 million at the box office.[43] Hanks remarked: "When I read the script for Gump, I saw it as one of those kind of grand, hopeful movies that the audience can go to and feel ... some hope for their lot and their position in life ... I got that from the movies a hundred million times when I was a kid. I still do." Hanks won his second Best Actor Academy Award for his role in Forrest Gump, becoming only the second actor to have accomplished the feat of winning consecutive Best Actor Oscars.[44] (Spencer Tracy was the first, winning in 1937–38. Hanks and Tracy were the same age at the time they received their Academy Awards: 37 for the first and 38 for the second.)[45][46]

Hanks' next role—astronaut and commander Jim Lovell, in the 1995 film Apollo 13—reunited him with Ron Howard.[12] Critics generally applauded the film and the performances of the entire cast, which included actors Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris, and Kathleen Quinlan. The movie also earned nine Academy Award nominations, winning two. Later that year, Hanks starred in Disney/Pixar's CGI-animated hit film Toy Story, as the voice of Sheriff Woody.[47]

Tom Hanks - footprint
Hanks' cement prints in front of the Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood

Hanks made his directing debut with his 1996 film That Thing You Do! about a 1960s pop group, also playing the role of a music producer.[48][49] Hanks and producer Gary Goetzman went on to create Playtone, a record and film production company named after the record company in the film.[50][51]

Hanks then executive produced, co-wrote, and co-directed the HBO docudrama From the Earth to the Moon. The 12-part series chronicled the space program from its inception, through the familiar flights of Neil Armstrong and Jim Lovell, to the personal feelings surrounding the reality of moon landings. The Emmy Award-winning project was, at US$68 million, one of the most expensive ventures undertaken for television.[52][53]

In 1998, Hanks' next project was no less expensive. For Saving Private Ryan, he teamed up with Steven Spielberg to make a film about a search through war-torn France after D-Day to bring back a soldier.[54] It earned the praise and respect of the film community, critics, and the general public.[55] It was labeled one of the finest war films ever made and earned Spielberg his second Academy Award for direction, and Hanks another Best Actor nomination.[56] Later that year, Hanks re-teamed with his Sleepless in Seattle co-star Meg Ryan for You've Got Mail, a remake of 1940's The Shop Around the Corner.[8] In 1999, Hanks starred in an adaptation of the Stephen King novel The Green Mile.[57] He also returned as the voice of Woody in Toy Story 2, the sequel to Toy Story. The following year, he won a Golden Globe for Best Actor and an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of a marooned FedEx systems analyst in Robert Zemeckis's Cast Away.[58][59]

In 2001, Hanks helped direct and produce the Emmy-Award-winning HBO miniseries Band of Brothers.[60] He also appeared in the September 11 television special America: A Tribute to Heroes and the documentary Rescued From the Closet.[61] He then teamed up with American Beauty director Sam Mendes for the adaptation of Max Allan Collins's and Richard Piers Rayner's graphic novel Road to Perdition, in which he played an anti-hero role as a hitman on the run with his son. That same year, Hanks collaborated once again with director Spielberg, starring opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in the hit biographical crime drama Catch Me If You Can, based on the true story of Frank Abagnale, Jr. The same year, Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson produced the hit movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding.[62][63] In August 2007, he along with co-producers Rita Wilson and Gary Goetzman, and writer and star Nia Vardalos, initiated a legal action against the production company Gold Circle Films for their share of profits from the movie.[64][65][66] At the age of 45, Hanks became the youngest-ever recipient of the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award on June 12, 2002.[67][68]

Tom Hanks 2008a
Hanks at Post-Emmys Party, September 2008

2004–present: Later work

In 2004, he appeared in three films: The Coen brothers' The Ladykillers, another Spielberg film, The Terminal, and The Polar Express, a family film from Zemeckis for which Hanks played multiple motion capture roles. In a USA Weekend interview, Hanks discussed how he chooses projects: "[Since] A League of Their Own, it can't be just another movie for me. It has to get me going somehow ... There has to be some all-encompassing desire or feeling about wanting to do that particular movie. I'd like to assume that I'm willing to go down any avenue in order to do it right". In August 2005, Hanks was voted in as vice president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[69]

Hanks next starred in the highly anticipated film The Da Vinci Code, based on the best-selling novel by Dan Brown. The film was released May 19, 2006, in the U.S. and grossed over US$750 million worldwide.[70] He followed the film with Ken Burns's 2007 documentary The War. For the documentary, Hanks did voice work, reading excerpts from World War II-era columns by Al McIntosh. In 2006, Hanks topped a 1,500-strong list of "most trusted celebrities" compiled by Forbes magazine.[71] Hanks also produced the animated children's movie The Ant Bully in 2006.

