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Tom Hanks Biography

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Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
Concord, California
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Tom Hanks Biography

Born in California, Tom Hanks grew up in what he calls a 'fractured' family. His parents were pioneers in the development of marriage dissolution law in that state, and Tom moved around a lot, living with a succession of step-families. No problems, no abuse, no alcoholism, just a confused childhood. He had no acting experience in college, and in fact credits the fact that he couldn't get cast in a college play with actually starting his career - he went downtown, auditioned for a community theater play, was invited by the director of that play to go to Cleveland, and there his acting career started. He met his second wife, actress Rita Wilson on the set of the movie Volunteers (1985) - they have two children and Tom has another son and daughter by his first wife. In 1996 he made his first step behind the camera, directing as well as starring and writing the film That Thing You Do! (1996).

Tom Hanks Trivia

Is a frequent guest host on "Saturday Night Live" (1975).

Received the Distinguished Public Service Award, the U. S. Navy's highest civilian honor, on Veterans Day 1999 for his work in the movie Saving Private Ryan (1998).

Entertainment Weekly chose him as the only actor worthy of $20 million.

Dislocated his shoulder when he fell through a rotting floor in building in Germany while scouting locations with Steven Spielberg for prospective HBO series, "Band of Brothers" (2001) (mini). [Fall 1999]

First to win back-to-back Best Actor Oscars since Spencer Tracy for Captains Courageous (1937) and Boys Town (1938).

Ranked #17 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]

Attended Skyline high school, Oakland, California.

Attended Chabot College in Hayward, California.

Attended California State University, Sacramento.

Voted best actor by the readers of the "US Magazine" in 1995.

Younger brother of Sandra Hanks and Larry Hanks and older brother of Jim Hanks.

After a one-shot guest appearance on "Happy Days" (1974), producer Ron Howard asked him to read for a secondary part in Splash (1984), and he got the lead instead.

Children, with Lewes, Colin Hanks (b. 1977) and Elizabeth Hanks (b. 1982).

Married first wife Samantha Lewes (real name: Susan Dillingham) two months after their son, Colin, was born.

Hanks cited the help of a nearby ice cream shop which helped him gain 30 pounds for his role in A League of Their Own (1992).

Received emergency treatment for serious staph infection in leg in summer, 1999 after returning from overseas location shoot.

Was asked to play the title role in Jerry Maguire (1996).

Born at 11:17 AM

His Oscar acceptance speech for 1993's Philadelphia (1993) led to the plot of the movie In & Out (1997). Hanks thanked a gay teacher in his speech.

Has another brother who is a professor at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, IL.

Received American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award, presented by fellow Oscar-winner Steven Spielberg on 12 June 2002 in Los Angeles. The youngest ever recipient.

Has also credited Joe Spano, former co-star of _"Hill Street Blues" (1981)_ , as being another of his most important early inspirations.

Returned to Skyline High School, his old school in Oakland, California, to dedicate a renovated theater named for Rawley T. Farnsworth, the retired drama teacher he thanked in his Philadelphia (1993) Oscar speech. Oakland Tribune reports Hanks donated about 1/4 of the $465,000 cost of the project. Then he led audience of some 1000 people in chorus of "There's No Business Like Show Business" (3 June 2002).

According to Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard), he is a huge Trekkie and the first time the two met, Star Trek was the only thing he wanted to talk about. Hanks was actually the original choice to play Zefram Cochrane in Star Trek: First Contact (1996), and desperately wanted to play the role, but had to back out due to his earlier commitment to That Thing You Do! (1996).

Is a member of the International Thespian Society (a group supporting theatre for high school students internationally).

Children with Rita Wilson: Chester Marlon (b. 4 August 1990) and Truman Theodore (b. 26 December 1995).

Jim Lovell, whom Hanks played in Apollo 13 (1995), is actually left-handed, but Hanks refused to write with his left hand for the movie.

Tom Hanks is a fourth cousin, four generations removed from Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States. Their common ancestors were William and Sarah Hanks, who were great-great-great grandparents of the former president.

Ranked #13 in Premiere's 2003 annual Power 100 List. Had ranked #15 in 2002.

Is a diehard Cleveland Indians baseball team fan.

Ranked #1 on Star TV's Top Ten Box Office stars of the 1990s (2003)

Lost 30 lbs. for his role in Philadelphia (1993).

Gained, then lost 50+ lbs. for his role in Cast Away (2000).

Is a fan of English Premier League soccer team Aston Villa and was presented with a shirt on a TV show with the print 'Hanks 1' on the back.

Has been referred to by many as "the modern James Stewart".

Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith, pg. 205-206. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387

His heroic Oscar-winning gay character Andrew Beckett in the 1993 film Philadelphia (1993) was ranked #49 on the Amerian Film Institute's heroes list of the 100 years of The Greatest Screen Heroes and Villians.

He was voted the 26th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

His three favourite bands/artists are Elvis Presley, Patrick Rondat and Alabama Thunderpussy.

His first wife, Samantha Lewes, died of cancer.

