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Biography #2 (for Evan Almighty)

One of the world's most admired and respected actors today, Tom Hanks also holds the distinction of being the first actor in 50 years to be awarded back-to-back Academy Awards for Best Actor. In 1993, he was rewarded for his compelling performance as an AIDS-stricken lawyer in Philadelphia, and the following year he won the Oscar for his outstanding performance in Forrest Gump. He also won Golden Globes for both of these performances. For Forrest Gump, Hanks won a Peoples Choice Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Chicago Film Critics Award, a National Association of Theater Owners Male Star of the Year Award and the Hollywood Women's Press Club Award. In addition to the many honors Hanks has received, he was named Man of the Year by the nation's oldest undergraduate dramatic group, Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals, for his performance as astronaut Jim Lovell in Ron Howard's Apollo 13.

In 1996, Hanks made his feature film writing and directing debut with That Thing You Do!, which followed the meteoric rise to fame of a local rock band named The Wonders in the summer of 1964. The film's title song not only reached the top 10 in many contemporary music charts, but it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Hanks also appeared in the film in a supporting role.

Born and raised in Oakland, CA, Hanks first became interested in acting during high school. He attended California State University, Sacramento, where he appeared in a production of The Cherry Orchard and met director Vincent Dowling, the resident director of the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival in Cleveland. Dowling invited Hanks to intern with the company, where he made his professional debut portraying Grumio in The Taming of the Shrew. Hanks appeared in other Great Lakes productions, including Two Gentleman of Verona, for which he received the Cleveland Critics Award for Best Actor. From Cleveland, Hanks went on to New York, where he appeared in his first feature film, He Knows You're Alone, and onstage in The Taming of the Shrew.

Hanks got his first big break when he was cast as the lead in the ABC television comedy series Bosom Buddies. This led to starring roles in Bachelor Party and Ron Howard's Splash-a box-office hit that started him on his path to becoming one of Hollywood's busiest and most sought-after leading men. Hanks' many film credits include Volunteers, Nothing in Common and A League of Their Own. In 1988, with his box-office success established, Hanks found himself a critical success with acclaimed performances in Punchline and Big (for which he earned his first Academy Award nomination and his first Golden Globe Award). The same year, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association recognized both performances, bestowing on Hanks its Best Actor Award.

Constantly challenging himself, Hanks served as executive producer for HBO's From the Earth to the Moon-an ambitious, 12-hour dramatic film anthology that explored the Apollo space program. Not only did Hanks personally help make this show a reality, he directed the first episode and wrote and appeared in the final episode.

In 1998, Hanks starred in Steven Spielberg's war drama Saving Private Ryan, in which he played a soldier who went deep behind enemy lines to save a trapped private during the Allied invasion. He received another Oscar nomination for his work. The following year he starred in The Green Mile, which was written and directed by Frank Darabont and was based on the six-part serialized novel by Stephen King.

In 2000, Hanks starred in Cast Away, for which he received yet another Oscar nomination for his portrayal of the sole survivor of a plane crash who is marooned on a deserted island. Cast Away was directed by Robert Zemeckis, with a screenplay by William Broyles Jr.

In 2000, he served as executive producer for another epic HBO miniseries, Band of Brothers, based on Stephen Ambrose's book. He also directed one of the episodes. The miniseries aired in spring 2001 to wide-scale critical acclaim, leading to a Golden Globe win for Best Miniseries in 2002.

In 2002, Hanks starred in the Depression-era drama Road to Perdition, opposite Paul Newman and Jude Law and under Sam Mendes' direction. It was followed by Spielberg's stylish caper Catch Me If You Can, in which he played opposite Leonardo DiCaprio. The film was based on the true-life exploits of international confidence man Frank Abagnale Jr.

Hanks teamed again with Spielberg in The Terminal, opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones, and followed it with the Coen brothers' dark comedy The Ladykillers, the story of an eccentric Southern professor who assembles a band of inept thieves to rob the Bandit Queen, a Mississippi riverboat casino.

