Hanks' films have grossed more than $4.6 billion at U.S. and Canadian box offices and more than $9.2 billion worldwide, making him the fourth highest-grossing actor in North America. Hanks has been nominated for numerous awards during his career. He won a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Philadelphia (1993), as well as a Golden Globe, an Academy Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a People's Choice Award for Best Actor for Forrest Gump (1994). In 1995, Hanks became one of only two actors who won the Academy Award for Best Actor in consecutive years, with Spencer Tracy being the other. In 2004, he received the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). In 2014, he received a Kennedy Center Honor, and in 2016, he received a Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, as well as the French Legion of Honor.
In 1979, Hanks moved to New York City, where he made his film debut in the low-budget slasher film He Knows You're Alone (1980) and landed a starring role in the television movie Mazes and Monsters. Early that year, he was cast in the lead, Callimaco, in the Riverside Shakespeare Company's production of Niccolò Machiavelli's The Mandrake, directed by Daniel Southern. The following year, Hanks landed one of the lead roles, that of character Kip Wilson, on the ABC television pilot of Bosom Buddies. He and Peter Scolari played a pair of young advertising men forced to dress as women so they could live in an inexpensive all-female hotel. Hanks had previously partnered with Scolari on the 1970s game show Make Me Laugh. After landing the role, Hanks moved to Los Angeles. Bosom Buddies ran for two seasons, and, although the ratings were never strong, television critics gave the program high marks. "The first day I saw him on the set," co-producer Ian Praiser told Rolling Stone, "I thought, 'Too bad he won't be in television for long.' I knew he'd be a movie star in two years." However, although Praiser knew it, he was not able to convince Hanks. "The television show had come out of nowhere," Hanks' best friend Tom Lizzio told Rolling Stone.
Bosom Buddies and a guest appearance on a 1982 episode of Happy Days ("A Case of Revenge," in which he played a disgruntled former classmate of Fonzie) prompted director Ron Howard to contact Hanks. Howard was working on the film 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 that eventually went to John Candy. Instead, Hanks landed the lead role in Splash, which went on to become a surprise box office hit, grossing more than US$69 million. He also had a sizable hit with the sex comedy Bachelor Party, also in 1984. In 1983–84, Hanks made three guest appearances on Family Ties as Elyse Keaton's alcoholic brother, Ned Donnelly.
With Nothing in Common (1986) – a story of a young man alienated from his father (played by Jackie Gleason) – Hanks began to extend himself from comedic roles to dramatic roles. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Hanks commented on his experience: "It changed my desires about working in movies. Part of it was the nature of the material, what we were trying to say. But besides that, it focused on people's relationships. The story was about a guy and his father, unlike, say, The Money Pit, where the story is really about a guy and his house."
After a few more flops and a moderate success with the comedy Dragnet, Hanks' stature in the film industry rose. The broad success of the fantasy comedy Big (1988) established Hanks as a major Hollywood talent, both as a box office draw and within the industry as an actor. For his performance in the film, Hanks earned his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. Big was followed later that year by Punchline, in which he and Sally Field co-starred as struggling comedians.
Hanks climbed back to the top again with his portrayal of a washed-up baseball legend turned manager in A League of Their Own (1992). Hanks has stated that his acting in earlier roles was not great, but that he subsequently improved. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Hanks noted his "modern era of moviemaking ... because enough self-discovery has gone on ... My work has become less pretentiously fake and over the top". This "modern era" began in 1993 for Hanks, first with Sleepless in Seattle and then with Philadelphia. The former was a blockbuster success about a widower who finds true love over the radio airwaves. Richard Schickel of TIME called his performance "charming," and most critics agreed that Hanks' portrayal ensured him a place among the premier romantic-comedy stars of his generation.
In Philadelphia, he played a gay lawyer with AIDS who sues his firm for discrimination. Hanks lost 35 pounds and thinned his hair in order to appear sickly for the role. In a review for People, Leah Rozen stated, "Above all, credit for Philadelphia's success belongs to Hanks, who makes sure that he plays a character, not a saint. He is flat-out terrific, giving a deeply felt, carefully nuanced performance that deserves an Oscar." Hanks won the 1993 Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Philadelphia. During his acceptance speech, he revealed that his high school drama teacher Rawley Farnsworth and former classmate John Gilkerson, two people with whom he was close, were gay.
Hanks followed Philadelphia with the 1994 hit Forrest Gump which grossed a worldwide total of over $600 million at the box office. Hanks remarked: "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 won his second Best Actor Academy Award for his role in Forrest Gump, becoming only the second actor to have accomplished the feat of winning consecutive Best Actor Oscars. (Spencer Tracy was the first, winning in 1937–38. Hanks and Tracy were the same age at the time they received their Academy Awards: 37 for the first and 38 for the second.)
