TOM HANKS BIOGRAPHY House Cars Family Net worth Pets 2017



this is photography for December 21st 1999 at biography with Harry Smith miracles are funny things you never know when they're going to happen this week you can see Tom Hanks has a prison guard in Stephen King's The Green Mile I'm officially freaked out now or you can hear him as woody the cowboy in Toy Story 2 this can't help if Hollywood producers had their way 9 out of 10 movies at your local multiplex would feature Tom Hanks oh wow will you look at me he has joined the ranks of American heroes but his is a very 90s kind of heroism like his oscar-nominated role as Captain Miller and Saving Private Ryan his handshakes from the constant tension he's afraid to get too close to his men knowing they'll die if he gives the wrong order his friend Steve Martin calls him a complicated John Wayne after our biography I'll chat with film critic Elvis Mitchell about Tom Hanks and some of the best films of 1999 houston we have a problem after 19 years in movies Tom Hanks has starred in over 20 films and now earns as much as 20 million dollars a picture and yet he's regarded as a regular guy a family man who shuns the spotlight he is one of only two stars to win back-to-back Best Actor Oscars won in 1994 and again in 1995 and he's made it look easy in many ways he truly has become Hollywood's golden boy Thomas J Hanks the second of four children was born in Concord California on July 9th 1956 his father Amos was an itinerant cook his mother Janet was a waitress the marriage lasted only five stormy years and produced four children with the divorce amos packed up and began a prolonged journey whose first stop was Reno Nevada Tom with his brother Larry and sister Sandra went with Amos while baby brother Jim stayed with his mother Amos and the kids went from job to job town to town and marriage to marriage Thom lived only occasionally with his mother or with his hand who was a strictly religious Nazarene he was raised mostly Catholic Thomas described his childhood as being raised like lion cubs in Reno Amos Hanks was briefly married to a Mormon woman with five children later he settled with his third wife Frances who had one daughter Tom's mother Janet remarried three more times and had one more child in order to adjust to so many changes Tom began to develop a remarkable sense of humor it helped him deal with 11 new siblings over the next five years tom was always the new kid on the block he learned to make new friends or get out of tight situations with jokes and that loopy smile I think he was just a very friendly guy he was outgoing he wanted everybody to know who he was in high school Tom realized the value of entertaining classmates his fellow students named him class cut-up he and a couple other fellows were or instigators and they started a kazoo band these senior guys with Tom leading the pack would walk around what's called the senior lawn at Skyline High School at lunchtime playing the kazoo band and they just played it with such authority that you just thought that's what everybody did he worked at the nearby Oakland Hilton for extra money and even tried being a soda vendor for Oakland A's ballgames tom was a natural athlete at Skyline High School in Oakland he went out for soccer and he ran track but when he saw a friend in a school production of Dracula he decided that acting looked like fun and he signed up for a drama class he didn't realize what an important decision it was Tom loved acting he was good at it and he could meet lots of girls graduating in 1974 a C student Tom entered Shabbo junior college in Hayward California and joined the drama club he continued his theater studies with a scholarship in drama from California State University at Sacramento in 1977 at a Sacramento theatre Tom made his first professional stage appearance in Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard the director Vincent Dowling of Dublin's Abbey Theatre remembers my very first day in Sacramento I went back to the hotel and I said to Alan my wife who's in the business I said I saw a young lad today he reminded me of Tony Curtis only better I think he's got star quality today in his Tom Hanks darling was so impressed by the 20 year old that he invited him to join the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival Theatre in Cleveland Ohio I asked him would he like to come back to Great Lakes Shakespeare and be an intern and I warned him that interns are the last form of slavery in the theatre in those days they did everything understudy play to all the changes everything you could think of me Hanks first major role was as Grumio in The Taming of the Shrew but he also worked as an electrician carpenter and stage manager the youngster who had experienced a constant Roadshow as a child now found a new portable family in the professional theatre I think it's a great training it's it's a great preparation for the life that you're going to lead one in which you learn how to pack a very small bag as far as the things that are important to you there was something about the idea of wanting to get up on stage and pretend that I was somebody else that was probably very much fostered along by being that kid in a new school when everybody else has already been in there for months and here it is in February and some new guy is there making friends within two or three days and you know a year