Raised in Oakland, California, Hanks became interested in acting during high school. He attended Chabot College in Hayward, California, and the California State University at Sacramento. At the invitation of artistic director Vincent Dowling, he made his professional debut at the Great Lakes Theater Festival in Cleveland, Ohio. He performed in that company for three seasons.
Hanks moved to New York City in 1978 and performed with the Riverside Shakespeare Company before he was teamed with Peter Scolari in the ABC television comedy series Bosom Buddies. This led to starring roles in Ron Howard's Splash, his fi rst collaboration with the director. In 1988, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association recognized his performances in both Big and Punchline, bestowing Hanks their Best Actor Award. Roles followed in fi lms such as A League of Their Own and Sleepless in Seattle.
In 1996, Hanks wrote and directed That Thing You Do! The fi lm's title song was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. After reteaming with Ron Howard in Apollo 13, Hanks served as an executive producer, writer, director and actor for HBO's From the Earth to the Moon—an Emmywinning 12-hour dramatic fi lm anthology that explored the Apollo space program.
In 1998, Hanks starred in Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan, for which he received his fourth Oscar nomination. The following year, he starred in The Green Mile, which was written and directed by Frank Darabont and is based on the six-part serialized novel by Stephen King.
In 2000, Hanks reunited with director Robert Zemeckis and screenwriter William Broyles Jr., in Cast Away, for which he received yet another Oscar nomination. That same year, he served with Steven Spielberg as executive producer, writer and director for another epic HBO miniseries, Band of Brothers, based on Stephen Ambrose's book. The miniseries aired in the fall of 2001 to wide-scale critical acclaim, leading to an Emmy Award and Golden Globe for Best Miniseries in 2002.
In 2002, Hanks starred in Road to Perdition, opposite Paul Newman and Jude Law, under Sam Mendes' direction. It was followed by Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can, opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, which was based on the true-life exploits of international confi dence man Frank Abagnale Jr.
Hanks teamed for a third time with Spielberg on The Terminal, opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones, and followed it with the Coen brothers' dark comedy The Ladykillers. In November 2004, Hanks starred in the fi lm adaptation of the Caldecott Medal-winning children's book The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, which reunited him once again with director Robert Zemeckis.
In 2006, Hanks was seen playing Robert Langdon in the film adaptation of Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code, helmed by Ron Howard and also starring Audrey Tautou, Paul Bettany, Ian McKellen and Jean Reno.
In 2008, Hanks, with his production company Playtone, executive produced the critically acclaimed HBO miniseries John Adams, starring Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney and Tom Wilkinson. The series went on to win an Emmy for Outstanding Miniseries and a Golden Globe for Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television. Hanks recently reteamed with Spielberg to produce the HBO miniseries The Pacific, which premiered in March 2010 and went on to win a staggering 15 Emmy Awards including Outstanding Miniseries.
In 2009, the Film Society of Lincoln Center honored Hanks at its Gala Tribute.
Read earlier biographies on this page.
Tom Hanks Facts
|Birth Name||Thomas J. Hanks|
|Occupation||Actor, Producer, Director|
|Birthday||July 9, 1956 (60)|
|Birthplace||Oakland, California, USA|
|Height||6' 1" (1m85) How tall is Tom Hanks compared to you?|
|Awards||2001 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama (for Cast Away)|
|1995 Academy Awards: Best Actor (for Forrest Gump)|
|1995 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama (for Forrest Gump)|
|1995 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Best Male Actor in a Leading Role (for Forrest Gump)|
|1994 Academy Awards: Best Actor (for Philadelphia)|
|1994 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama (for Philadelphia)|
|1994 MTV Movie Awards: Best Male Performance (for Philadelphia)|
|1989 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical (for Big)|
|Mazes and Monsters|
|Catch Me If You Can|
|Toy Story 3|
|Toy Story 2|
|Bridge of Spies|
|Toy Story of Terror! Compilation|