Hanks next appeared in a cameo role as himself in The Simpsons Movie, in which he appeared in an advertisement claiming that the U.S. government has lost its credibility and is hence buying some of his. He also made an appearance in the credits, expressing a desire to be left alone when he is out in public. Later in 2006, Hanks produced the British film Starter for Ten, a comedy based on working-class students attempting to win on University Challenge.[72]

In 2007, Hanks starred in Mike Nichols's film Charlie Wilson's War (written by screenwriter Aaron Sorkin) in which he played Democratic Texas Congressman Charles Wilson. The film opened on December 21, 2007, and Hanks received a Golden Globe nomination.[73] In the comedy-drama film The Great Buck Howard (2008), Hanks played the on-screen father of a young man (played by Hanks' real-life son, Colin) who chooses to work as road manager for a fading mentalist (John Malkovich). His character was less than thrilled about his son's career decision.[74] In the same year, he executive produced the musical comedy, Mamma Mia and the miniseries, John Adams.[75][76]

Hanks' next endeavor, released on May 15, 2009, was a film adaptation of Angels & Demons, based on the novel of the same name by Dan Brown. Its April 11, 2007, announcement revealed that Hanks would reprise his role as Robert Langdon, and that he would reportedly receive the highest salary ever for an actor.[77][78] The following day he made his 10th appearance on NBC's Saturday Night Live, impersonating himself for the Celebrity Jeopardy sketch. Hanks produced the Spike Jonze film Where The Wild Things Are, based on the children's book by Maurice Sendak in 2009.[79]

In 2010, Hanks reprised his voice role of Woody in Toy Story 3, after he, Tim Allen, and John Ratzenberger were invited to a movie theater to see a complete story reel of the movie.[80] The film went on to become the first animated film to gross a worldwide total of over $1 billion as well as the highest-grossing animated film at the time.[81][82][83] He also was executive producer of the miniseries, The Pacific.[84]

In 2011, he directed and starred opposite Julia Roberts in the title role in the romantic comedy Larry Crowne.[85] The movie received poor reviews, with only 35% of the 175 Rotten Tomatoes reviews giving it high ratings.[86] Also in 2011, he starred in the drama film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.[87] In 2012, he voiced the character Cleveland Carr for a web series he created titled Electric City.[88] He also starred in the Wachowskis-directed film adaptation of the novel of the same name, Cloud Atlas and was executive producer of the miniseries Game Change.[89]

In 2013, Hanks starred in two critically acclaimed films—Captain Phillips and Saving Mr. Bankswhich each earned him praise, including nominations for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama for the former role.[90][91] In Captain Phillips, he starred as Captain Richard Phillips with Barkhad Abdi, which was based on the Maersk Alabama hijacking.[92] In Saving Mr. Banks, co-starring Emma Thompson and directed by John Lee Hancock, he played Walt Disney, being the first actor to portray Disney in a mainstream film.[93] That same year, Hanks made his Broadway debut, starring in Nora Ephron's Lucky Guy, for which he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play.[94]

In 2014, Hanks' short story "Alan Bean Plus Four" was published in the October 27 issue of The New Yorker.[95] Revolving around four friends who make a voyage to the moon, the short story is titled after the Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean. Slate magazine's Katy Waldman found Hanks' first published short story "mediocre", writing that "Hanks' shopworn ideas about technology might have yet sung if they hadn't been wrapped in too-clever lit mag-ese".[96] In an interview with The New Yorker, Hanks said he has always been fascinated by space. He told the magazine that he built plastic models of rockets when he was a child and watched live broadcasts of space missions back in the 1960s.[97]

In March 2015, Hanks appeared in the Carly Rae Jepsen music video for "I Really Like You", lip-syncing most of the song's lyrics as he goes through his daily routine.[98] His next film was the Steven Spielberg-directed historical drama Bridge of Spies, in which he played lawyer James B. Donovan who negotiated for the release of pilot Francis Gary Powers by the Soviet Union in exchange for KGB spy Rudolf Abel. It was released in October 2015 to a positive reception.[99] In April 2016, Hanks starred as Alan Clay in the comedy-drama A Hologram for the King, an adaptation of the 2012 novel of the same name.[100] It's the second time he was directed by Tom Tykwer after Cloud Atlas in 2012.[101]