and a half later having you know a knock on the door let me say come on let's throw stuff in the back of the car because we're moving to San Mateo Tom could not have been happier he was acting professionally making the unheard-of sum of 210 dollars a week and he'd gotten his Actors Equity card and that allowed him to work in any theater in the country in 1978 just 21 years old Tom received his first award from the Cleveland critics has Best Actor for his performance in two gentlemen of verona tom was different he looked such an ordinary nice lad but it seems to me that there was an energy and incredible energy and yet it was controlled so you always felt that there was a kind of shooting star you know going across the stage in 1978 Tom felt it was time to move on so at Thanksgiving he sold his Volkswagen sent for his college sweetheart Samantha Luz and headed for the mecca for serious actors New York City Samantha was eight months pregnant life in New York was not easy with an infant son Colin born in December the struggling family got by and very little Tom and Samantha had a small church wedding just after Colin arrived daughter Elizabeth arrived four years later he paid the price his fame to come with a terrible year in New York you know he had a young child and a wife and they went through really tough times Tom's only acting work in New York was for no pay with the Riverside Shakespeare comedy then in 1980 he got his first film role it was a low-budget slasher movie called he knows you're alone shot on nearby Staten Island he earned $800 for three weeks work tom was beginning to attract attention at 24 he signed with a manager and was chosen to star in the ABC series bosom buddies with Peter Scolari the sitcom revolved around two young ad writers forced to dress in drag to live in an all-female hotel the show gave Tom national exposure and the weekly grind helped to sharpen his comedy skills but in 1982 bosom buddies was cancelled after 38 episodes the best was yet to come though Tom Hanks was about to make a splash on the big screen inez look at Tom Hanks continues on biography Tom's ability brought him a long way his stage movie and television experience were about to yield unexpected success Ron Howard and Brian Grazer could not find the man who would be mesmerised by their mermaid Daryl Hannah other actors like Michael Keaton had turned them down but after Tom Hanks auditioned Ron Howard realized they had found their star for his first major role Tom earned $70,000 that seemed like a fortune to Tom but the real payoff from splash was not the money splash was one of 1984's biggest hits earning over 70 million dollars as Disney's first r-rated movie and it made Tom Hanks a household name he was a great guy when we did splash and very impressive fella very relaxed pretty calm even though it was his you know real shot for him his first feature film and all that the momentum started by splash led to an exhausting four movies in just a year and a half tom proved his faithfulness in bachelor party escaped KGB and CIA killers in the man with one red shoe and showed the Peace Corps how to make a decent martini in volunteers by 1985 movie offers were pouring in but his marriage to Samantha Luz was in trouble after Tom filmed the money pit his marriage deteriorated even more the money pit was Tom's first flop and his marriage failed too after seven years together Tom and Samantha separated he wondered if he was creating the same unsettled life for his children that he had experienced the burden of a failed marriage and the box office failure of money pit weighed heavily on him but two things happened in both his career and his personal life that led to a delightful turnaround they first met when she appeared on bosom buddies as a computer date who turned out to be a devil worshiper a year later she was Tom's leading lady in volunteers and he couldn't remember her name she was Rita Wilson and Tom was captivated by this funny attractive woman romance however was out of the question at the time he was married she was engaged and the two actors became friends after Tom's marriage ended and Rita had broken off her engagement they began dating they were inseparable they dated for two and a half years and lived together in the New York apartment which the tabloids called their love nest Tom was amused by the lurid gossip and admitted to the press that he had only been with seven women in his whole life he proposed to Rita on New Year's Eve 1987 and they were married in a Greek Orthodox service in April of 1988 wedding guests included Penny Marshall dan Aykroyd and Tom's two children Colin and Elizabeth with inspiration from the woman whom he called the light of his life Tom put greater importance on his new marriage and his family this all comes down to the heading I guess those things that are really important in this life and that is under the separating of the family and loved ones and it doesn't matter what what order they they come in these people there they are and you have to you have to love them and understand that this is the stuff that really lasts for for the ageism Tom and Rita settled near the beach in Los Angeles Tom's children Colin and Elizabeth spent weekends and holidays with them and the couple started a new family with the birth of a son Chester with the support of his new marriage Tom was ready to take his career in another direction