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50 Interesting Facts About Tom Hanks

Jul 23, 2015 05:24 PM EDT

Tom Hanks is an American actor and filmmaker, known for his roles in The Da Vinci Code (2006), Captain Phillips, and Saving Mr. Banks (both 2013). Here are 50 interesting facts about Academy Award winner Hanks.

Actor Tom Hanks attends the EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 at The Royal Opera House on February 16, 2014 in London, England.
(Photo : Chris Jackson/Getty Images) Actor Tom Hanks attends the EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 at The Royal Opera House on February 16, 2014 in London, England.
  1. Thomas Jeffrey Hanks was born on July 9, 1956.
  2. He was born in Concord, California to Janet Marylyn, a hospital worker and Amos Mefford Hanks, a cook.
  3. He has 3 siblings – elder sister Sandra Hanks Benoiton, elder brother Lawrence M. Hanks and younger brother Jim Hanks.
  4. His sister is a writer, while elder brother is an entomology professor. His younger brother is also an actor,
  5. His parent got divorced in 1960. The three elder children went with their father while the youngest went to live with the mother.
  6. Hanks once told Rolling Stones, "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."
  7. In 1965 Father Amos Hanks married Frances Wong, a Chinese descendent from San Francisco. They have three children.
  8. He married actress Samantha Lewes in 1978, 2 months after their son Collin Hanks was born.
  9. They got divorced in 1987. They have a daughter Elizabeth Hanks.
  10. A year later he married another actress Rita Wilson. They have two sons: Chester Marlon Hanks and Truman Theodore.
     Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson arrives at the Bafta after party held at the Grosvenor Hotel, Park Lane on February 16, 2014 in London, England.
    (Photo : Niki Nikolova/FilmMagic) Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson arrives at the Bafta after party held at the Grosvenor Hotel, Park Lane on February 16, 2014 in London, England.
  11. He co-starred with his wife Rita Wilson in the movie “Volunteers.”
  12. His elder son from second marriage Chester Marlon Hanks had a minor role to play as a student in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of The Crystal Skull.”
  13. He revealed that he has type 2 diabetes on “The Late Show with David Letterman” on October 7, 2013.
  14. Before his second marriage he got converted to “Greek Orthodox Church”, the religion of Rita Wilson’s family.
  15. He is an avid collector of manual typewriters and has written an article about them in “The New York Times” in August 2013.
  16. He originally wanted to become an astronaut but was unsuccessful. He is a supporter of NASA’s manned space program.
  17. He is on the board of Governors of “National Space Society” founded by Dr. Wernher Von Braun. It’s a non-profit educational space advocacy organization.
  18. He was involved in the production of HBO miniseries “From the Earth to Moon”. It was about the Apollo program to send astronauts to the moon.
  19. He also co-produced and co-wrote IMAX movie “Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D”, about moon landings.
  20. At the premiere of the show “Passport to the Universe” at Rose Center for Earth and Space in Hayden Planetarium, he provided his voice over.
  21. In 2006, Hanks received Douglas S.Morrow public Outreach Award from Space foundation. This award is given to any individual or organization annually, who have contributed towards public awareness about space programs.
  22. He was interested in acting from as young age and studied theater at Chabot College in Hayward.
  23. Two years later he transferred to California State University, Sacramento.
  24. He spoke to New York Magazine in 1986 and stated “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 Brecht, Tennessee Williams, Ibsen, and all that.”
    BOSOM BUDDIES - gallery - Season One - 11/27/80, Tom Hanks
    (Photo : Dennis Plehn/ABC via Getty Images) BOSOM BUDDIES - gallery - Season One - 11/27/80, Tom Hanks
  25. He became intern at the Great Lake Theater Festival at the insistence of its head Vincent Dowling.
  26. He later worked there for three years looking after the theater production, lighting, set designs and stage managements. He eventually dropped out of college during those times.
  27. He portrayed as Proteus in the Shakespeare’s “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” in 1978.
