Tom Hanks, biography, news, photos

Tom Hanks
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Name: Tom Hanks

Real name: Thomas Jeffrey Hanks

Birth date: 9 of July 1956 (63 y.o.)

Place of birth: Concord, California, U.S.

Height: 183 cm Weight: 73 kg

Birth Sign: Cancer

Chinese zodiac: Monkey

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Category: Actors biographies

Photo: Tom Hanks

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Tom Hanks Biography

Tomas Jeffrey Hanks is a legendary American actor, scriptwriter, director, producer and winner of multiple awards and accolades including two «Oscars» and proud owner of a star in Hollywood`s Walk of Fame alley.
Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks

Early life

Tom Hanks was born on July 9, 1956 in Concord, California. He was a third child in a large family; He has two brothers: Jim and Larry and a sister Sandra. His father Mefford Hanks was a cook in a local restaurant and his mother Janet Marylyn (nee Frager) worked in hospital and was a distant relative of Abraham Lincoln.
Little Tom Hanks on his mother`s hands
Little Tom Hanks on his mother`s hands
His parents divorced when he was but a 5 year old child and all kids, except Larry since he was the youngest, stayed with father. He had very little to do with children`s upbringing. He was always busy at work and spent little free time he had with his women. Constantly moving from town to town Tom wasn`t able to establish any long term friendships and grew up shy and introverted kid. When he turned 15 he had changed five schools and struggled to maintain good marks.
Tom Hanks in his school years
Tom Hanks in his school years
But there was one more reason to his lack of commitment to education – theatre. As a child he spent most of his free time watching plays and spectacles and at the age of 12 became part of a troupe preforming in child plays. His father wasn`t impressed by Tom`s hobby, claiming that it won`t bring any money to the family, but Hanks had already decided that he wants to become an actor.
Young Tom Hanks in children`s play (1974)
Young Tom Hanks in children`s play (1974)
After graduating from school Tom Hanks was accepted in University of California and started to study dramatic acting and stage skills. At first he was quite enthusiastic but quickly became disappointed in educational principles, which he considered to be bland, old-fashioned and boring. Young actor wanted to express himself in a more experimental and innovative way, while university had dictated more conventional and dry theory.
Tom Hanks in his youth and now
Tom Hanks in his youth and now
During his first year in the university he became acquainted with Vincent Dowling, head of the «Great Lakes Theater Festival», who hooked him up with first real job behind the stage. For the next three years Tom worked on scene and costume design, light setting and even acquired his first directorial experience. Thanks to this job he got a pretty good idea about all the intricacies of theater life and, when opportunity presented itself, left the university and started touring with a small Cleveland troupe.