after five comedies in a row Tom developed the film nothing in common with director Gary Marshall he played the son of a difficult ailing father played by Jackie Gleason after only a few days on the set Gleason said the verdict on Tom Hanks is in he's got it for the role Tom tapped into his own experience with his father Amos who had recently become ill with kidney disease Tom's pace didn't slow he was Dan Ackroyd's Protege in dragnet and a struggling comic with Sally Field in punchline at 32 years of age his salary hit three million dollars a picture and then came a very big offer as in splash Tom owed his luck to other actors turning down apart Harrison Ford Robert De Niro and Warren Beatty had all passed on playing a twelve-year-old stuck in a 31 year olds body after seeing the script Tom jumped at it the director Penny Marshall understood Hanks appeal saying he's a vulnerable man the kind of guy you want to take care of I pretended I was 12 years old and that that's really about what I did which you know kind of drove some of the crew members crazy at times but what they were handing out here was one of the best roles that I had ever read we kind of thought that this kid was on the more immature side at 12 years old I was probably something of the same it was until I was 13 that I really started growing up and becoming highly intelligent and debonair with his performance in big Tom brought to the screen a character who is awkward lonely a bit confused but always likeable he relied on memories of his own adolescence to recreate a 12 year olds approach to the opposite sex how do you feel about all this I don't want to feel about one well how do you how do you feel about me you're still gonna find an awful lot of young boys out there who were very very shy when it comes down to talking with girls they're still worshipful and they're still they still are willing to idolize them but when it comes to actually talking to them on a one-to-one basis still at least a murmur a little bit not really know what to say I didn't start shaking that till I was about seen you know 24 25 it's another fragment oh well where are these people who are they that know exactly what to say to women they think they exist only on the pages of men's magazines and nowhere else the most famous scene in big took place in a toy store ironically tom was unsure whether the piano dancing scene would work in the film it was a huge dance number that required the hours and hours and hours and hours and hours of rehearsal stretched out over six weeks big placed Hanks in that rare category of major box-office star it was his first film to gross over 100 million dollars and even though comedies rarely earn Academy Awards tom was nominated for Best Actor for his performance in big Tom Hanks in big the Academy nomination for big was an acceptance of Tom a recognition that this was not a role that many actors could have pulled off I mean he was just magnificent in it Tom reveled in his success but what goes up must often come down and the next stage in Tom's career would challenge him as never before you are watching Tom Hanks in 1989 Tom Hanks was at the top of his game he was riding a wave of box-office success and had his first Academy Award nomination Hank's looked unstoppable but he would still have to endure some lesser films and some downright flops in the burbs Tom endured his paranoid neighbours in Turner and hooch his co-star was a drooling Mastiff he thought he'd found a winner co-starring with meg Ryan in an offbeat comedy by John Patrick Shanley Joe versus the volcano and he pursued the part he made a pre-emptive bid for it I met with him once and we really hit it off and I explained the whole concept for the film to him everything I intended to do music camera everything and he was very happy with that and and we shook hands and it happened volcano was a box-office failure but the worst was still ahead bonfire of the vanities had all the earmarks of a hit a best-selling book and a top director Brian De Palma I always wanted an actor like Tom with to play both comedic and serious side of this Karen it's not overtly comic this is one of the first characters I did that doesn't do anything specifically in order to get laughs he reacts only to what goes on to them this is my cast sort of you know like Kubrick with cast Strangelove you want actors to come play but you know I see Scott or Peter Sellers play both those sides can make it very real and at the same time almost preposterous bonfire of the vanities was a scandalous failure ringing Hanks his first bad reviews and inspiring a book The Devil's candy Tom had done unsuccessful pictures before but because of its size bonfire got the most attention most disturbing and surprising to Tom was that he was among those blamed you never know when it's going down the tubes you never know when it's gonna be great the odds are against you making a good movie anyway when you make a really good movie you have you have defied an awful lot of the fates bonfire comes out and it's unequivocally not very good and you know and everybody tell us you so repeatedly you just say well yeah it didn't quite quite they achieve it on that when you shake it off he appeared philosophical in public but the bonfire experience was traumatic for Tom he took a 19-month break and then he signed with super agent Michael Ovitz this what I like it's good to