TOM HANKS Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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Born in Concord, California on July 9, 1956 Thomas J. Hanks was the third of four children of Amos and Janet Hanks. His parents divorced when young Tom was 5 years old. His first gained prominence in the early eighties by landing a co-starring role in the TV series “Bosom Buddies,” where he played a man forced to dress in drag in order to be able to stay at a women’s-only hotel. The show was cancelled after only two seasons. After this inauspicious start, Hanks didn’t make any real waves until 1984, when his big break came along in the form of a Disney film about a mermaid. The film was Splash!, and it was a tremendous box-office success. The young actor then starred in a string of unremarkable comedies such as Bachelor Party (1984), The Man with One Red Shoe (1985), and Volunteers (1985), and for a while it seemed like his career had reached a plateau. In 1988, however, Hanks starred in Penny Marshall’s Big, which earned him an Oscar? nomination and many favorable reviews. In the film, Hanks displayed a more poignant side to his comedy that hadn’t really been on display before, proving himself a versatile performer. This versatility was showcased even more in A League of Their Own (1992), where Hanks played an out-of-shape ex-baseball player coaching a women’s team.


The very next year, Hanks went completely against character by playing a homosexual living with AIDS in Philadelphia (1993). His portrayal was a revelation, and showed audiences an entirely new facet of his considerable talent. He won the Academy Award for the role, and it was the turning point in his career. The next year Hanks achieved one of Hollywood’s rarest doubles by earning back-to-back Oscars, only the second actor ever to do so. This time, the film was Forrest Gump, a picture which was notable not only for Hanks’ memorable one-liners but for its clever special effects as well. Hanks was now officially A-list.


His run of successes continued with films like Apollo 13 (1995), Toy Story (1995), and Saving Private Ryan (1998), as well as a couple of very popular films with co-star Meg Ryan, Sleepless in Seattle (1993) and You’ve Got Mail (1998). All of these were both critical and commercial hits; another measure of Hanks’ abilities. His most recent projects were The Green Mile (1999), Toy Story 2 (1999), and Cast Away (2000), for which he received his fifth Academy Award nomination. In addition, Hanks has found success wearing other hats, having executive-produced a pair of remarkable television miniseries: “From the Earth to the Moon” (1998) and “Band of Brothers” (2001). He is married to actress Rita Wilson.