Acting career

At the same time Tom settled down to married life with his fellow student Samantha Lewes. Their son Colin was born in 1977 and Hanks had to seriously think on putting food on a table. Young family moved to New York City, city of great opportunities, and Hanks started to stalk theatres and studios looking for a job. First Hanks appearance on a big screen happened, as it is the case for most young actors, in TV series. In 1984 up-and-coming director Ron Howard noticed the actor and gave him a role in his movie «Splash». Tom performed masterfully but this movie didn`t manage to bring him neither popularity he craved, no financial stability he wanted for his family. At this point he already had two kids and, in order to feed them, he had to continue taking part in low quality series and trashy movies like 1984 «Bachelor Party».
Tom Hanks in «Bachelor Party»
Tom Hanks in «Bachelor Party»
This situation had changed drastically after the broad success of the fantasy comedy «Big» in 1988 in which Hanks had starred as a boy suddenly turned adult man. He managed to snatch this role from stars like Robert De Niro, Harrison Ford and Robin Williams, and established himself as a premiere young American actor. His fresh and unique acting style allowed him to claim «Golden Globe» award and his first «Oscar» nomination. Huge amount of money he received for his performance had solved all of his family financial issues. After success of «Big» Hanks became a hot property in the comedy actors market. In the next several years he had scored huge roles in «Turner and Hooch» (1989), «Punchline» (1988) and «The «Burbs» (1989). Mishaps and film failures that unavoidably happened along the way were not able to hold down young actor who finally turned things around.
Tom Hanks in «Big»
Tom Hanks in «Big»
In 1992 Tom Hanks branched away from his comedy character and acted as rude, abusive and perpetually drunk coach in «A League of Their Own». This movie was especially important to Hanks since it was his directorial debut and starred Madonna herself.
Tom Hanks in «Sleepless in Seattle»
Tom Hanks in «Sleepless in Seattle»
Role of a charming single dad in 1993 movie «Sleepless in Seattle» has brought Tom and his film partner Meg Ryan new wave of popularity. In the same year Tom Hanks was able to grab his first «Oscar» for the role of homosexual businessman dying from HIV in «Philadelphia». His outstanding performance in 1994 hit «Forrest Gump», universally regarded as one of the best films of all time, brought a second «Oscar» to his trophy case and elevated his as a world class actor.
«Forrest Gump» trailer
In the middle of 90-s it looked like actor had struck a gold vein. Almost every Hanks` movies were regarded as blockbusters and were nominated to Academy Awards. Movie theaters were bombarded by such masterpieces as «Saving Private Ryan» (1998), «The Green Mile» (1999) and «Cast Away» (2000).
Tom Hanks and Matt Damon in «Saving Private Ryan»
Tom Hanks and Matt Damon in «Saving Private Ryan»
Outstanding performance of Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio in «Catch Me If You Can» became the movie highlight of 2002. Tom had reunited with Meg Ryan in «You`ve Got Mail», and paired with Julia Roberts in «Larry Crowne» comedy film.
Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio in «Catch Me If You Can»
Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio in «Catch Me If You Can»
Actor`s portrayal of Robert Langdon in screen adaptations of Dan Brown`s novels «The Da Vinci Code» (2006), «Angels & Demons» (2009) and «Inferno» (2016) was praised by critics and general public alike. Finally Tom Hanks was able to choose what jobs to take and to build his career the way he wants. Actor continues to perform in movies and surprise his fans with his professional versatility and depth.
«Inferno» trailer
Hanks` films have grossed nearly 4 million dollars making him one of the highest-grossing actors in Hollywood. Funnily enough, «Toy Story 3», where he voiced over Sheriff Woody character, became the most profitable project in his career.
Tom Hanks voiced over Sheriff Woody in «Toy Story» series
Tom Hanks voiced over Sheriff Woody in «Toy Story» series

Personal life

Tom Hanks and his Sacramento University classmate Samantha Lewes married in 1978 and had son Colin and younger daughter Elizabeth. Family had struggled financially so much that sometimes couldn`t afford to repair their car. Mercantile Samantha was not satisfied with this situation and couple was always arguing and quarrelling.
Tom Hanks and his first wife, Samantha Lewes
Tom Hanks and his first wife, Samantha Lewes
Hanks and Rita Wilson met each other on the set in 1985 but, despite mutual love and passion they had to wait for long three year before they could marry officially. For a long time Tom couldn`t bring himself to leave family and decided to file for divorce only in 1987. After all these years actor still feels guilt for abandoning his children from the first marriage.
His second wife, Rita is of Greek origin and orthodox Christian. In order to have big traditional Greek wedding and to follow all orthodox customs, Hanks had to convert to Greek Orthodox Church. Rita gave birth to two children: Chester Marlon Hanks (1990) and Truman Theodor Hanks (1992).
Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson
Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson
Out of four Hanks` children only the oldest son Colin decided to follow his father`s footsteps. Chester also pondered becoming an actor but, in the end, chose career of rap musician. Unfortunately he became addicted to drugs, which became, to his parents and himself, a huge challenge to overcome.

Tom Hanks now

In his sixties Tom hanks remains an active actor, frequently appearing on a big screen, produces new projects, writing movie scripts, voices over characters in cartoons and even appears as a guest in music videos. Americans adore Hanks and many consider him to be a national hero. According to «Harris Poll» publication, American viewers chose Hanks as their favorite actor five times. This unquestionable love and respect earned him an honorary star on Hollywood`s Walk of fame alley.
Tom Hanks in «I Really Like You» music video by Carly Rae Jepsen
In the beginning of 2017 Tom Hanks appeared in new Steven Spielberg movie «The Post». Unfortunately, the movie was boycotted due to political reasons in fourteen Arabic countries of anti-Israeli coalition.
«The Post» trailer
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