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Tom Hanks

Real name: Thomas J. Hanks
Birthdate: July 9, 1956
Status: Married
Partner: Rita Wilson

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Thomas Jeffrey Hanks (born July 9, 1956) is an American two-time Academy Award-winning film actor, Emmy-winning director, voice-over artist and movie producer. Hanks worked in television and family-friendly comedies before achieving notable success as a dramatic actor in Philadelphia and Forrest Gump. He is also one of only two actors in the history of film to have seven consecutive US$100 million blockbusters, the other being Tom Cruise.

It was Bosom Buddies and a guest appearance on a 1982 episode of Happy Days ("A Case of Revenge") where he played a disgruntled former class mate of The Fonz that drew director Ron Howard to contact Hanks. Howard was working on Splash (1984), a romantic comedy fantasy about a mermaid who falls in love with a human. At first, Howard considered Hanks for the role of the main character's wisecracking brother, a role which eventually went to John Candy. Instead, Hanks got the lead role and a career boost from Splash, which went on to become a box-office hit, grossing more than $69 million. He also had a sizeable hit with the sex comedy Bachelor Party, also in 1984.

After three more flops, Hanks succeeded with the fantasy Big (1988), both at the box office and within the industry, establishing Hanks as a major Hollywood talent. "It's not easy being successful in this town," his friend Scolari told Rolling Stone, "particularly for a man of conscience. You get fed a steady diet of adulation. You get fed things that aren't necessarily bad or poisonous or toxic in any way. But they're not really on your meal plan. You have to stop and say, 'Wait a minute—I didn't order this.' You have to take your life by the horns. You have responsibilities that have nothing to do with being an actor. Tom Hanks has dealt with his success. I have never known him to be happier."

Hanks’s choice of roles continued to land him in trouble. He had another string of box-office failures. First, there was The 'Burbs (1989), then Joe Versus the Volcano (1990) and finally The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), which saw Hanks as a greedy Wall Street type who gets enmeshed in a hit-and-run accident.

Hanks explained what appealed to him about the script: "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."

Hanks was absent from the screen in 2003; in 2004, he appeared in three films: The Coen Brothers' The Ladykillers, another Spielberg helmed film, The Terminal, and The Polar Express, a family film from Robert Zemeckis. In a USA Weekend interview, Hanks talked about how he chooses projects: " A League of Their Own, it can't be just another movie for me. It has to get me going somehow.... There has to be some all-encompassing desire or feeling about wanting to do that particular movie. I'd like to assume that I'm willing to go down any avenue in order to do it right". In August 2005, Hanks was voted in as vice president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


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