In November 2004, Hanks starred in the film adaptation of the Caldecott Medal-winning children's book The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. Hanks portrayed The Conductor of this beloved children's book, in a film that reunited him with Cast Away director Robert Zemeckis.

Hanks was recently seen playing Robert Langdon in The Da Vinci Code, the film adaptation of Dan Brown's best-selling novel, which has broken box-office records around the world. The film is helmed by Ron Howard and also stars Audrey Tautou, Paul Bettany, Ian McKellen and Jean Reno. He is currently in post-production on Charlie Wilson's War and The Great Buck Howard.

Hanks resides in Los Angeles with his wife, actress Rita Wilson, and their family.

Bio courtesy Universal Pictures for "Evan Almighty" (18-Jun-2007)


Biography #3 (for The Polar Express)

One of the world's most admired and respected actors, Tom Hanks also holds the distinction of being the first actor in 50 years to be awarded back-to-back Best Actor Academy Awards. In 1993, he was rewarded for his compelling performance as the AIDS-stricken lawyer in Philadelphia, and the following year won the Oscar for his outstanding performance in Forrest Gump. He also won Golden Globe Awards for both. Throughout the success of Forrest Gump (the fourth largest grossing movie in history), Hanks won a Golden Globe, a Peoples Choice Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Chicago Film Critics Award, a National Association of Theater Owners Male Star of the Year Award, and the Hollywood Women's Press Club Award. In addition to the many honors he has received, he was named Man of the Year by Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals for his performance as astronaut Jim Lovell in Ron Howard's Apollo 13.

In 1996, Hanks made his feature film writing and directing debut with That Thing You Do! that follows the meteoric rise to fame of a local rock band named The Wonders from Erie, Pennsylvania, in the summer of 1964. The film's signature song, That Thing You Do!, not only reached the top 10 on many contemporary music charts, but was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Hanks also appeared in the film.

Born and raised in Oakland, CA, Hanks first became interested in acting during high school. While attending California State University in Sacramento, he appeared in The Cherry Orchard and met director Vincent Dowling, the resident director of the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival in Cleveland. Dowling invited Hanks to intern with the company, where he made his professional debut portraying Grumio in The Taming of the Shrew. Hanks appeared in other Great Lakes productions, including Two Gentleman of Verona, for which he received the Cleveland Critics Award for Best Actor. From Cleveland, Hanks went on to New York, where he appeared in his first feature film, He Knows You're Alone, and onstage in The Taming of the Shrew.

After moving to Los Angeles where he performed in a production of The Dollmaker, Hanks got his big break when cast as the lead in the ABC comedy series Bosom Buddies. This led to starring roles in Bachelor Party, followed by Ron Howard's Splash -- a box office hit that started him on his path to becoming one of Hollywood's busiest and most sought-after actors. Hanks' many film credits include Volunteers, Nothing in Common and A League of Their Own. In 1988, with his box office success established, Hanks found himself a critical success with highly acclaimed work in Punchline, and Big, for which he earned his first Academy Award nomination and Golden Globe Award. The same year, the L.A. Film Critics recognized the two performances by bestowing on him their coveted Best Actor Award. In 1993, he received a Golden Globe nomination for his work in Sleepless in Seattle.

Constantly challenging himself, Hanks served as Executive Producer for HBO's From the Earth to the Moon -- an ambitious 12-hour dramatic film anthology that explored America's Apollo space program. Not only did he personally help make this show a reality, he directed the first episode and wrote and appeared in the final episode.

Hanks starred in Steven Spielberg's 1998 feature Saving Private Ryan, in which he played a soldier who went deep behind enemy lines to save a trapped private during the Allied invasion, and for which he received an Oscar nomination. He also starred in 1999's The Green Mile, written and directed by Frank Darabont and based on the Stephen King novel.

In 2000, Hanks starred in Robert Zemeckis' Cast Away, earning another Oscar nomination for his role as sole survivor of a plane crash on a deserted island. Also in 2000, he served as executive producer (as well as directing one of the episodes), for the epic HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, based on the Stephen Ambrose book that chronicles a group of paratroopers from their training in Georgia through their subsequent battles on D-day, the Battle of the Bulge, and their eventual capture of Hitler's Eagle's Nest. It aired in Spring 2001 to wide-scale critical acclaim, leading to a Golden Globe win for the miniseries in 2002.

