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Tom Hanks (born Thomas Jeffrey Hanks on July 9, 1956) is an American actor and filmmaker who is best known for his comedic and dramatic roles and is one of the most popular and recognizable film stars globally as well as an American cultural icon. Hank’s films have grossed at least $4.9 billion in North America and more than $9.96 billion worldwide over his successful acting career. He is currently the fourth-highest-grossing actor in North America.
Growing up, Hanks’ family often moved, such that by the time he was 10, he had lived in 10 different houses. While Hanks’ family history is Catholic and Mormon, he has categorized his teenage self as “Bible-toting evangelical.” Although as a child, he was relatively unpopular with students and students alike, something he admitted to during a Rolling Stone Magazine interview saying, “I was a geek, a spaz. I was, 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.”
Hanks acted in school plays, including South Pacific, while attending Skyline High School in Oakland, California. Subsequently, he proceeded to study theater at Chabot College in Hayward, and after two years, he transferred to California State University, Sacramento.
Hanks is ranked as the fifth-highest all-time box office star in North America, with a total gross of over $4.9 billion at the North American box office, an average of $100.8 million per film. Worldwide, his movies have grossed over $9.96 billion. Hanks has the “Asteroid 12818 Tomhanks” named after him.
Hanks was in 2003 voted Number 3 in Channel 4’s countdown of the 100 Greatest Movie Stars of All Time, and he is number 22 on VH1’s list of the “200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons of All Time.” And in 2000, 2002, and 2003, Hanks was on Forbes’ list of the ten most powerful celebrities in the world. As of January 2019, Hanks was voted #1 on Ranker’s list of “The Best Actors in Film History,” a position he still occupies to date.
Hanks’ breakthrough came with leading roles in movies such as Comedies Splash in 1984 and Big in 1988. He won two consecutive Academy Awards for Best Actor for starring as a gay lawyer who has AIDS in Philadelphia (1993) and the title character in Forrest Gump (1994). Hanks’s popularity is due to his collaboration with film director Steven Spielberg on five films: Saving Private Ryan (1998), Catch Me If You Can in 2002, The Terminal (2004), Bridge of Spies (2015), and 2017 movie, The Post. Hanks’ career as a film director, producer, and screenwriter was launched to produce the 2001 miniseries “Band of Brothers.”
Hanks’s accolades include two Academy Awards out of six nominations. Hanks has also won 7 Primetime Emmy Awards for his work as a producer of various limited series and television movies, including From the Earth to the Moon, Band of Brothers, John Adams, and The Pacific. In 2013, he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Play for his performance in Nora Ephron’s Lucky Guy.
Hanks has been recognized for his illustrious movie career. His accolades include two Academy Awards, seven Primetime Emmy Awards, a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Play in 2013 for his performance in Nora Ephron’s Lucky Guy. He has received the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). He is a 2002 recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award 2002. He also received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2016, followed by a Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama and the French Legion of Honor. In 2020, he received the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award.
Connect with Tom via his Instagram.