The Polar Express, Toy Story, and Forrest Gump. What do they all have in common, you might ask? All the main characters in these movies were acted or voiced by the one and only, Tom Hanks. Now, who is Tom Hanks? Tom Hanks is a famous American actor known for his humor in many different movies such as The Terminal, Forrest Gump, and Big. Hanks’s rise to fame is a story worth telling.
Thomas Jeffery Hanks was born on July 9, 1956, in concord California. His mother was Janet Marylyn Frager, and his father was Amos Mefford Hanks. Tom had a rough childhood because his parents divorced when he was only five. His three eldest siblings; Sandra, Larry, and Tom went with his father, and Hanks and his younger brother, Jim, stayed with his mother in Red Bluff, California. Thomas had already moved about ten times when he reached the age of ten, finally settling in Oakland, in high school.
'I was a geek, a spaz. I was horribly, painfully, terribly shy.” Tom Hanks states. He was unpopular with students and teachers throughout his education. In high school, Tom participated in many school plays and joined the junior college in Hayward California, deciding to pursue acting after reading and watching the performance of The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O’Neill. He later transferred to the theatre program at California State University in Sacramento. In 1977, while studying theatre, Hanks met Vincent Dowling, head of the Great Lakes Theater Festival. He later dropped out of college after working for three years there as an intern.
In 1979 Tom Hanks moved to New York, where after many auditions, he landed a role in He Knows You’re Alone. He then starred in many shows such as Happy Days, Taxi, Love boat, and Family ties. He also married Samantha Lewes in 1978. In 1982, the director of Happy days remember Hanks and encouraged him to read for a part in the movie Splash. The role he was auditioning for was later given to John Candy, and instead, Hanks was given the lead part in the film. This movie made Tom Hanks a recognizable name and he gained a lot of popularity. Throughout 1982 and 1988 Tom hanks continued acting in movies. He also divorced Samantha in 1978 and married his current wife, Rita Wilson, a year later. In 1988, he acted in a well-known movie, Big. The movie was a major hit, and Hanks even won his first award for ‘Best Actor.
Over the next few years, Tom’s acting skills failed to become as popular as they did with Big. In 1994 Tom hanks played the main role in Forrest Gump and did a phenomenal job, winning an Oscar for best picture and director, becoming the first person in 50 years to accomplish that feat. In 1999 he voiced sheriff woody in Toy Story 2, making a record-breaking box-office sale of 80.8 million. When 2008 came to be, Hanks released and co-produced the film The great buck Howard, and also was the executive producer of Game changer, a film in 2012. Some of Tom Hanks’s honorable mentions are; The Terminal, Apollo 13, Sully, Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, Castaway, and Philadelphia.
Comedy, romance, and drama, what else can you ask for in a movie? Tom Hanks! Growing up in California, acting in school plays to becoming famous in New York, nailing his roles in movies, time and time again. And if you haven’t seen a Tom Hanks movie yet, I have no clue what you’re waiting for.