Biography for Tom Hanks
Thomas Jeffrey Hanks
6′ 1″ (1.85 m)
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 HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0001854/” Rita Wilson
on the set of the movie HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0090274/”
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 HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0117887/” That Thing You Do! (1996).
IMDb mini-biography by
E” Bruce Cameron
Playing conflicted regular guys
Is a frequent guest host on HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0072562/” “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
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0120815/” Saving Private Ryan
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 HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0000229/” Steven Spielberg for prospective HBO
series, HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0185906/” “Band of
Brothers” (2001) (mini). [Fall 1999]
Rumored to be excutive producer on a new Fox show, HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0233124/” “West Point” (2000). 
First to win back-to-back Best Actor Oscars since HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0000075/” Spencer Tracy for HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0028691/” Captains Courageous (1937) and
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0029942/” 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.
Brother of HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0360028/” Jim Hanks .
After a one-shot guest appearance on HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0070992/” “Happy Days” (1974), producer
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0000165/” Ron Howard asked him to
read for a secondary part in HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0088161/” Splash (1984), and he got the lead
Children, with Lewes, HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0004988/”
Colin Hanks (b. 1977) and HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0360019/”
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 HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0104694/” 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 HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0116695/” Jerry Maguire (1996).
Born at 11:17 AM
His Oscar acceptance speech for 1993’s HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0107818/” Philadelphia (1993) led to the plot
of the movie HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0119360/” In & Out
(1997). Hanks thanked a gay teacher in his speech.
Has another brother who is a professor at the University of Illinois in
Received American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award, presented by
fellow Oscar-winner HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0000229/”
Steven Spielberg on 12 June 2002 in Los Angeles. The youngest ever
Has also credited HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0816876/” Joe
Spano , former co-star of HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0081873/”
“Hill Street Blues” (1981), as being another of his most important
Returned to Skyline High School, his old school in Oakland, CA, to
dedicate a renovated theater named for Rawley T. Farnsworth, the retired
drama teacher he thanked in his “Philadelphia” 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 HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0001772/” 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 HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0117731/” Star Trek: First Contact (1996),
and desperately wanted to play the role, but had to back out due to his
earlier commitment to HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0117887/”
That Thing You Do! (1996).
Is a member of the International Thespian Society (a group supporting
theatre for high school students internationally).
Children with HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0001854/” Rita Wilson
: Chester Marlon (b. 4 August 1990) and Truman Theodore (b. 26 December
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0522554/” Jim Lovell , whom Hanks
played in HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0112384/” 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
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 HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0107818/” Philadelphia (1993).
Gained, then lost 50+ lbs. for his role in HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0162222/” Cast Away (2000).
Is a fan of English Premier League soccer team Aston Villa.
Has been referred to by many as “the modern HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0000071/” 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
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0107818/” 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
His three favourite bands/artists are HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0000062/” Elvis Presley , Patrick Rondat and
His first wife, Samantha Lewes, died of cancer.
Had made three films with director HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0000229/” Steven Spielberg , all of which are
tied to Europe. HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0120815/” Saving
Private Ryan (1998) revolved around his character and his infantry
seeking out a missing private in Europe. HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0264464/” Catch Me If You Can (2002) involved
his character tracking down HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0007646/” Frank Abagnale Jr. in France and in
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0362227/” The Terminal (2004), his
character was from the fictional eastern European country of Krakohzia.
Shortly before the release of Columbia Pictures’ HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0173840/” 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 HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0338348/”
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 HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0000576/” Sean Penn , HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0000658/” Meryl Streep , HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0000194/” Julianne Moore , HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0001132/” Judi Dench and HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0000438/” Ed Harris ) and is the most winner (2
Was considered for the role of Peter Banning (Peter Pan) in HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0102057/” 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 HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0338348/” The Polar
Express (2004) (Referred to as “Bi-Polar Express” on the ballot),
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0335245/” The Ladykillers (2004)
and HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0362227/” The Terminal
(2004). He did not receive a nomination however.
Has been good friends with HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0819803/”
Bruce Springsteen since youth.