be that naive theme play does that mean you just give 100% all the time can't operate at half speed and even if you're feeling cranky or mad or you hate the other person that you're working with look you you you do the professional thing you you respect the material and you and you go at it you do the best job that you are capable of doing day in and day out Tom returned to work reunited with director Penny Marshall in an offbeat supporting role he played the harsh boozy manager of a failing women's baseball team in a league of their own then with Meg Ryan Hanks triumph in 1993 surprised summer hit Sleepless in Seattle there was another on-screen reunion with wife Rita Wilson who played one of Tom's married friends in the film he's friendly he's collaborative he's generous he's funny and and when we would go home at night he'd be my husband again Rita continued her own acting career planning jobs around Tom's schedule so the family could travel together I pursue it and I work maybe not in as visible away as Tom's but I've been doing a lot of television and a lot of theater we really make a commitment to travel with each other when they're working and so we keep the family together and that's sort of a decision we've made and we stick to Tom brought more than just star power to Sleepless in Seattle he became a collaborative artist a creative force the other thing about Thomas he's a great writer so if he is playing a scene that he thinks could be better he is going to tell you how to make it better and if you have any brands at all you just write it down and type it up Tom's next film presented him with his greatest challenge in Philadelphia he gambled that audiences would accept him as a gay attorney with AIDS Tom put his body and soul into the part he did extensive research with patients at the UCLA AIDS Institute and lost 35 pounds it's good to see you again counselor a knock you down Eve ace I have AIDS it was right it was timely and it was political and it was you know the blazing there's a certain degree of new territory but more than anything else it was a story it was that was work it was a good story that's the thing that you're always looking for on this trip Tom's co-stars were impressed with his open attitude it's a good man very talented dedicated funny regular guy you know he's like myself just for the work and got a whole lot of whoo blood he was fantastic to play with him it was very open you never had a problem with thinking that he was playing a normal sexual sense agree that it was just playing with a lot of courage you know dignity was so beautiful we've mainly seen Tom in comedy so far our light romances or what-have-you but that stuff requires just as much hard work as any of the any of the heavy stuff does so I sort of had a clear understanding of Tom Hanks was a very very deep act along but this part came up Tom had bounced back from failure both personally and creatively and he was now about to be honored not only by the public but by his peers inez look at Tom Hanks continues on biography Tom Hanks talent and charm had made him a box-office superstar and now he was about to join Hollywood's elite first the international press honored with a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in Philadelphia after accepting the award Tom gratefully acknowledged the people with AIDS he had come to know during the making of the film not fair for me to be here you know in some ways I can't separate the fact that I'm an actor and I do this and there's commerce involved in this big money and there's advertising campaigns and there's press junkets and all that stuff and I have come I have met I have grown to love and respect men and women who aren't here any longer who will not be here any longer and it just puts everything in in a perspective that is undeniable would you get what did you find a lawyer the Golden Globe was followed by an Oscar for Philadelphia an Academy Award for Best Actor the earth no longer just a comedic star Tom had proven himself a great dramatic actor as well the following year in Forrest Gump he played a simple-minded southern boy who lives through some remarkable adventures will you marry me I'd make a good husband Jenny you don't want to marry me Tom had come a long way from his scuffling days in New York and Cleveland now his asking price was 15 million dollars a picture and with Gump his earning power surpassed even that of Hollywood's top star Arnold Schwarzenegger I'm pretty tired think I'll go home now Hank's had decided to take a lower salary in exchange for a small percentage of Gump's box office receipts the movie was a runaway hit and with more than 350 million dollars at the box office became one of the highest-grossing films in history Tom's percentage earned him more than 60 million dollars again Hanks fans had rewarded him at the box office if I'd have known this was going to be the last time being a bubble was going a force in 1995 for the second year in a row tom was honored with a Golden Globe for Best Actor two months later Tom became only the third star in history to receive the Best Actor Oscar two years in a row Tom earned his place in the record books by winning back-to-back Oscars only two leading actors have done that before Louise Reiner and Spencer Tracy it was hard not to cheer Tom on because he is such an ingratiating guy that you you're bound to be in his ruling section