Hanks starred as airline captain Chesley Sullenberger in Clint Eastwood's Sully, which was released in September 2016.[102] He next reprised his role as Robert Langdon in Inferno (2016),[103] and co-starred alongside Emma Watson in the 2017 science fiction drama The Circle.[104] He voiced David S. Pumpkins in The David S. Pumpkins Animated Halloween Special, which aired October 28, 2017, on NBC, a character he had portrayed in episodes of Saturday Night Live.[105]


Hanks will reprise his voice role as Sheriff Woody in Pixar's Toy Story 4, set for release on June 21, 2019.[106][107] Then, Hanks will portray Fred Rogers in Marielle Heller's biographical film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. The film will be released on November 22, 2019, by Sony Pictures.[108][109] Hanks will then star as Commander Ernest Krause in Greyhound, a war film to be directed by Aaron Schneider. The film is slated for release on May 8, 2020, by Sony Pictures.[110][111]

In October 2017, Hanks signed on to star as Finch, the last surviving man on Earth, in the science fiction drama BIOS. Principal production commenced in February 2019. The film is set to be released on October 2, 2020 by Universal Pictures.[112][113][114] In February 2019, Hanks was cast in News of the World, to be his second collaboration with director Paul Greengrass. Additional casting was in the works.[115] The next month, Hanks signed to portray Tom Parker, the sole manager of Elvis Presley, in a Baz Luhrmann helmed film. Production would commence later in 2019.[116]

HBO confirmed in January 2013 that it was developing a third World War II miniseries based on the book Masters of the Air by Donald L. Miller with Hanks and Spielberg to follow Band of Brothers and The Pacific.[117] Few details have emerged about the project since, but NME reported in March 2017 that production was progressing under the working title The Mighty Eighth.[118]


Academy Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result Ref
1989 Big Best Actor Nominated [119]
1993 Philadelphia Won
1994 Forrest Gump Won
1999 Saving Private Ryan Nominated
2001 Cast Away Nominated

Golden Globe Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result Ref
1989 Big Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Won [120]
1994 Sleepless in Seattle Nominated [121]
Philadelphia Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Won
1995 Forrest Gump Won [122]
1999 Saving Private Ryan Nominated [123]
2001 Cast Away Won [124]
2008 Charlie Wilson's War Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Nominated [125]
2014 Captain Phillips Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Nominated [126]
2018 The Post Nominated

Emmy Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result Year
1998 From the Earth to the Moon Outstanding Miniseries (as producer) Won [127]
Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special (as director) Nominated
2002 Band of Brothers Outstanding Miniseries (shared with the rest of the producers) Won
Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special (shared with the rest of the directors) Won
Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special (shared with the rest of the writers) Nominated
2008 John Adams Outstanding Miniseries (as executive producer) Won
2009 Big Love Outstanding Drama Series (as executive producer) Nominated
2010 The 25th Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Special Nominated
The Pacific Outstanding Miniseries (as executive producer) Won
2012 Game Change Outstanding Miniseries or Movie (as executive producer) Won
2015 Olive Kitteridge Outstanding Miniseries (as executive producer) Won
2017 Saturday Night Live Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated

Tony Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result Ref
2013 Lucky Guy Best Actor in a Play Nominated [128]


Year Nominated work Category Result Ref
1995 Forrest Gump Best Actor in a Leading Role Nominated [129]
1999 Saving Private Ryan Nominated
2001 Cast Away Nominated
2014 Captain Phillips Nominated

Screen Actors Guild

Year Nominated work Category Result Ref
1995 Forrest Gump Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role Won [130]
1996 Apollo 13 Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Won
1999 Saving Private Ryan Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role Nominated
2000 The Green Mile Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated
2001 Cast Away Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role Nominated
2014 Captain Phillips Nominated

Other honors

Hanks receiving the 2016 Presidential Medal of Freedom

Personal life

Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson 836
Hanks and wife Rita Wilson at the 1989 Oscars

Hanks was married to American actress Samantha Lewes from 1978. They had one son, actor Colin Hanks (born 1977),[133] and one daughter, Elizabeth Hanks (born 1982).[8]

In 1981, Hanks met actress Rita Wilson on the set of TV comedy Bosom Buddies (1980–1982). They were reunited in 1985 on the set of Volunteers.[8]

Hanks and Samantha Lewes divorced in 1987.[8][134]

