Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks


7/9/1956, Concord, California (USA)

Birth Name

Thomas Jeffrey Hanks


  • Tom Hanks appears on Firday Night With J...
out of 10
User Rating
244 votes


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…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Tom says he is a "die-hard" fan of The Voice.

    • Tom has often been referred to as "the modern James Stewart."

    • Tom converted from Roman Catholicism to Eastern Orthodox Christianity when he married his current wife, Rita Wilson.

    • Tom has an asteroid named after him called "12818 tomhanks".

    • Tom revisited Oakland to dedicate a renovated theater to his retired high school drama teacher.

    • Tom has cited Joe Spano as one of his early inspirations.

    • Tom is a fan of Aston Villa, an English Premier League soccer team.

    • Since his childhood, Tom has been close friends with musician Bruce Springsteen.

    • Tom Hanks is a huge Star Trek fan.

    • Both of Tom's maternal grandparents had Portuguese ancestry.

    • After returning from an overseas location shoot in 1999, Tom required emergency treatment for serious staph infection in his leg.

    • Tom is an environmental conservationist.

    • Tom bought a stone in front of Jacobs Field in Cleveland when it was built.

    • Tom once worked as a hotel bellman, carrying luggage for Cher, Sidney Poitier, among others.

    • Nearly a half decade after high school, Tom spent his summers acting in several Shakespeare plays and his winters backstage in a community theater in Sacramento.

    • During high school, Tom entertained his class by acting in school plays and performing his comedic talents.

    • Tom moved often as a kid because his father was an itinerant cook.

    • Tom has had two sons with his current wife Rita. Their names are Chester and Truman.

    • Tom dropped out of college by the 1980's, the time in which he also moved to New York City.

    • Tom first wanted to pursue a career in acting after reading and watching a performance of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh.

    • Tom went to junior college in Hayward, California.

    • Tom attended and graduated from high school in Oakland, California.

    • Tom had to deal with the divorce of his parents at the age of five.

    • Tom's first acting performance was at Cleveland's Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival in 1977.

    • Tom donated $50,000 to help pay for Barak Obama's inauguration on January 20, 2009.

    • Tom collects typewriters.

    • Tom gained 30 pounds for his role in "A League of Their Own"; he credited a local ice cream shop with helping him to gain the weight.

    • Tom reprised his role of 'Woody' for the video games "Toy Story Activity Center" and "Toy Story 2".

    • Tom is a very big Star Trek fan.

    • Tom would not write with his left hand in the movie "Apollo 13" even though his character, Jim Lovell is left handed.

    • In 1995, 1999, and 2001, Tom was nominated for SAG Awards in the category of "Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role". The movies were Forrest Gump in 1995, Saving Private Ryan in 1999, and Cast Away in 2001. He won in 1995 for Forrest Gump.

      In 1999 and 2000, Tom was nominated for SAG Awards for "Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture". In 1999, he was nominated for Saving Private Ryan. In 2000, he was nominated for The Green Mile.

    • Ron Howard sent him the Apollo 13 script because he knew that Tom had an interest in space flight and had followed the Apollo program as a boy.

    • Tom had no acting experience when he entered college, but tried out for a play unsuccessfully. He subsequently went downtown to the local community theatre and auditioned for a play there. The director liked his style and asked him to join the cast that was going on tour to Cleveland, Ohio. Tom has since credited his defeat in college as his passport into the entertainment world.

    • Tom's favorite actor is James Stewart.

    • Tom's acceptance speech for winning the 1994 Academy Award for Best Actor Oscar for his role in Philadelphia included thanking his high school drama teacher who was gay. It was this revelation that inspired the Kevin Kline movie In & Out.

    • Tom's father, Amos, is a chef while his mother, Janet, worked in a hospital.

    • Tom was listed in the #2 position in the annual Harris Poll of America's top ten favorite movie stars in 2006.

    • Tom's younger brother Jim doubles for him in the movie Forrest Gump; it is Jim that you see in many of the mindless running scenes.

    • Tom's daughter has a role as an 'extra' in Forrest Gump; she is the little red-haired girl on the school bus that he rides.

    • Slinky's line in Toy Story 2: 'I may not be a smart dog, but I know what road kill is,' is a reference to Forrest Gump. Tom starred in both movies.

    • Tom was originally considered for the role of Larry Flint in the movie The People vs Larry Flint; the role was given to Woody Harrelson.

    • Tom was the first choice to replace Michael Keaton in his role of 'Batman' in the movie Batman Forever.

    • 'Wilson', the volleyball that kept Tom's character company on a deserted island in Castaway, sold for $18,400 in an online auction of movie props in 2001.

    • Tom is among the celebrities that are putting their personal artistic spins on the La Coste Polo Shirts, in a bid to raise funds for the fight against Pediatric AIDS.