Hanks' next role—astronaut and commander Jim Lovell, in the 1995 film Apollo 13—reunited him with Ron Howard. Critics generally applauded the film and the performances of the entire cast, which included actors Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris, and Kathleen Quinlan. The movie also earned nine Academy Award nominations, winning two. Later that year, Hanks starred in Disney/Pixar's CGI-animated hit film Toy Story, as the voice of Sheriff Woody.
Hanks made his directing debut with his 1996 film That Thing You Do! about a 1960s pop group, also playing the role of a music producer. Hanks and producer Gary Goetzman went on to create Playtone, a record and film production company named after the record company in the film.
Hanks then executive produced, co-wrote, and co-directed the HBO docudrama From the Earth to the Moon. The 12-part series chronicled the space program from its inception, through the familiar flights of Neil Armstrong and Jim Lovell, to the personal feelings surrounding the reality of moon landings. The Emmy Award-winning project was, at US$68 million, one of the most expensive ventures undertaken for television.
In 1998, Hanks' next project was no less expensive. For Saving Private Ryan, he teamed up with Steven Spielberg to make a film about a search through war-torn France after D-Day to bring back a soldier. It earned the praise and respect of the film community, critics, and the general public. It was labeled one of the finest war films ever made and earned Spielberg his second Academy Award for direction, and Hanks another Best Actor nomination. Later that year, Hanks re-teamed with his Sleepless in Seattle co-star Meg Ryan for You've Got Mail, a remake of 1940's The Shop Around the Corner. In 1999, Hanks starred in an adaptation of the Stephen King novel The Green Mile. He also returned as the voice of Woody in Toy Story 2, the sequel to Toy Story. The following year, he won a Golden Globe for Best Actor and an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of a marooned FedEx systems analyst in Robert Zemeckis's Cast Away.
In 2001, Hanks helped direct and produce the Emmy-Award-winning HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. He also appeared in the September 11 television special America: A Tribute to Heroes and the documentary Rescued From the Closet. He then teamed up with American Beauty director Sam Mendes for the adaptation of Max Allan Collins's and Richard Piers Rayner's graphic novel Road to Perdition, in which he played an anti-hero role as a hitman on the run with his son. That same year, Hanks collaborated once again with director Spielberg, starring opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in the hit biographical crime drama Catch Me If You Can, based on the true story of Frank Abagnale, Jr. The same year, Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson produced the hit movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. In August 2007, he along with co-producers Rita Wilson and Gary Goetzman, and writer and star Nia Vardalos, initiated a legal action against the production company Gold Circle Films for their share of profits from the movie. At the age of 45, Hanks became the youngest-ever recipient of the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award on June 12, 2002.
In 2004, he appeared in three films: The Coen brothers' The Ladykillers, another Spielberg film, The Terminal, and The Polar Express, a family film from Zemeckis for which Hanks played multiple motion capture roles. In a USA Weekend interview, Hanks discussed how he chooses projects: "[Since] 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.
Hanks next starred in the highly anticipated film The Da Vinci Code, based on the best-selling novel by Dan Brown. The film was released May 19, 2006, in the U.S. and grossed over US$750 million worldwide. He followed the film with Ken Burns's 2007 documentary The War. For the documentary, Hanks did voice work, reading excerpts from World War II-era columns by Al McIntosh. In 2006, Hanks topped a 1,500-strong list of "most trusted celebrities" compiled by Forbes magazine. Hanks also produced the animated children's movie The Ant Bully in 2006.
Hanks next appeared in a cameo role as himself in The Simpsons Movie, in which he appeared in an advertisement claiming that the U.S. government has lost its credibility and is hence buying some of his. He also made an appearance in the credits, expressing a desire to be left alone when he is out in public. Later in 2006, Hanks produced the British film Starter for Ten, a comedy based on working-class students attempting to win on University Challenge.
In 2007, Hanks starred in Mike Nichols's film Charlie Wilson's War (written by screenwriter Aaron Sorkin) in which he played Democratic Texas Congressman Charles Wilson. The film opened on December 21, 2007, and Hanks received a Golden Globe nomination. In the comedy-drama film The Great Buck Howard (2008), Hanks played the on-screen father of a young man (played by Hanks' real-life son, Colin) who chooses to work as road manager for a fading mentalist (John Malkovich). His character was less than thrilled about his son's career decision. In the same year, he executive produced the musical comedy, Mamma Mia and the miniseries, John Adams.