Hanks married Wilson in 1988. They have two sons. The oldest, Chester Marlon "Chet" Hanks, had a minor role as a student in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and released a rap song in 2011.[135] Their youngest, Truman Theodore, was born in 1995.[136]

Before marrying Wilson, Hanks converted to the Greek Orthodox Church, the religion of Wilson and her family.[137][138] He said, "I must say that when I go to church—and I do go to church—I ponder the mystery. I meditate on the 'why?' of 'why people are as they are' and 'why bad things happen to good people,' and 'why good things happen to bad people' ... The mystery is what I think is, almost, the grand unifying theory of all mankind."[21]

On October 7, 2013, on The Late Show with David Letterman, Hanks announced that he has Type 2 diabetes.[139]

Politics and activism

Hanks supports same-sex marriage, environmental causes, and alternative fuels. He has donated to many Democratic politicians, and during the 2008 United States presidential election uploaded a video to his MySpace account endorsing Barack Obama.[140] He also narrated a 2012 documentary, The Road We've Traveled, created by Obama for America.[141] In 2016, Hanks endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.[142]

Hanks was outspoken about his opposition to the 2008 Proposition 8, an amendment to the California constitution that defined marriage as a union only between a man and a woman. Hanks and others raised over US$44 million to campaign against the proposition, in contrast to the supporters' $39 million,[143] but Proposition 8 passed with 52% of the vote.[144] It was overruled in June 2013, when the Ninth Circuit lifted its stay of the district court's ruling, enabling Governor Jerry Brown to order same-sex marriage officiations to resume.[145] While premiering a TV series in January 2009, Hanks called supporters of Proposition 8 "un-American" and criticized the LDS Church members, who were major proponents of the bill, for their views on marriage and role in supporting the bill.[146][147] About a week later, he apologized for the remark, saying that nothing is more American than voting one's conscience.[148]

A proponent of environmentalism, Hanks is an investor in electric vehicles and owns a Toyota RAV4 EV and the first production AC Propulsion eBox. He was a lessee of an EV1 before it was recalled, as chronicled in the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?[149] He was on the waiting list for an Aptera 2 Series.[150]

Hanks serves as campaign chair of the Hidden Heroes Campaign of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. The stated mission of the campaign is to inspire a national movement to more effectively support the military and veteran caregivers.[151][152]

In 2004, while touring the White House, Hanks learned that the press corps did not have a coffee pot, and shortly thereafter he donated an espresso machine. He again donated new machines in 2010 and 2017. His 2017 donation was accompanied by a note that read "To the White House Press Corps, Keep up the good fight for Truth, Justice, and the American Way. Especially for the truth part."[153][154]

Other activities

Steven Spielberg & Tom Hanks at National World War II Memorial for premiere of The Pacific 2010-03-11
Hanks with Steven Spielberg at the National World War II Memorial in March 2010

A supporter of NASA's manned space program, Hanks said he originally wanted to be an astronaut. Hanks is a member of the National Space Society, serving on the Board of governors of the nonprofit educational space advocacy organization founded by Wernher von Braun.[155] He also produced the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon about the Apollo program to send astronauts to the moon. In addition, Hanks co-wrote and co-produced Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D, an IMAX film about the moon landings.[156] Hanks provided the voice-over for the premiere of the show Passport to the Universe at the Rose Center for Earth and Space in the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.[157]

In 2006, the Space Foundation awarded Hanks the Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award,[158] given annually to an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to public awareness of space programs.[159]

In June 2006, Hanks was inducted as an honorary member of the United States Army Rangers Hall of Fame for his accurate portrayal of a captain in the movie Saving Private Ryan; Hanks, who was unable to attend the induction ceremony, was the first actor to receive such an honor. In addition to his role in Saving Private Ryan, Hanks was cited for serving as the national spokesperson for the World War II Memorial Campaign, for being the honorary chairperson of the D-Day Museum Capital Campaign, and for his role in writing and helping to produce the Emmy Award–winning miniseries, Band of Brothers.[160] On March 10, 2008, Hanks was on hand at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to induct The Dave Clark Five.[161]

Hanks is a collector of manual typewriters and uses them almost daily.[162][163] In August 2014, Hanks released Hanx Writer, an iOS app meant to emulate the experience of using a typewriter; within days the free app reached number one on the App Store.[164][165]


In November 2014, Hanks said he would publish a collection of short stories inspired by his typewriter collection.[166] The book, Uncommon Type, was published in 2017.