    • Tom lists his favorite movies as: Fargo, Elephant, Boogie Nights, The Godfather, and A Space Odyssey.

    • Tom is one of the people responsable for bringing the hit Abba Musical "Mama Mia" to the big screen.

    • In 2006 Tom entered into the Guiness Book Of World Records as the actor with the most consecutive $100 million dollar grossing movies.

    • Tom admits to having an affair with Rita Wilson, while married to his first wife Samantha Lewes.

    • Tom has been inducted as an honorary member of the US Army's Ranger Hall of Fame. The honour was given for his performance in Saving Private Ryan and for his commitment to honouring those who served in the war.

    • Tom was considered for the role of 'Peter Banning' in the movie Hook, in 1991.

    • Tom is a member of the International Thespian Society.

    • Tom sold popcorn and peanuts in the stands at the Oakland Coliseum as a teen.

    • Tom was offered the title role in the movie Jerry Maguire.

    • Tom had to gain and then lose 50 lbs for his role in the movie Castaway.

    • Tom lost 30 lbs for his role of a dying AIDS patient in the 1993 movie Philadelphia.

    • Tom was ranked #31 on the Forbes list of top 100 celebrities in 2006. He was at #11 in 2007.

    • Tom joined the long list of celebrities lampooned by South Park. It happened in South Park episode 22 entitled Chef's Salty Chocolate Balls.

    • Tom has been such a frequent guest host on Saturday Night Live that he has a recurring skit/character... "Mr. Short-Term Memory".

    • Tom's first wife, Samantha Lewes, died of Cancer.

    • Tom's three favorite bands/artists are: Elvis Presley, Patrick Rondat and Alabama Thunderpussy. He says the music relaxes him.

    • Tom is a a diehard Cleveland Indians baseball team fan and has been for a long time.

    • Tom returned from an overseas shoot in 1999 with a bad staph infection in his leg where he needed emergency treatment.

    • Tom was asked by director Ron Howard himself, to audition for the movie Splash.

    • Tom has two brothers; actor Jim Hanks and teacher Larry Hanks.

    • US Magazine voted Tom "Best Actor" in 1995.

    • Tom attended Skyline High School in Oakland, California. After that Tom went to Cabot College.

    • Tom was the first actor to win back to back Oscars since 1938.

    • Tom received the Distinguished Public Service Award for his role in Saving Private Ryan.

    • Tom's trademark in the business is playing conflicted regular guys.

    • Tom's first wife was Samantha Lewes whom he married on January 24, 1978, and divorced on March 19, 1987. They have two children, who are both actors, Colin and Elizabeth.

    • Tom married Rita Wilson on April 30, 1988, and as of November 2008, are still happily married.

    • Tom made a big step in the entertainment business when he wrote, directed, and starred in the film That Thing You Do in 1996.

    • Tom is 6'1" (1.83m) tall.

    • Tom is a descendant of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States. Tom is a fourth cousin, four generations removed. Common ancestors were William and Sarah Hanks, who were great-great-great grandparents of Abraham Lincoln.

  • Quotes

    • Tom Hanks: Your work begins: work that will not be always joyful to you, labor that may not always fulfill you, and days that will seem like one damn thing after the other.

      It's true you will now work every day for the rest of your lives. That full-time job, your career as human beings and as Americans and as graduates of Yale, is to stand on the fulcrum between fear and faith, fear at your back, faith in front of you.

      Which way will you lean? Which way will you move? Move forward, ever forward, and tweet out a picture of the results. It may make you famous.

    • Tom Hanks: I'm ludicrously proud of Colin, but I'm not surprised he's acting. When I saw him in his junior high school plays I knew where he was headed. I saw the talent.

    • Tom Hanks: (about his wife, actress Rita Wilson) That woman has loved me skinny, she's loved me fat. She's love me bald, she's loved me hairy. That woman, I know, loves me. So, I'm a lucky man.

    • Tom Hanks: As a boy I'd often spend my days biking on riverbeds and arroyos and come home exhausted. I realize now how much I took for granted having the natural world so close at hand. It wasn't until I moved away, first to New York and then to Los Angeles, that I realized how much I missed the outdoors.

    • Tom Hanks: It's just as hard . . . staying happily married as it is doing movies.

    • Tom Hanks: I've made over 20 movies, and 5 of them are good.

    • Tom: In hotel rooms, I strip and walk around naked. It's as close as I can get to a feeling of anonymity and power.

    • Tom: (From his 2005 commencement speech to Vassar College graduates) Make peace where it is precious. Help plant trees. Help embrace diversity and celebrate difference. Help stop gridlock.