typically though deeply honored Tom's thoughts were mostly about his family my family goes through a lot of sacrifices because of what I do they they they we have to compromise an awful lot of their regular daily life because of the the level that I'm able to work at I'm just so glad that I get to share it with you know my babies are in the room and my wife is there and my mom is there and it's a family it's a family thing Hank's career had reached an unimaginable zenith and now he was ready to go even higher in 1995 it didn't seem like things could get any better for Tom Hanks but he was about to realize a boyhood fantasy as he joined the team that would reenact one of the most dramatic stories in the history of space exploration hey we've got a problem here the tank houston we have a problem Apollo 13 is the story of three astronauts trapped in space after a freak accident the saga of the moon flight held special appeal for hanks who admits a childhood passion for space travel I love the space program I paid attention to it I knew all the flights of the Apollo mission and I watched religiously I remember running home from junior high school to watch Jules Bergman and tell us what happened to Apollo 13 while I was in school Tom's enthusiasm proved contagious and for all involved the shooting of Apollo 13 was a once-in-a-lifetime experience it was great we became good friends I think I can say that and it was a wonderful experience we were and tom was definitely the commander of the voyage he knew a lot about the subject but he was just a leader in every way I'm not gonna go bouncing off the walls for ten minutes they're just gonna end up right back here with the same problems trying to figure out how to stay alive we on Fox we're not on Fox yeah Houston this is Aquarius go ahead Thomas uh one of the funniest people I've ever met as I can honestly say that I mean I was in hysterics for a lot of the film I've never laughed so hard and that was actually really helpful for all of us I think to get through you know sort of uncomfortable long situations where we couldn't really move we were strapped into the chairs a different group of guys and a different star it could have been a nightmare and it was a great great time Apollo 13 reunited Tom with the director who launched his film career Ron Howard tom has great intuitive instincts and his excellent taste he really cares about the audience not in that sort of pandering way matter of fact he's always saying let's not play down to people come on you know he's a smart people we don't have to show him everything let's you know let him feel it along with us a little bit he's got a lot of integrity as not to be corny but as an artist and you know what else is great about him he loves being an actor he loves being involved in movies and and he and he takes it he takes it seriously Tom then starred as the voice of woody the cowboy doll in Disney's Toy Story this 200 million dollar hit kept Tom's name in the top grossing film category you are watching Tom Hanks Tom Hanks fame and success have not overshadowed his deep commitment to his family his father Amos Hanks died in 1996 tom has remained close to his mother and other family including his brother Jim who is also an actor between projects Tom most enjoys a simple home life with his wife and children reading newspapers enjoying dinner with friends taking his kids to the dentist into ballgames he and Rita shun the Hollywood party circuit and he credits his wife for his success at home and on screen it's true yeah it's fine I'm sitting at a table with Bruce Springsteen one of his most evocative phrases and that I've ever heard was we get the chance to sleep beneath peaceful skies in our lovers bed with wide open country in my eyes and these romantic dreams in my head I got that with my wife on the lucky man I died I'm 37 years old and and believe it or not at least for this year anyway I think I got a whipped and she's a big reason because of that now next year well you never know but I can't help but but feel that I am lucky in love you know Hollywood loves heroes in the past it was Gary Cooper John Wayne Jimmy Stewart Tom Hanks is the hero for the 90s he's just perfect for the times everybody loves him he's not dull he is so alive and has such a great sense of humor it's true everyone can identify with him you know the older brother who was funny and friendly and cheerful kind of the older brother that everybody would love to have though tom has played a broad range of roles he still recognizes his most durable quality as a performer I am perfectly happy and have made my peace long ago with the fact that I'm a funny guy this this is a I treated like a curse for a real long time but it's it's just as much of a fact as you know that I have two feet just some cruel accident of fate I think certainly part of it is a self defense mechanism because I moved around a lot when I was a kid and found myself in new cities and with new friends and new family members a lot it also comes from a brand of communication that was developed between myself and my siblings and my mom and my dad and whatever and it was a way of I guess getting over some tough things Tom's life continued to offer him success in happiness New Sun Truman was born in December of 1995 and in 96 Tom made his writing and directing debut with that thing you do the nostalgic story of a rock band in