  • Uncommon Type (New York: Knopf, October 17, 2017)[167]


Hanks is perceived to be amiable and congenial to his fans. He has frequently been referred to as "America's Dad".[168] In 2013, when he was starring in Nora Ephron's Lucky Guy on Broadway, he had crowds of 300 fans waiting for a glimpse of him after every performance. This is the highest number of expectant fans post-show of any Broadway performance.[169]

Hanks is ranked as the fourth highest all-time box office star in North America, with a total gross of over $4.5 billion at the North American box office, an average of $100.8 million per film.[3] Worldwide, his films have grossed over $9.0 billion.[170]

Asteroid 12818 Tomhanks is named after him.[171]

As of January 2019, Hanks is currently voted #1 on Ranker's "The Best Actors in Film History".[172]

Hanks was the guest on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs (in the footsteps of John Huston, Arthur Rubinstein, Luciano Pavarotti, and more than 2500 other celebrities who were 'castaways' (guests on the show) since 1942) on May 8, 2016, giving a 45-minute interview with insights into his personal life and career.[173][174]


  1. ^ Kim, Susanna (May 22, 2014). "The Richest Actors in the World Are Not Who You Expect". ABC Good Morning America. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  2. ^ "Tom Hanks Movie Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "People Index." Box Office Mojo.
  4. ^ Weiner, Rex (March 28, 1995). "Tom Hanks Joins Back-to-Back Oscar Elite". Variety. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  5. ^ "Hanks' big splash in Hollywood". BBC News. November 5, 2004. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
  6. ^ "President Obama Names Recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom". White House. November 16, 2016. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
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Further reading

  • Gardner, David (1999), Tom Hanks: The Unauthorized Biography, London, ISBN 978-1-85782-327-1
  • Gardner, David (2007), Tom Hanks: Enigma, ISBN 978-1-84454-428-8
  • Pfeiffer, Lee (1996), The Films of Tom Hanks, Secaucus, New Jersey, ISBN 978-0-8065-1717-9
  • Salamon, Julie (1991), The Devil's Candy: The Bonfire of the Vanities Goes to Hollywood, Boston, ISBN 978-0-385-30824-3
  • Trakin, Roy (1995), Tom Hanks: Journey to Stardom, ISBN 978-0-312-95596-0
  • Wallner, Rosemary (1994), Tom Hanks: Academy Award-Winning Actor, Edina, Minnesota

External links

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is an upcoming American drama film directed by Marielle Heller and written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster. The film stars Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys and Chris Cooper, and stars Rhys as a journalist for Esquire who is assigned to profile beloved television icon Fred Rogers (played by Hanks). It is scheduled to be released in the United States on November 22, 2019, by TriStar Pictures.

Captain Phillips (film)

Captain Phillips is a 2013 American biographical drama-thriller film directed by Paul Greengrass and starring Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi. The film is inspired by the true story of the 2009 Maersk Alabama hijacking, an incident during which merchant mariner Captain Richard Phillips was taken hostage by pirates in the Guardafui Channel led by Abduwali Muse.

The screenplay by Billy Ray is based on the 2010 book A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty. Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca served as producers on the project. It premiered at the 2013 New York Film Festival, and was theatrically released on October 11, 2013. The film emerged as a box office success grossing over $218 million against a budget of $55 million. In 2014, Captain Phillips received six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Abdi.

Cast Away

Cast Away is a 2000 American survival drama film directed and co-produced by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, and Nick Searcy. The film depicts a FedEx employee marooned on an uninhabited island after his plane crashes in the South Pacific and his attempts to survive on the island using remnants of his plane's cargo.

The film was released on December 22, 2000. It was a critical and commercial success, grossing $429 million worldwide, with Hanks being nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the 73rd Academy Awards.

Charlie Wilson's War (film)

Charlie Wilson's War is a 2007 American biographical comedy-drama film, based on the story of U.S. Congressman Charlie Wilson and CIA operative Gust Avrakotos, whose efforts led to Operation Cyclone, a program to organize and support the Afghan mujahideen during the Soviet–Afghan War.

The film was directed by Mike Nichols (his final film) and written by Aaron Sorkin, who adapted George Crile III's 2003 book Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History. Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, and Philip Seymour Hoffman starred, with Amy Adams and Ned Beatty in supporting roles. It was nominated for five Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, but did not win in any category. Hoffman was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

City of Ember

City of Ember is a 2008 American science fiction adventure film based on the 2003 novel The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau. Directed by Gil Kenan, the film stars Saoirse Ronan, Harry Treadaway, Bill Murray, Mackenzie Crook, Martin Landau, Mary Kay Place, Toby Jones and Tim Robbins.

Produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman's Playtone and Walden Media, City of Ember was theatrically released on October 10, 2008 by 20th Century Fox, two months after the release of the final book in the series, The Diamond of Darkhold. The film received mixed reviews from critics and was a box office bomb, grossing only $17.9 million against a budget of $55 million.

David S. Pumpkins

David Simon Pumpkins is a fictional character played by American actor Tom Hanks. He first appeared in the October 22, 2016 episode of Saturday Night Live (SNL) in a sketch by SNL writers Mikey Day, Bobby Moynihan, and Streeter Seidell. Fans responded positively to the character and his catchphrase, "Any questions?"

Pumpkins has appeared in two episodes of SNL as well as an animated Halloween special that aired on October 28, 2017.

Greyhound (film)

Greyhound is an upcoming war film directed by Aaron Schneider and starring Tom Hanks, who also serves as writer and producer. It is based on The Good Shepherd by C. S. Forester. The film also stars Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Elisabeth Shue, Stephen Graham and Rob Morgan, and follows a Navy commander in the early days of World War II, as he tries to lead his Destroyer past a group of German U-boats. The film is scheduled to be released in the United States on May 8, 2020.

Inferno (2016 film)

Inferno is a 2016 American action mystery thriller film directed by Ron Howard and written by David Koepp, based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Dan Brown. The film is the sequel to The Da Vinci Code (2006) and Angels & Demons (2009), and is the third installment in the Robert Langdon film series. It stars Tom Hanks, reprising his role as Robert Langdon, alongside Felicity Jones, Omar Sy, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Ben Foster, and Irrfan Khan. Together with the previous film, it remains Hanks' only live-action sequel.

Filming began on April 27, 2015, in Venice, Italy, and wrapped on July 21, 2015, in Budapest. The film premiered in Florence on October 9, 2016, and was released in the United States on October 28, 2016, ten years after release of The Da Vinci Code, in 2D and IMAX formats. The film received generally negative reviews from critics, but grossed $220 million against a production budget of $75 million.

Larry Crowne

Larry Crowne is a 2011 American romantic comedy film starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. The film was produced and directed by Hanks, who co-wrote its screenplay with Nia Vardalos. The story was inspired by Hanks' time studying at Chabot College. The film tells the story of Larry Crowne, a middle-aged man who unexpectedly loses his job and returns to education. It was released in the United States on July 1, 2011.

List of Tom Hanks performances

Tom Hanks is an American actor, child-actor, dancer, character actor, author, comedian, art-director, screenwriter, dancer, singer, director, film-producer, and filmmaker who has had an extensive career in films, television, and on the stage. Hanks made his professional acting debut on the stage playing Grumio, in the Great Lakes Theater production of The Taming of the Shrew (1977). He made his film debut with a minor role in the horror film He Knows You're Alone (1980). In the same year, Hanks appeared in the television series Bosom Buddies. His role in the show led to guest appearances on a variety of long running television shows including Happy Days. Hanks' appearance on the show led film director Ron Howard to cast him in his first leading role in the fantasy romantic comedy Splash (1984). He went on to host Saturday Night Live for the first time in 1985 (a show he has since hosted nine times as of 2016), star in films such as Nothing in Common (1986) and Dragnet (1987) before playing his breakthrough role in the age-changing comedy Big (1988). For his performance in the film, Hanks garnered his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor.In 1993, he starred opposite Meg Ryan in the Nora Ephron-directed romantic comedy Sleepless in Seattle. Later that year, he played the role of a gay lawyer suffering from AIDS, fighting discrimination in his law firm in the drama Philadelphia. For his performance, Hanks earned his first Academy Award for Best Actor. For his next film, the romantic comedy-drama Forrest Gump (1994), he received a consecutive second Academy Award for Best Actor which made Hanks the first actor since Spencer Tracy in 1938 to achieve this feat. In 1995, he played astronaut Jim Lovell, in Howard-directed historical drama, Apollo 13, and voiced Sheriff Woody in the animated film Toy Story.