In 2002 Hanks starred in the Sam Mendes' gritty depression-era drama The Road to Perdition, opposite Paul Newman and Jude Law. He followed with the stylish caper Catch Me If You Can, opposite Leonardo DeCaprio, based on the true exploits of international con man Frank Abagnale Jr. Hanks portrayed FBI agent Carl Hanratty who ultimately caught Abagnale, a counterfeiter who cashed $2.5 million worth of bad checks between 1964-1970.

Hanks recently starred in the Coen brothers' dark comedy The Ladykillers, as an eccentric southern professor who assembles a band of incompetent thieves to rob a Mississippi riverboat, and Steven Spielberg's The Terminal, with Catherine Zeta-Jones, about an Eastern European immigrant stranded indefinitely at JFK Airport when his passport is invalidated by a political upheaval in his home country.

Hanks lives in Los Angeles with his wife, actress Rita Wilson, and their family.

Bio courtesy Warner Bros. for "The Polar Express" (01-Dec-2004)


Biography #4 (for Catch Me If You Can)

Tom Hanks earned praise from both critics and audiences this past summer for his portrayal of gangster Michael Sullivan in Sam Mendes' Depression-era drama Road to Perdition. One of only two actors in history to win back-to-back Best Actor Academy Awards, Hanks won his first Oscar in 1994 for his moving portrayal of AIDS-stricken lawyer Andrew Beckett in Jonathan Demme's Philadelphia. The following year, he took home his second Oscar for his unforgettable performance in the title role of Robert Zemeckis' Forrest Gump. He also won Golden Globe Awards for both films, as well as a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award for the latter.

Hanks more recently garnered Academy Award, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations for his work in Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan, and he last year won a Golden Globe Award and garnered his fifth Oscar nomination for his role in Cast Away. He had previously won a Golden Globe Award and earned an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of a little boy in a man's body in Penny Marshall's Big, and received another Golden Globe nomination for his work opposite Meg Ryan in the romantic comedy smash Sleepless in Seattle, directed by Nora Ephron.

In 1998, Hanks, Ryan and Ephron again scored a hit when they reunited for the romantic comedy You've Got Mail. The following year, Hanks starred in Frank Darabont's acclaimed drama The Green Mile, for which he shared in a SAG Award nomination for Outstanding Cast Performance.

Hanks' other film credits include starring roles in A League of Their Own, Turner & Hooch, Punchline, Nothing in Common, Volunteers, Bachelor Party and Splash. The actor also lent his voice to the computer animated blockbusters Toy Story and Toy Story 2.

Hanks' work on the big screen has also translated to success on the small screen. Following his critically acclaimed portrayal of astronaut Jim Lovell in Ron Howard's Apollo 13, Hanks executive produced and hosted the acclaimed HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon. He also directed one segment, and wrote or co-wrote several others, in addition to appearing in one episode. Hanks' work on the miniseries earned him Emmy, Golden Globe and Producers Guild Awards for Outstanding Miniseries, as well as an Emmy nomination for Best Director.

His collaboration with Steven Spielberg on the World War II drama Saving Private Ryan led to them teaming to executive produce the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, based on the book by Stephen Ambrose. Hanks also directed a segment and wrote another segment of the fact-based miniseries, which follows one group of paratroopers from boot camp to D-Day to the end of World War II. The show recently won both Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for Best Miniseries. In addition, Hanks won an Emmy Award for Best Director, earned an Emmy nomination for Best Writing, and received another Producers Guild Award for his work on the project.

In 1996, Hanks made his successful feature film writing and directing debut with That Thing You Do, in which he also starred. The film's title song received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. This year, under his own Playtone banner, Hanks, together with his wife, Rita Wilson, and partner, Gary Goetzman, produced the smash hit romantic comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Budgeted at approximately $5 million, the film has to date grossed more than $200 million at the domestic box office.

Bio courtesy DreamWorks for "Catch Me If You Can" (01-Jan-2000)


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