  28. He won the Best Actor at the Cleveland Critics Circle Award for his performance as Proteus, a villainous role.
  29. His first movie was the low budget film “He Knows You’re Alone” in 1980.
  30. His first starring role was in the movie “Mazes and Monsters.”
  31. He landed a lead role in the Television series “Bosom Buddies” alongside Peter Scolari. He and Scolari had to dress as women to stay in an inexpensive all-female hotel.
    American actors Peter Scolari (left, as Hilde Desmond) and Tom Hanks (as Buffy Wilson) in a scene from the pilot episode of the television comedy series 'Bosom Buddies,' Los Angeles, California, November 27, 1980
    (Photo : CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images) American actors Peter Scolari (left, as Hilde Desmond) and Tom Hanks (as Buffy Wilson) in a scene from the pilot episode of the television comedy series 'Bosom Buddies,' Los Angeles, California, November 27, 1980
  32. He had worked with Scolari previously in the game show “Make Me Laugh” in the 1970’s.
  33. Director Ron Howard was impressed with Hank’s performance in the “Bosom Buddies” and offered him a lead in “Splash”, a romantic comedy about a mermaid falling in love with a human.
  34. It was a huge box office hit grossing more than $69 million and boosted his career.
  35. However he rose as an actor and box office draw with the success of fantasy comedy movie “Big” in 1988.
  36. He portrayed as a washed up baseball legend turned manager in 1992 movie “A League of Their Own,” with which he climbed to the top.
  37. He cited the help of a nearby ice cream shop for helping him gain 30 pounds for the movie.
  38. Next year he had to reduce 30 pounds for the role in “Philadelphia.”
  39. He is the second actor to win back to back Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in “Philadelphia” in 1993 and “Forest Gump” in 1994.
  40. After the success of Forest Gump” he remarked “When I read the script for Gump, I saw it as one of those kind of grand, hopeful movies that the audience can go to and feel ... some hope for their lot and their position in life ... I got that from the movies a hundred million times when I was a kid. I still do."
  41. His brother Jim Hanks was used as Tom Hank’s body double in “Forest Gump.”
    Actor Tom Hanks in the movie 'Forrest Gump' by Robert Zemeckisin 1994
    (Photo : MEGA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images) Actor Tom Hanks in the movie 'Forrest Gump' by Robert Zemeckisin 1994
  42. He again reunited with Ron Howard for “Apollo 13”. The entire cast was applauded by the critics and the movie won nine Academy Award nominations, winning two.
  43. He teamed up with Steven Spielberg for “Saving Private Ryan”, a movie about searching for a soldier in a war torn France and bringing him alive.
    Director Steven Spielberg and actor Tom Hanks listen as an unidentified man points with a walkie-talkie on the set of the film, 'Saving Private Ryan,' 1998
    (Photo : Paramount Pictures/Fotos International/Getty Images) Director Steven Spielberg and actor Tom Hanks listen as an unidentified man points with a walkie-talkie on the set of the film, 'Saving Private Ryan,' 1998
  44. Spielberg earned the Best Director Award and another Best Actor nomination for Hanks.
  45. He was inducted as an honorary member of United States Army Rangers Hall of Fame for his perfect depiction of Captain in the movie “Saving Private Ryan.”
  46. At the age of 45 he became the youngest ever to receive the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award on June 12, 2002.
  47. He also worked as a hotel bellman and carried bags of the celebrity guests. The celebrities were Sidney Poitier, Cher, Slappy white and Bill Withers.
  48. He once shared the record for most consecutive (7) $100 million grossing movies with Tom Cruise and Will Smith.
  49. He has an asteroid named after him “12818 tomhanks.”
  50. He and his son Colin Hanks have been the winners in the quiz contest “Not My Job” in the radio show “Wait Wait…. Don’t Tell Me!”
    Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson and Colin Hanks attend the Celebrity Autobiography show at ACME Comedy Theatre on October 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California
    (Photo : Tibrina Hobson/WireImage) Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson and Colin Hanks attend the Celebrity Autobiography show at ACME Comedy Theatre on October 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California

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