Hanks made his debut as a director and screenwriter in the 1996 musical comedy That Thing You Do! Later in the same year, he founded with Gary Goetzman, his own film and television production company called Playtone. In 1998, Hanks executive produced the Emmy Award-winning docudrama miniseries From the Earth to the Moon and starred in Steven Spielberg-directed epic war film, Saving Private Ryan, which earned him his fourth nomination for Best Actor at the Academy Awards. Later that year, he reunited with Meg Ryan in another Ephron directed-romantic comedy, You've Got Mail. He also reprised his role in Toy Story, for its sequel, Toy Story 2. In 2000, Hanks starred in Cast Away, which earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama and a fifth nomination for Academy Award for Best Actor. In 2001, he executive produced Emmy Award-winning World War II mini-series Band of Brothers and the romantic comedy, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. The following year at the age of 45, he became the youngest person to receive the lifetime achievement award from the American Film Institute. This was followed in 2004, by BAFTA Los Angeles awarding him the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film.In 2006, he played Professor Robert Langdon in the Howard-directed adaptation of the best-selling book of the same name, The Da Vinci Code. Two years later he executive produced musical comedy Mamma Mia (2008) and Emmy Award-winning mini-series John Adams (2008). In 2010, he reprised his role in Toy Story in its second sequel, Toy Story 3 and also executive produced the Emmy Award-winning mini-series The Pacific. He made a return in 2011 to directing in the romantic comedy Larry Crowne. The following year he starred in The Wachowskis-directed film adaptation of the novel of the same name Cloud Atlas (2012) and executive produced the Emmy Award-winning mini-series Game Change (2012). Hanks made his Broadway debut in 2013 in Ephron's play, Lucky Guy, which earned him a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play.

In 2017, he played the titular character in the YouTube animated web-series The Musical World of Mr. Zoink.

List of awards and nominations received by Tom Hanks

Actor, director, and filmmaker, Tom Hanks has been honored with numerous awards and nominations, including two consecutive Oscars for Philadelphia (1993) and Forrest Gump (1994). Tom Hanks has won a total of 50 awards on this list.

Philadelphia (film)

Philadelphia is a 1993 American drama film and one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to acknowledge HIV/AIDS, homosexuality, and homophobia. It was written by Ron Nyswaner, directed by Jonathan Demme and stars Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington.Hanks won the Academy Award for Best Actor at the 66th Academy Awards for his role as Andrew Beckett in the film, while the song "Streets of Philadelphia" by Bruce Springsteen won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Nyswaner was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, but lost to Jane Campion for The Piano.

Saving Private Ryan

Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic war film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat. Set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II, the film is notable for its graphic portrayal of war, and for the intensity of its opening 27 minutes, which includes a depiction of the Omaha Beach assault during the Normandy landings. It follows United States Army Rangers Captain John H. Miller (Tom Hanks) and a squad (Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Adam Goldberg, and Jeremy Davies) as they search for a paratrooper, Private First Class James Francis Ryan (Matt Damon), who is the last surviving brother of four servicemen.

Producer Mark Gordon pitched Rodat's idea, which was inspired by the Niland brothers, to Paramount Pictures in 1996, who eventually began development on the project. Spielberg, who at the time was forming DreamWorks Pictures, came on board to direct the project and both DreamWorks and Paramount jointly produce and release the film. After the cast went through training supervised by Marine veteran Dale Dye, the film's principal photography started in June 1997 and lasted two months. The film's D-Day scenes were shot in Omaha Beach, Curracloe Strand, Ballinesker, just east of Curracloe, County Wexford, Ireland.

Released on July 24, 1998, the film received universal acclaim from critics and audiences; praise was given to Spielberg's directing, the performances (particularly from Hanks), realistic portrayal of its battle sequences and historical period, cinematography, score, and screenplay. It was a box office success, grossing $216.8 million domestically, making it the highest-grossing film of 1998 in the United States, and $481.8 million worldwide, making it the second-highest-grossing film of 1998 worldwide. The film grossed $44 million from its release on home video in May 1999. At the 71st Academy Awards, the film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Hanks and Best Original Screenplay; it won five, including Spielberg's second win for Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing.

Since its release, Saving Private Ryan has been widely lauded as an influential film in the war film genre. It has been credited for renewing interest in old and new World War II films, video games, and novels. In 2014, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Sully (film)

Sully (also known as Sully: Miracle on the Hudson) is a 2016 American biographical drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Todd Komarnicki, based on the autobiography Highest Duty by Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow. The film stars Tom Hanks as Sullenberger, with Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney, Anna Gunn, Autumn Reeser, Holt McCallany, Jamey Sheridan, and Jerry Ferrara in supporting roles. The film follows Sullenberger's January 2009 emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River, in which all 155 passengers and crew survived with only minor injuries, and the subsequent publicity and investigation.