the early 60s he loyally reunited many of the actors he had worked with in his early career despite his astonishing success tom has not lost his down-to-earth perspective on life you know that this town is littered with the corpses of people who thought they were hotter stuff than they were and I must say that when I first came out of 1981 I did probably tell myself you know listen pal a couple a couple of idiotic moves and you'll be carrying somebody's bags back at the Oakland Hilton hotel so keep your head on straight and keep your keep your eye on the horizon the golden boy has demonstrated his Midas touch time and again just in the past five years Hanks movies have taken in more than a billion dollars at the box office 1998 was typical with Hanks playing a tough army captain in one blockbuster a tender capitalist in another first came Saving Private Ryan which attracted men and women young and old Steven Spielberg's war epic earned Hank still another Academy Award nomination as Best Actor then you've got male reunited him with meg Ryan their romantic chemistry turned the romantic comedy into a runaway hit and this Christmas season Tom Hanks is being seen and heard in two more box-office winners very different movies that serve as showcases for his amazing versatility hanks is heard in Toy Story 2 where his voice gives life to the doll named woody Toy Story to open Thanksgiving weekend then past the magic 100 million dollar mark in less than two weeks the animated film attracted kids and their parents his other holiday movie The Green Mile is billed as a film with an ensemble cast but there's no doubt which actor is first among equals Hanks plays a prison guard watching over doomed inmates on Louisiana's death row my name is Paul Edgecombe questions you leave the light on after bedtime its three-hour length doesn't seem to bother moviegoers who are lining up to see a riveting story the actor whose streak of hits has now reached double figures so what is it about Tom Hanks that enables him to pack the house every time out to discuss that I am joined by film critic Elvis Mitchell versatile in his own right he's heard on National Public Radio's weekend edition seen on CNN and those reviews appear in numerous publications including in the not-too-distant future the New York Times Elvis welcome thanks Aaron and congratulations let's talk a little bit about Tom Hanks I remember we're writing once about him he's kind of an everyman and what do you think makes him work on-screen Hanks is always like this kid who couldn't keep his mouth shut when he's really great like an early move like bachelor party which is truly a terrible motion picture incidentally and he keeps it alive through sheer MGM he's doing everything including bursting in the song and keep the picture going and he also connects with other actors I think that's his real genius you see him in the movie like Turner and hooch he's working with the dog he's virtually directing the dog on the set now they're actors who just wouldn't give themselves over like that and he seems beyond vanity and this dog is slobbering all over but how does he go from those movies you talked about to Philadelphia can't count every other year he's walking away with an Oscar how does he go from those to the lawyer I think it was basically punchline an 88 which kind of signaled he wasn't doing that boy man stuff so much anymore in big was the last time he literally played that guy who was a boy trapped in the man's by it up until that point he's been doing that all the time it seemed like literally as he gained weight he kind of gained some presence his new movie this winter is a green modest Stephen King based on the Stephen King story is he good in it he's fun and I mean he's very restrained and it's funny and talking about this and I'm sure looking at that biography you can see how minimal he's becoming his effects now I mean he knows he has to work less and the audience will pay more attention to him so he's very aware of that it's a very classy performance I think and a little uninteresting I like more juice going on and he's very generous isn't that even here he's like in an ensemble cast he's first among equals but he's basically giving each other actor at their do he really works in Toy Story 2 yes he does he's doing that thing I was talking about what you can hear that miss Tom Hanks one oh do I gotta people live for that kind of thing you get the feeling he still loves to give pleasure to people and in a movie like that we basically work with other actors doing voice that you've been here again but that sort of rising to the bait I mean playing as good as the other players around him and it's really wonderful to hear it's also a great movie it is amazing movie wallace shawn is my favorite character dinosaur and I went with my six-year-old he loved it and I completely I he saw a different movie than I saw clearly because he came out he's talking about a whole bunch of different stuff than I was well that's just it it's the kind of really wonderful thing that's happened to animation now you see parents and kids walking out talking about the version of movie that they've seen and then they're both right because there's so much stuff going on that it appeals a kid because there's a real worldly good quality where this joke after joke after joke the movies almost bursting at the seams of the ideas at the