Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- This article is about the actor Thomas Jeffrey Hanks. See Thomas Hanks for information about the scientist.
Thomas Jeffrey Hanks (born July 9 1956) is an American actor famous for playing notable roles in many popular and critically acclaimed movies. He is well known for his acting ability, and is able to play characters that range from the vulnerable Forrest Gump, to the inspirational lead in Philadelphia, to the never-say-die commander in Apollo 13. Hanks is generally known for his ability to imbue "nice-guy" roles with warmth, for example in the romantic comedy Sleepless in Seattle, but is quite capable of taking the role of a mob hitman in Road to Perdition.
Though Hanks starred mostly in comedies in the early part of his career, he later moved away from comedies and started making mostly more-serious dramas. However, in recent years he has gone back to his comedic roots, being featured in more comedies.
Hanks is currently one of the most sought-after leading men in Hollywood. His salary for two recent movies was USD$20 million each. His portrayal of the likeable lead in Forrest Gump earned him $70 million.
Born in Concord, California, Hanks later studied theatre at California State University, Sacramento. He couldn't get cast in a college play so he auditioned for community theater instead. He was invited by the director of that play to go to Cleveland, and it was there his acting career started.
Hanks is liberal and he has supported many Democratic candidates during the last few elections.
Hanks has been married to actress Rita Wilson since 1988. They met while working on the movie Volunteers (1985). They have two children together. Hanks was married previously to Samantha Lewes from 1978 to 1987. That union also produced two children (one of whom is actor/son Colin Hanks).
Hanks also won back-to-back Academy Awards for Best Actor for his roles in Philadelphia (1993) and Forrest Gump (1994). He was the youngest ever recipient of the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award on June 12, 2002.
Hanks claims to be a relative of James Hanks, one of several possible fathers of Nancy Hanks, mother of United States president Abraham Lincoln. A map of his family tree showing the purported connection can be found in the External links section.
- He Knows You're Alone (1980)
- Splash (1984)
- Bachelor Party (1984)
- The Man with One Red Shoe (1985)
- Volunteers (1985)
- The Money Pit (1986)
- Nothing in Common (1986)
- Every Time We Say Goodbye (1986)
- Dragnet (1987)
- Big (1988)
- Punchline (1988)
- The 'burbs (1989)
- Turner & Hooch (1989)
- Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)
- The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)
- Radio Flyer (1992)
- A League of Their Own (1992)
- Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
- Philadelphia (1993)
- Forrest Gump (1994)
- Apollo 13 (1995)
- The Celluloid Closet (1995) (documentary)
- Toy Story (1995) (voice)
- That Thing You Do! (1996) (also director and writer)
- Saving Private Ryan (1998)
- You've Got Mail (1998)
- Toy Story 2 (1999) (voice)
- The Green Mile (1999)
- Cast Away (2000) (also producer)
- Road to Perdition (2002)
- Catch Me If You Can (2002)
- The Ladykillers (2004)
- The Terminal (2004)
- Elvis Has Left the Building (2004) (Cameo)
- The Polar Express (2004) (also executive producer)
- A Cold Case (2005) (currently in pre-production)
- The Da Vinci Code (2006) (currently in pre-production)
- The Risk Pool (2006) (currently announced start of production) (also producer)
- Tom Hanks's (partial) family tree (links him to former US president Abraham Lincoln)
- Tom Hanks DVDology
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