The Full name of Tom Hanks is Thomas Jeffrey Hanks, He was born in Concord , California, on July 9, 1956, to hospital worker Janet Marylyn (née Frager, 1932–2016) and itinerant cook Amos Mefford Hanks (1924–1992). His mother was of Portuguese descent (her family’s surname was originally “Fraga”), while his father had English ancestry. His parents divorced in 1960.
Their three oldest children, Sandra (later Sandra Hanks Benoiton, a writer),Larry (an entomology professor at the Univerity of llinois at Urbana- Champaign, 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. In his childhood, Hanks’ family moved often; by the age of 10, he had lived in 10 different houses.
While Hanks’ family religious history was Catholic and Mormon, he has characterized his teenage self as being a “Bible-toting evangelical ” for several years. 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, 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.
Hanks studied theater at Chabot College in Hayward,California and transferred to California State University , Saacramento after two years. 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. He told New Yourk 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 William, ibsen, and all that.
During his years studying theater, Hanks met Vincent Dowling, head of the Great Lakes Theater Festival in Cleveland , Ohio. 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 Gentleman of Verona, one of the few times he played a villain. In 2010, Time magazine named Hanks one of the “Top 10 College Dropouts.
Thomas Jeffrey Hanks (born July 9, 1956) is an American actor and filmmaker. Known for both his comedic and dramatic roles, Hanks is one of the most popular and recognizable film stars worldwide, and is widely regarded as an American cultural icon. Hanks’ films have grossed more than $4.9 billion in North America and more than $9.96 billion worldwide, making him the fifth-highest-grossing actor in North America.
Hanks made his breakthrough with leading roles in the comedies splash (1984) and Big (1988). He won two consecutive Academy Awards for Best Actor for starring as a gay lawyer suffering from AIDS in Philadelphia (1993) and a young man with below-average IQ in Forrest Gum (1994), Hanks collaborated with film director steven spielberg on five films: Saving Private (1998),Catch me if you can (2002), The Terminal (2004),Bridge of Spies (2015), and The Post (2017), as well as the 2001 miniseriesBand of Brothers, which launched him as a director, producer, and screenwriter.
Hanks’ other notable films include the romantic comedies Sleepless in Seaattle (1993) and You’ve Got Mail (1998); the dramas Apollo13 (1995),The Green Mile (1999),Cast Away (2000), Road to perdition (2002), and Cloud Atlas (2012); and the biographical dramas Saving Mr. Banks (2013), Captain Phillips (2013), Sully (2016), and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019). He has also starred in the Robert Langdon films series, and has voiced Sheriff Woddy in the Toy story film series.
Hank’s accolades include two Academy Awards. He has received the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 2004. In 2014, he received a Kennedy Center Honor, and in 2016, he received a Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, as well as the French Legion of Honor.
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) and landed a starring role in the television movie Mazes and Monsters. Early that year, he was cast in the lead, Callimaco, in the Riverside Shakespeare Company’s production of Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Mandrake, directed by Daniel Southern. The following year, Hanks landed 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. 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. 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. He also had a sizable hit with the sex comedy Bachelor Party, also in 1984. In 1983–84, Hanks made three guest appearances on Family Ties as Elyse Keaton’s alcoholic brother, Ned Donnelly.
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.”
After a few more flops and a moderate success with the comedy Dragnet, Hanks’ stature in the film industry rose.
Hanks on the film of Forrest Gum
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. For his performance in the film, Hanks earned his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. 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 Bonfirec of the Vanities (1990). 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). Hanks has said 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. 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.
In Philadelphia, he played a gay lawyer with AIDS who sues his firm for discrimination. 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. 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.
Hanks followed Philadelphia with the 1994 hit Forrest Gump which grossed a worldwide total of over $600 million at the box office. 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. (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.)
Hanks’ next role as astronaut and commander Jim Lovell in the 1995 film Apollo 13 reunited him with Ron Howard. 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 Woddy.
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. Hanks and producer Gtary Goetzman went on to create Playtone, a record and film production company named after the record company in the film.
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.
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. It earned the praise and respect of the film community, critics, and the general public. 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. 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. In 1999, Hanks starred in an adaptation of the Stephen King novel The Green Mile. 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 Zemecki’s Cast Away.
In 2001, Hanks helped direct and produce the Emmy Award-winning HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. He also appeared in the September 11 television special America: A Tribute to Heroes and the documentary Rescued From the Closet He then teamed up with American Beauty director Sam Mendes for the adaptation of Max Allan Collins’s and Richard Piers Rayner’s DC Comics graphic novel Roaad to Predition, 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 Leonaardo DiCaprio in the hit biographical crime drama Caatch Me If You Can, based on the true story of Fraank Abagnaale Jr . The same year, Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson produced the hit movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. In August 2007, he along with co-producers Rita Wilson and Gary Goetzman, and writer and star Nia Vardaalos, initiated a legal action against the production company Gold Circle Films for their share of profits from the movie. At the age of 45, Hanks became the youngest-ever recipient of the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award on June 12, 2002.