same time there's a pretty simple through line to this story there are simple emotional connections but it plays like really smart slapstick what that is one of your favorite movies to this to your past yes another one of your favorites is being John Malkovich Being John Malkovich is so full of stuff your friends could just explain to you the plot and basically not give you the movie away I mean part of the fun is in watching this movie we're basically words deal with the nature celebrity and John Malkovich is this guy people really want to because he's a celebrity but basically nobody knows we use in the movie of all the movies of this year past if we were gonna take one and say go see that or if it's gonna be in a movie theater if it comes out on a rental or something which one would it say it would have to be three kings which i think is the most remarkable american movie of the year it's a movie about contradictions its movie about cultural imperialism but it's also an action movie and a very smart very funny action comedy about the Gulf War I mean a movie that takes all that stuff apart it deals with the this sort of way America kind of waited in there and made a presence but in fact it really do anything after the ceasefire was declared and the movie starts with an amazing piece of filmmaking that's about confusion there is somebody we don't know waving and Mark Wahlberg goes are we shooting are we shooting yet is this over and the movies about that kind of confusion that basically nothing is really clear to the characters in the movie but also an American thing that everybody wants to do what's right you have to keep in mind Americans basically haven't seen a war in our own country through this entire century so for these kids who've been playing video games this is just excitement so this is basically a big beer party so to see what's really going on a little bit past the borders it really sort of shocks them and makes human beings of I mean it's a movie this is part Kelly's heroes it's part of the Treasure of the Sierra Madre it's part Gaddar it's it's part Joel Silver movie and it's really terrific filmmaking made by a guy David Russell we've done a couple little sort of screwball comedies flirting with disaster and spanking the monkey and you would never think that a guy like that had this kind of technique are you a little bit surprised at the quality of the movies of the last year because so much of Hollywood is so much about money money money money and they're trying to make money of these movies is all about making money but what's interesting now is I think basically there's so much going on at the excitement in popular culture now which seems to be in this way a weird way about sampling has finally leaked into the movie so you get a big studio like Warner's which is basically dead at the beginning of the year then they make three kings and Iron Giant and The Matrix which are three the most exciting movies of the year they're all about velocity and an audiences are basically catching on it's I think they realize now that you can't get borrow that same stuff anymore you can make really fun interesting exciting movies and still have audiences come out to see them I mean Toy Story truth too is real proof of that yeah big time Elvis Mitchell thank you tomorrow on biography he came into his biography brought to you in part by Tylenol good to be that naive teamplay does that mean you just give 100% all the time you can't operate at half speed and even if you're feeling cranky or mad or you hate the other person that you're working with look you you you do the professional thing you you respect the material and you and you go at it you do the best job that you are capable of doing day in and day out Tom returned to work reunited with director Penny Marshall in an offbeat supporting role he played the harsh boozy manager of a failing women's baseball team in a league of their own then with Meg Ryan Hanks triumph in 1993 surprise summer hit Sleepless in Seattle there was another on-screen reunion with wife Rita Wilson who played one of Tom's married friends in the film he's friendly he's collaborative he's generous he's funny and and when we would go home at night he'd be my husband again Rita continued her own acting career planning jobs around Tom's schedule so the family could travel together I pursue it and I work maybe not in as visible away as Tom's but I've been doing a lot of television and a lot of theater we really make a commitment to travel with each other when they're working so we keep the family together and that's sort of a decision we've made and we stick to Tom brought more than just star power to Sleepless in Seattle he became a collaborative artist a creative force the other thing that tom is he's a great writer so if he is playing a scene that he thinks could be better he is going to tell you how to make it better and if you have any brands at all you just write it down and type it up Tom's next film presented him with his greatest challenge in Philadelphia he gambled that audiences would accept him as a gay attorney with AIDS Tom put his body and soul into the part he did extensive research with patients at the UCLA AIDS Institute and lost 35 pounds mr. Beckett come in it's good to see you again counselor in ocular how I what I need face I have AIDS it was right it was timely and it was political and it was you know