Hanks' next endeavor, released on May 15, 2009, was a film adaptation of Angels & Demons, based on the novel of the same name by Dan Brown. Its April 11, 2007, announcement revealed that Hanks would reprise his role as Robert Langdon, and that he would reportedly receive the highest salary ever for an actor. The following day he made his 10th appearance on NBC's Saturday Night Live, impersonating himself for the Celebrity Jeopardy sketch. Hanks produced the Spike Jonze film Where The Wild Things Are, based on the children's book by Maurice Sendak in 2009.
In 2010, Hanks reprised his voice role of Woody in Toy Story 3, after he, Tim Allen, and John Ratzenberger were invited to a movie theater to see a complete story reel of the movie. The film went on to become the first animated film to gross a worldwide total of over $1 billion as well as the highest-grossing animated film at the time. He also was executive producer of the miniseries, The Pacific.
In 2011, he directed and starred opposite Julia Roberts in the title role in the romantic comedy Larry Crowne. The movie received poor reviews, with only 35% of the 175 Rotten Tomatoes reviews giving it high ratings. Also in 2011, he starred in the drama film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. In 2012, he voiced the character Cleveland Carr for a web series he created titled Electric City. He also starred in the Wachowskis-directed film adaptation of the novel of the same name, Cloud Atlas and was executive producer of the miniseries Game Change.
In 2013, Hanks starred in two critically acclaimed films—Captain Phillips and Saving Mr. Banks—which each earned him praise, including nominations for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama for the former role. In Captain Phillips, he starred as Captain Richard Phillips with Barkhad Abdi, which was based on the Maersk Alabama hijacking. In Saving Mr. Banks, co-starring Emma Thompson and directed by John Lee Hancock, he played Walt Disney, being the first actor to portray Disney in a mainstream film. That same year, Hanks made his Broadway debut, starring in Nora Ephron's Lucky Guy, for which he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play.
In 2014, Hanks' short story "Alan Bean Plus Four" was published in the October 27 issue of The New Yorker. Revolving around four friends who make a voyage to the moon, the short story is titled after the Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean. Slate magazine's Katy Waldman found Hanks' first published short story "mediocre", writing that "Hanks' shopworn ideas about technology might have yet sung if they hadn't been wrapped in too-clever lit mag-ese". In an interview with The New Yorker, Hanks said he has always been fascinated by space. He told the magazine that he built plastic models of rockets when he was a child and watched live broadcasts of space missions back in the 1960s.
In March 2015, Hanks appeared in the Carly Rae Jepsen music video for "I Really Like You", lip-syncing most of the song's lyrics as he goes through his daily routine. His next film was the Steven Spielberg-directed historical drama Bridge of Spies, in which he played lawyer James B. Donovan who negotiated for the release of pilot Francis Gary Powers by the Soviet Union in exchange for KGB spy Rudolf Abel. It was released in October 2015 to a positive reception. In April 2016, Hanks starred as Alan Clay in the comedy-drama A Hologram for the King, an adaptation of the 2012 novel of the same name. It is the second time he was directed by Tom Tykwer after Cloud Atlas in 2012.
Hanks starred as airline captain Chesley Sullenberger in Clint Eastwood's Sully, which was released in September 2016. He next reprised his role as Robert Langdon in Inferno (2016), and co-starred alongside Emma Watson in the 2017 science fiction drama The Circle. He voiced David S. Pumpkins in The David S. Pumpkins Animated Halloween Special, which aired October 28, 2017, on NBC, a character he had portrayed in episodes of Saturday Night Live.
Hanks reprised his voice role as Sheriff Woody in Pixar's Toy Story 4, which was released on June 21, 2019.
Hanks will portray Fred Rogers in Marielle Heller's biographical film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. The film will be released on November 22, 2019, by Sony Pictures. Then, Hanks will star as Commander Ernest Krause in Greyhound, a war film to be directed by Aaron Schneider. The film is slated for release on May 8, 2020, by Sony Pictures.
In October 2017, Hanks signed on to star as Finch, the last surviving man on Earth, in the science fiction drama BIOS. Principal production commenced in February 2019. The film is set to be released on October 2, 2020 by Universal Pictures. In February 2019, Hanks was cast in News of the World, to be his second collaboration with director Paul Greengrass. Additional casting was in the works. The next month, Hanks signed to portray Tom Parker, the sole manager of Elvis Presley, in a Baz Luhrmann helmed film. Production would commence later in 2019.
HBO confirmed in January 2013 that it was developing a third World War II miniseries based on the book Masters of the Air by Donald L. Miller with Hanks and Spielberg to follow Band of Brothers and The Pacific. Few details have emerged about the project since, but NME reported in March 2017 that production was progressing under the working title The Mighty Eighth.
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