Tom Hanks. biography
Actor Tom Hanks was born Thomas Jeffrey Hanks on July 9, 1956, in Concord, California to Janet, a hospital worker, and Amos, a chef.
After his parents divorced when he was 5, Hanks and his three older siblings were raised around the country, giving him little time to settle into each new environment and make friends. They finally resided in Oakland, California, where Hanks began performing in various plays at Skyline High School.
After graduating in 1974, Hanks' growing passion for acting led him to enroll in the Theatre program at Cal State, Sacramento. Before completing his degree, Hanks moved to New York City to pursue his calling full-time.
Ensuing a string of failed auditions, Hanks made his onscreen debut in the slasher flick He Knows You're Alone (1980). Around this time, Hanks was noticed by an ABC talent scout and offered a role in the sitcom Bosom Buddies (1980 - 1982) and eventually moved to the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles. Although the show was cancelled after two seasons, Hank was able to gain some much-needed exposure and soon appeared in the sitcom Taxi (1978 - 1983), Family Ties (1982 - 1989) and the movie-made-for-TV Mazes and Monsters (1982).
Hanks transformed from a struggling performer to a pronounced actor when he obtained the lead role in Ron Howard's romantic comedy Splash, in 1984. His popularity among audiences rose significantly with his performances in the comedy Bachelor Party (1984), The Man With One Red Shoe (1985), Volunteers (1985), The Money Pit (1986) and Dragnet (1987). Although each film received dismal reviews, each one was a financial success and Hanks' performances were always the positive exception to the reviews.
In 1988, Hank got his big-break in director Penny Marshall's fantasy comedy Big, playing a teenage boy who transforms into a 35-year-old man overnight. Critics and audiences praised his performance in which he received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and a Golden Globe for Best Actor. Ensuing his success, Hanks was connected to many failed films, including The 'Burbs (1989) alongside Carrie Fisher, Joe Versus the Volcano (1990) with Meg Ryan and The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990). He was, however, able to gain a positive response from critics for the comedy Turner & Hooch (1989).
Despite his poor decision-making concerning movie roles, Hanks' momentum was left untouched as he went on to star in Penny Marshall's comedy drama A League of Their Own (1992) and Nora Ephron's romantic comedy Sleepless in Seattle (1993) opposite Meg Ryan, followed by his critically acclaimed performance in Philadelphia (1993) with Denzel Washington. His depiction of lawyer fired from his high-paying firm due to his suffrage from AIDS, ultimately earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor. He continued gaining worldwide recognition with his performance in the novel-based romantic drama Forrest Gump (1994) as an unlikely hero on his life's path through twentieth-century American history. The film set the bar for box office sales, resulting in an Oscar for Best Picture and Hanks' second Academy Award for Best Actor.
Hanks went on to star in Ron Howard's docudrama Apollo 13 (1996), which was another big box office hit, followed by his screenwriting and directorial debut in the music comedy That Thing You Do! (1996). He then directed, wrote, produced and acted in the Emmy-winning HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon (1998).
In 1998, Hanks once again grabbed hold of audiences around the world with his performance in Steven Spielberg's World War II drama Saving Private Ryan. The film was a monumental box-office hit and earned Hanks an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. He rounded out the year playing a bookstore tycoon opposite Meg Ryan in Nora Ephron's romantic comedy You've Got Mail (1998).
Hanks showed Hollywood that he was in fact a versatile actor when he physically transformed to portray a man stranded on a desert island in Cast Away (2000) opposite Helen Hunt. The film was yet another mega box office hit and earned Hanks an additional Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
The megastar returned to his behind-the-scenes work and produced the comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), the drama Society Cab and the IMAX 3D documentary Magnificent Desolation (2005). He also starred in the Coen brothers' revival of the 1955 comedy Ladykillers (2004), followed by Steven Spielberg's drama Terminal (2004) and the family animated film The Polar Express (2004).
In 2007, Hank starred in the thriller The Da Vinci Code, based on Dan Brown's bestselling novel, followed by the drama Charlie Wilson's War in which he earned a Golden Globe nomination. He then revived his role in Angels and Demons (2009), the highly anticipated sequel to The Da Vinci Code.
Hanks' most recent projects include, the drama Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011) and the epic adventure drama Cloud Atlas (2012) with Halle Berry.