When he once worked as a hotel bellman, some of the celebrity guests
whose bags he carried included, HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0000333/” Cher , HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0001627/” Sidney Poitier , HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0925463/” Slappy White and HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0936719/” Bill Withers
He was voted the 28th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment
Appears uncredited as a member of the Mountie choir for “The Lumberjack
Song” in HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0380275/” Concert for
George (2003) (TV)
He is an environmental conservationist and often advocates and supports
In three of his movies, he has had a scene where he is stranded at sea:
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0088161/” Splash (1984),
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0099892/” Joe Versus the Volcano
(1990), and HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0162222/” Cast Away
Has worked with two actors who played HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0400652/” Howard Hughes . In HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0107818/” Philadelphia (1993), he worked with
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0001673/” Jason Robards , who
played Hughes in HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0081150/” Melvin
and Howard (1980) for director HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0001129/” Jonathan Demme . His cast mate in
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0264464/” Catch Me If You Can
(2002) was HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0000138/” Leonardo
DiCaprio , who played Hughes in HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0338751/” The Aviator (2004) for HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0000217/” Martin Scorsese .
He and actress HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0000212/” Meg Ryan
have been co-stars in three movies as love interests: HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0108160/” Sleepless in Seattle (1993),
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0099892/” Joe Versus the Volcano
(1990) and HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0128853/” You’ve Got
Shares his birthday with HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm1226421/”
Jack White , HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0641244/” David O’Hara
, HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0001482/” Courtney Love ,
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0177933/” Chris Cooper , HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0001740/” O.J. Simpson and HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm1288432/” 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-]
“It’s just as hard…staying happily married as it is doing movies.”
“I’ve made over 20 movies, and 5 of them are good.”
On the CGI used in The Polar Express: “It’s the same stuff they used in
that 4th Lord Of The Rings Movie. Or was it the 19th Lord Of The Rings
Movie? You know, the one where Boldo and Jingy travel across the bridge?
I don’t know, I don’t know their names. When I watch Lord Of The Rings I
just think ‘someone got their finger stuck on the word processor for too
Biography from Leonard Maltin’s Movie Encyclopedia:
The success of this college dropout is based on his breezy, spontaneous
acting style, best exemplified in his triumphant, Oscar-nominated
performance as a man who behaves like a young boy in Penny Marshall’s
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0094737/” Big (1988). This thin,
curly-haired brunet actually made his film debut in the slasher thriller
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0080850/” He Knows You’re Alone
eight years earlier, but didn’t hit the big time until he accepted the
role of reluctant cross-dresser Kip Wilson in the TV sitcom “Bosom
Buddies” (1980-82). The show’s success led to his being cast in the
raucous HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0086927/” Bachelor Party
(1984), a witless but lighthearted comedy that launched him as a screen
Hanks’ choices of projects haven’t always been wise ones, but he has
established himself as one of the brightest and most likable
personalities in contempo- rary movies. In such vehicles as HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0088161/” Splash (1984), as a man who falls
for a mer- maid, and HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0098536/”
Turner & Hooch (1989), as a cop with a dog for a partner, he has proved
to be a major box-office draw as well. He also starred as a harried
homeowner in HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0091541/” The Money
Pit (1986), Jackie Gleason’s long-suffering son in HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0091653/” Nothing in Common (1986), a hip
detective in HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0092925/” Dragnet
(1987), a failed stand-up comic in HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0095927/” Punchline (1988), a nervous
suburbanite in HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0096734/” The
‘burbs (1989), and a terminally ill human sacrifice in HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0099892/” Joe versus the Volcano (1990).
Hanks was badly miscast as yuppie investment banker Sherman McCoy in the
ill-fated adaptation of HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0099165/”
The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), but he was hardly responsible for
the mess. In 1992 he gained weight to take on an unlikely character part
as a boozy baseball manager/has-been in A League of Their Own and scored
a great success, which was topped by his endearing performance as a
wistful widower in the smash hit HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0108160/” Sleepless in Seattle (1993) and a
daring change of pace as a lawyer afflicted with AIDS in HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0107818/” Philadelphia (1993), which won him
an Oscar. He also made his directing debut in 1993 with episodes of the
film-noirish TV series “Fallen Angels” and “A League of Their Own.”
Hanks cemented his superstardom with a sly comic portrayal of a
slowwitted but fast-running innocent in the blockbuster HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0109830/” Forrest Gump (1994); it earned him
a second Best Actor Oscar. He followed this with HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0112384/” Apollo 13 (1995, as astronaut Jim
Lovell). His wife is actress Rita Wilson, with whom he starred in
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0090274/” Volunteers (1985); she
contributed a hilarious scene to HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0108160/” Sleepless in Seattle
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