Thomas Jeffrey "Tom" Hanks (born July 9, 1956) is an American actor and director who is regarded as being one of the best performers of his generation.
He began his career in comedies like Happy Days and Bosom Buddies where he displayed a flair for timing and physical comedy. Quickly moving onto film, he became well-known for lighthearted comedies like Splash and Big as well as romantic films. In the latter genre, he's famously one half of Those Two Actors with Meg Ryan, having starred as her love interest in three filmsnote .
Going into the nineties, Hanks' career took a sharp swerve as he began turning in critically-acclaimed dramatic performances, earning him back-to-back Oscars for his portrayal of the dying Andrew Beckett in Philadelphia and the simple-but-well-meaning Forrest Gump. Since then, his career has been eclectic, with his starring in films that run the gamut from comedy (The Ladykillers (2004)), children's films (Toy Story), heavy drama (Road to Perdition), science fiction (Cloud Atlas), and even his own blockbuster action franchise (The Da Vinci Code and its sequels).
He is a well-known space nerd and World War II history buff and these interests are reflected in his career, with his having starred in Apollo 13 and Saving Private Ryan as well as having produced From the Earth to the Moon, Band of Brothers, and The Pacific.
He's hosted Saturday Night Live nine times and Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! once to rave reviews each time. He runs his own studio called Playtone, named after the music label in his self-produced That Thing You Do!. He's also a big enough fan of both The Beatles and Monty Python that he got to sing "The Lumberjack Song" (as one of the Lumberjacks) in the Concert for George, the memorial concert celebrating the life of George Harrison. He also appeared in the video for Carly Rae Jepsen's song "I Really Like You" - contrary to many rumours it was actually his idea to take the role.
And to top it all off, he is the Trope Namer for Tom Hanks Syndrome, being the most famous and successful example of an actor being able to break away from Typecasting and showing the world He Really Can Act.
His more important films include:
- He Knows You're Alone (1980): Tom's first big screen role.
- Mazes and Monsters (1982)-Tom's first major role...for better or worse.
- Splash (1984)
- Bachelor Party (1984)
- The Man with One Red Shoe (1985)
- Volunteers (1985)
- The Money Pit (1986)
- Nothing in Common (1986)
- Every Time We Say Goodbye (1986)
- Dragnet (1987)
- Big (1988) - First Academy Award nomination as Best Actor.
- The 'Burbs (1989)
- Turner & Hooch (1989)
- Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)
- The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)
- A League of Their Own (1992)
- Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
- Philadelphia (1993) - First Academy Award win for Best Actor.
- Forrest Gump (1994) - Second Academy Award win for Best Actor
- Apollo 13 (1995)
- Toy Story (1995)
- That Thing You Do! (1996) - Directorial debut
- Saving Private Ryan (1998)
- You've Got Mail (1998)
- Toy Story 2 (1999)
- The Green Mile (1999)
- Cast Away (2000)
- Road to Perdition (2002)
- Catch Me If You Can (2002)
- The Terminal (2004)
- The Ladykillers (2004)
- The Polar Express (2004)
- The Da Vinci Code (2006)
- Charlie Wilson's War (2007)
- Angels & Demons (2009)
- Toy Story 3 (2010)
- Larry Crowne (2011)
- Cloud Atlas (2012)
- Captain Phillips (2013)
- Saving Mr. Banks (2013)
- Bridge of Spies (2015)
- Ithaca (2015)
- A Hologram For The King (2016)
- Sully (2016)
- Dan Brown's Inferno (2016)
- The Circle (2017)
- The Post (2017)
- A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood (2019)