    • Tom: (revealing he can't understand why people are fascinated with his hair) When you just start out and no one knows you from Adam, nobody says to you, 'What's with the hair?' You're just a guy, and that's the way your hair is. Then you become famous, and people suddenly start saying things like, 'What do you mean by the hair?' That's what happened to me when I did The Da Vinci Code.

    • Tom: (on his 2007 film, "The Pacific") The story of World War II has been told again and again and again. It has always been a celebration of the greatest generation etc. We have had to go to a much deeper and darker place on this otherwise we're wasting our time. So, that's what we're attempting to do on this.

    • Tom: (describing his college days) Acting classes looked like the best place for a guy who liked to make a lot of noise and be rather flamboyant. I spent a lot of time going to plays. I wouldn't take dates with me. I'd just drive to a theater, buy myself a ticket, sit in the seat, and read the program, and then get into the play completely. I spent a lot of time like that, seeing Bertolt Brecht, Tennessee Williams, Henrik Ibsen, and all that.

    • Tom: (describing his school days) I was a geek, a spaz. I was horribly, painfully, terribly shy. At the same time, I was the guy who'd yell out funny captions during filmstrips. But I didn't get into trouble. I was always a real good kid and pretty responsible.

    • Tom: The year I was born, 1956, was the peak year for babies being born, and there are more people essentially our age than anybody else. We could crush these new generations if we decided too.

    • Tom: It's funny like a movie like 'Forrest Gump,' which is, you know, a feature film about a mentally retarded man, ... When you think about it, a lot of the humour came from laughing at Forrest. But you know that the movie was made with a good heart, and you really care about him. And the moviemaker cares about him.

    • Tom: May you live as long as you want and not want as long as you live.

    • Tom: There is a huge amount of stuff I'm simply not available for. If they want to make a movie in a certain amount of time and I just can't, I don't even want to see that stuff because if it's really great, I'd be bummed out. So actually I think I say no to a lot less stuff than I used to simply because I don't see it.

    • Tom: I don't know. People always think that there has got to be a dark side to everyone, a closet with skeletons, demons under the bed. People think all kinds of things about one another. They feel compelled to make up fears and false assumptions about their closest friends. Truth is, I'll never know all there is to know about you just as you will never know all there is to know about me. Humans are by nature too complicated to be understood fully. So, we can choose either to approach our fellow human beings with suspicion or to approach them with an open mind, a dash of optimism and a great deal of candour.

    • Tom: My favorite traditional Christmas movie that I like to watch is 'All Quiet on the Western Front'. It's just not December without that movie in my house.

    • Tom: My kid could get a bad X-ray and I could get a call from the doctor saying I have something growing in my bum and that would change my perspective on everything instantaneously, on what is and what is not important.

    • Tom: I must say that I do wrestle with the amount of money I make, but at the end of the day what am I gonna say? I took less money so Rupert Murdoch could have more?

    • Tom: As a boy I'd often spend my days biking on riverbeds and arroyos and come home exhausted. I realize now how much I took for granted having the natural world so close at hand. It wasn't until I moved away, first to New York and then to Los Angeles, that I realized how much I missed the outdoors.

    • Tom: I love what I do for a living, it's the greatest job in the world, but you have to survive an awful lot of attention that you don't truly deserve and you have to live up to your professional responsibilities and I'm always trying to balance that with what is really important.

    • Tom: E-mail is far more convenient than the telephone, as far as I'm concerned. I would throw my phone away if I could get away with it.

    • Tom: That's what's nice about directing a film and having it done: There's nothing more I can do about it. It's done. That's it. All I can do is let it go and hope that people are kind to it.

    • Tom: (on filming "Cast Away") There was nothing to react to except wind and trees. It was like making a silent movie.

    • Tom: Growing up in northern California has had a big influence on my love and respect for the outdoors. When I lived in Oakland, we would think nothing of driving to Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz one day and then driving to the foothills of the Sierras the next day.

    • Tom: There's a difference between solitude and loneliness. I can understand the concept of being a monk for a while.

    • Tom: If you have to have a job in this world, a high-priced movie star is a pretty good gig.

  • A Great TV Host

    Aside from movies, he remains funny and charming as he tv hosts an awards show, or goes up to accept an award. He is humble, always looks the same (timeless), and a good human being.
  • The best actor around.

    Even at only 15, Tom Hanks is my #1 favorite actor in history. Hanks masters every role he is asked to play and I will be deeply saddened the day he decides to call it quits. (here's to hoping he'll be the male version of Betty White and act until he's 90+!) My favorite role of his is as Forrest Gump in the movie of the same name - Life's like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get. Well, for this man, it's not like that. You always know what you're going to get when it comes to Tom Hanks: Great acting, great performance, and a great movie - whatever it is.moreless