Happy birthday Tom Hanks!


Photo by Andy Gotts

Tom Hanks (born July 9, 1956) is an American actor, producer, writer, and director. Some of his best known films include Philadelphia (1993) Forrest Gump (1994), and Saving Private Ryan (1998). He is considered one of Hollywood's top performers.


Hanks was born in Concord, California to Amos Mefford and Janet Marylyn Hanks. His parents divorced when he was five years old, and he was raised by his father, along with his brother and sister. He attended high school in Oakland, California. After attending junior college in Hayward, he became inspired by the play The Iceman Cometh, by Eugene O'Neill, and decided to study acting. He enrolled at California State University Sacramento.


After bouncing back and forth between acting in several Shakespearean plays with the Great Lakes Festival in Ohio and returning home to Sacramento to attend school, he finally decided to move to New York City to pursue his acting career. The first role he got was a small part in the slasher film He Knows You're Alone (1980). Not long after, he was spotted by an ABC talent scout and landed a role in the series Bosom Buddies. Though it was canceled after only two seasons, it led to appearances in other shows such as Happy Days, Taxi, The Love Boat and Family Ties.

Throughout the 1980s, he appeared in a series of films which were not well received. Bachelor Party (1984), The Man With One Red Shoe (1985), Volunteers (1985), The Money Pit (1986) and Dragnet (1987) all got bad reviews, but Hanks' performances were never a point of complaint.

Hanks' reputation transformed when he appeared in Big (1988), the story of a 13-year-old boy trapped in a 35-year-old's body. The role earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. (Image source)





It wasn't until 1993 that Hanks was able to match the box office success of Big. He starred in the romantic comedy Sleepless in Seattle alongside Meg Ryan



and Philadelphia, the story of a man fired from his position as a high-profile lawyer because he had AIDS. Hanks won an Oscar for Best Actor in Philadelphia.

Hanks won his second straight Best Actor Oscar the following year for his performance in Forrest Gump (1994).


Over the next few years, he appeared in several big-hitters including Apollo 13 (1996), Saving Private Ryan (1998), and You've Got Mail (1998).



In 1999, Hanks soared to the top of Hollywood when he reprised the role of Woody in Toy Story 2.

His next big hit was the film Cast Away (2000), in which he plays a man stranded on a desert island.



Since 2000, Hanks has explored his talents, producing the films My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) and Magnificent Desolation (2005). He has acted in the Coen brothers' Ladykillers (2004) and Spielberg's The Terminal (2004), and the hit adaptation The Da Vinci Code (2006).

In 2002, Hanks was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute.






Photo Credit: Mark Abrahams

Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Wednesday, 09 July 2014
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