Sully premiered at the 43rd Annual Telluride Film Festival on September 2, 2016, and was released in the United States by Warner Bros. on September 9, 2016, in conventional and IMAX theaters. The film received positive reviews from critics and grossed over $240 million worldwide, but created controversy with its fictionalized portrayal of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as "prosecutorial and closed-minded." The American Film Institute and National Board of Review both selected it as one of their ten best films of 2016., and it received an Academy Award nomination for Best Sound Editing at the 89th Academy Awards.

That Thing You Do!

That Thing You Do! is a 1996 American music comedy film starring, written and directed by Tom Hanks in his directorial debut. It tells the story of the rise and fall of a fictional 1960s one-hit wonder pop band. The film also resulted in a musical hit with the song "That Thing You Do".

The Circle (2017 film)

The Circle is a 2017 American techno-thriller film directed by James Ponsoldt with a screenplay by Ponsoldt and Dave Eggers, based on Eggers' 2013 novel of the same name. The film stars Emma Watson and Tom Hanks, with John Boyega, Karen Gillan, Ellar Coltrane, Patton Oswalt, Glenne Headly, and Bill Paxton in supporting roles. It is the penultimate performance of Headly's career and the final performance of Paxton's career, and was released just after his death in February 2017.

The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 26, 2017, and was theatrically released on April 28, 2017, by STXfilms and EuropaCorp. It received negative reviews but grossed $40 million worldwide against a budget of $18 million, becoming director Ponsoldt's highest grossing feature.

The Great Buck Howard

The Great Buck Howard is a 2008 American comedy-drama film directed by Sean McGinly that stars Colin Hanks and John Malkovich. Tom Hanks also appears as the father of his real-life son's character. The character Buck Howard is inspired by the mentalist The Amazing Kreskin, whose popularity was at its height in the 1970s. The film premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival on January 18, 2008. It is the first Walden Media film to be distributed by Magnolia Pictures.

The Post (film)

The Post is a 2017 American historical political thriller film directed and produced by Steven Spielberg, and written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer. It stars Meryl Streep as Katharine Graham, the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee, the executive editor of The Washington Post, with Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford, David Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Carrie Coon, Alison Brie, and Matthew Rhys in supporting roles. Set in 1971, The Post depicts the true story of attempts by journalists at The Washington Post to publish the Pentagon Papers, classified documents regarding the 30-year involvement of the United States government in the Vietnam War.

Principal photography began in New York City in May 2017. The film premiered at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on December 14, 2017, and went into limited release in the United States on December 22, 2017. It entered wide release on January 12, 2018, and grossed $179 million worldwide.

The film received positive reviews: critics praised the performances—particularly those of Streep, Hanks, and Odenkirk—and the film's references and allusions to the presidencies of Richard Nixon and Donald Trump. The Post was chosen by the National Board of Review as the best film of 2017 and was named as one of the top 10 films of the year by Time and the American Film Institute. The Post was nominated for Best Picture and Best Actress (for Streep) at the 90th Academy Awards, and received six nominations at the 75th Golden Globe Awards: Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director, Best Actress – Drama (for Streep), Best Actor – Drama (for Hanks), Best Screenplay, and Best Original Score.

Toy Story 4

Toy Story 4 is an upcoming American 3D computer-animated comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney Pictures. It is the fourth installment in the Toy Story series, and the sequel to Toy Story 3 (2010). It is directed by Josh Cooley, with the script written by Stephany Folsom and Andrew Stanton, while previous films' writers John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Stanton, and Lee Unkrich conceiving the film's story.The film continues from Toy Story 3, where Sheriff Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), among their other toy friends, have found new appreciation after being given by Andy Davis to Bonnie Anderson. They are introduced to Forky (Tony Hale), a spork that has been made into a toy, and they soon embark on a road trip adventure alongside old and new friends. In addition to Hanks and Allen, the film will feature returning cast members, including Annie Potts reprising her role as Bo Peep, while Don Rickles, who died in April 2017, will appear posthumously as Mr. Potato Head through the use of archival recordings. New additions include Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Keanu Reeves, and Christina Hendricks.

The film is set to be released in theaters on June 21, 2019, in RealD 3D, Dolby Cinema, and IMAX 3D.

Tom Hanks

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