Had made three films with director Steven Spielberg, all of which are tied to Europe. Saving Private Ryan (1998) revolved around his character and his infantry seeking out a missing private in Europe. Catch Me If You Can (2002) involved his character tracking down Frank Abagnale Jr. in France and in The Terminal (2004), his character was from the fictional eastern European country of Krakohzia.

Shortly before the release of Columbia Pictures' Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001), he was one of several actors speaking out against the use of "synthespians" (computer-generated actors) in the place of flesh-and-blood humans. Nevertheless, he took the lead role in the computer-animated film The Polar Express (2004), a film highly-publicized for its use of new (and expensive) technique of digital actors.

In 1994 - 2004 period, he is the most nominated performer nominated for an Academy Award (4 times, along Sean Penn, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Judi Dench and Ed Harris) and is the most winner (2 times).

Was considered for the role of Peter Banning (Peter Pan) in Hook (1991).

Was listed as a potential nominee on the 2005 Razzie Award nominating ballot. He was suggested in the Worst Actor category for his roles in the films The Polar Express (2004) (Referred to as "Bi-Polar Express" on the ballot), The Ladykillers (2004) and The Terminal (2004). He did not receive a nomination however.

Has been good friends with Bruce Springsteen since youth.

When he once worked as a hotel bellman, some of the celebrity guests whose bags he carried included, Cher, Sidney Poitier, Slappy White and Bill Withers

Premiere Magazine ranked him as #28 on a list of the Greatest Movie Stars of All Time in their Stars in Our Constellation feature (2005).

He is an environmental conservationist and often advocates and supports natural causes.

In three of his movies, he has had a scene where he is stranded at sea: Splash (1984), Joe Versus the Volcano (1990), and Cast Away (2000).

Has worked with two actors who played Howard Hughes. In Philadelphia (1993), he worked with Jason Robards, who played Hughes in Melvin and Howard (1980) for director Jonathan Demme. His cast mate in Catch Me If You Can (2002) was Leonardo DiCaprio, who played Hughes in The Aviator (2004) for Martin Scorsese.

He and actress Meg Ryan have been co-stars in three movies as love interests: Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Joe Versus the Volcano (1990) and You've Got Mail (1998).

Shares his birthday with Jack White, David O'Hara, Courtney Love, Chris Cooper, O.J. Simpson and Donald Rumsfeld.

Ancestors of his from England, many of whom eventually settled in America, sharing the name "Hanks" can be traced back several centuries.

Attended John Swett Elementary School (Oakland, California)

Member of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Actors Branch) [2001-]

Related to Bill Cosby's wife Camille O. Cosby(née Camille Olivia Hanks), as both share a biological lineage to Abraham Lincoln through his mother, Nancy Hanks.

Attended Edna Brewer Jr. High School in Oakland, California.

Sold popcorn and peanuts as a teenager at the Oakland Coliseum

His performance as Josh Baskin in Big (1988) is ranked #15 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).

His performance as Chuck Noland in Cast Away (2000) is ranked #46 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).

He and President George Bush are both related to nineteenth century Presidents. Bush, a Republican, is descended, by way of his mother's family, from Franklin Pierce, one of the last Democratic presidents before Lincoln. Hanks, a Democrat, is descended from the family of the mother of Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president.

His top five all-time favorite films are 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), The Godfather (1972), Fargo (1996), Elephant (2003) and Boogie Nights (1997), with Stanley Kubrick's film holding the top ranking.

His performance as Forrest Gump in Forrest Gump (1994) is ranked #43 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.

[About acting to people's expectations of a book] It's a tricky thing. When it's done well - it's Gone with the Wind (1939). When it's done badly - it's The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990). And I was in Bonfire Of The Vanities!

Is the second most-represented actor (behind Sidney Poitier and Gary Cooper) on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time, with four of his films making the list. They are: Forrest Gump (1994) at #37, Philadelphia (1993) at #20, Apollo 13 (1995) at #12, and Saving Private Ryan (1998) at #10.

Ranked #16 on Premiere's 2006 "Power 50" list. Had ranked #16 in 2005 as well.

Biography/bibliography in: "Contemporary Authors". Volume 244, pages 199-202. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2006.

As of 2006 he is tied with Tom Cruise for the actor with the most consecutive $100 million-grossing movies (7).

Frequently works with director Steven Spielberg, and is related to Nancy Hanks, the mother of Abraham Lincoln. Ironically, he is not involved in Spielberg's film about Abraham Lincoln, despite Hanks's frequent involvement in historical projects.

Both his maternal grandparents, though born in California, had Portuguese ancestry, originally from the islands of Azores.

Forbes magazine estimated his 1999 earnings at $71.5 million.

Cited as America's Favorite Movie Star in Harris Polls conducted in 2002, 2004, 2005, a record number of times as the #1 favorite. Harrison Ford and Clint Eastwood are the only other actors to have achieved that feat.

Was a member of Monty Python for one night only, filling in for John Cleese, at A Concert For George.

He was married to Rita Wilson at Saint Sophia's church.

Was in attendance at Princess Diana's funeral along with Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and so on.

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