the blazing there's a certain degree of new territory but more than anything else it was a story it was that was worth it was a good story that's the thing that you're always looking for in the script Tom's co-stars were impressed with his open attitude it's good man very talented dedicated funny regular guy you know he's like myself just for the work and got a whole lot of whoo blood we was fantastic to play with him it was very open he never had a problem with thinking that he was playing and homosexual sons agree that it was just playing a lot for courage you know dignity was so beautiful we've mainly seen Tom in comedies so far our light romances or what-have-you but that stuff requires just as much hard work as any of the any of the heavy stuff does so I sort of had a clear understanding of Tom Hanks was a very very deep act along with his part came up Tom had bounced back from failure both personally and creatively and he was now about to be honored not only by the public but by his peers inez look at Tom Hanks continues on biography Tom Hanks talent and charm had made him a box-office superstar and now he was about to join Hollywood's elite at first the international press honored with a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in Philadelphia after accepting the award Tom gratefully acknowledged the people with AIDS he had come to know during the making of the film not fair for me to be here you know in some ways I can't separate the fact that I'm an actor and I do this and there's commerce involved in there's big money and there's advertising campaigns and there's press junkets and all that stuff and I have come I have met I have grown to love and respect men and women who aren't here any longer who will not be here any longer and it just puts everything in in a perspective that is undeniable would you get what did you find a lawyer the Golden Globe was followed by an Oscar for Philadelphia an Academy Award for Best Actor really about what I did which you know kind of drove some of the crew members crazy at times but what they were handing out here was one of the best roles that I had ever read we kind of thought that this kid was on the more immature side at 12 years old I was probably something of the same it was until I was 13 that I really started growing up and becoming highly intelligent and debonair with his performance in big Tom brought to the screen a character who is awkward lonely a bit confused but always likable he relied on memories of his own adolescence to recreate a 12 year olds approach to the opposite sex how do you feel about all this I don't I feel about one well how do you how do you feel about me you're still gonna find an awful lot of young boys out there who were very very shy when it comes down to talking with girls they're still worshipful and they're still they still are willing to idolize them but when it comes in actually talking to them on a one-to-one basis still Lily stammered a little bit and not really know what to say I didn't start shaking that till I was about senior 2425 as a matter of fact oh where are these people who are they that know exactly what to say to women today I think they exist only on the pages of men's magazines and nowhere else the most famous scene in big took place in a toy store ironically Tom was unsure whether the piano dancing scene would work in the film it was a huge dance number that required hours and hours and hours and hours and hours of rehearsal stretched out over six weeks chopsticks big placed Hanks in that rare category of major box-office star it was his first film to gross over 100 million dollars and even though comedies rarely earn Academy Awards Tom was nominated for Best Actor for his performance in big Tom Hanks in big the Academy nomination for big was an acceptance of Tom a recognition that this was not a role that many actors could have pulled off I mean he was just magnificent in its Tom reveled in his success but what goes up must often come down and the next stage in Tom's career would challenge him as never before you are watching Tom Hanks in 1989 Tom Hanks was at the top of his game he was riding a wave of box-office success and had his first Academy Award nomination Hank's looked unstoppable but he would still have to endure some lesser films and some downright flops in the burbs Tom endured his paranoid neighbours in Turner and hooch his co-star was a drooling Mastiff he thought he'd found a winner co-starring with meg Ryan in an offbeat comedy by John Patrick Shanley Joe versus the volcano and he pursued the part he made a pre-emptive bid for it I met with him once and we really hit it off and I explained the whole concept for the film to him everything I intended to do music camera everything and he was very happy with that and and we shook hands and it happened volcano was a box-office failure but the worst was still ahead bonfire of the vanities had all the earmarks of a hit a best-selling book and a top director Brian De Palma I always wanted an actor like Tommy to play both comedic and serious side of this carrot it's not overtly comic this is one of the first characters I did that doesn't do anything specifically in order to get laughs he reacts only to what goes on to them this is a cast sort of you know like to work with cast Strangelove you want actors to come play both you know at Chertsey Scott or Peter Sellers play both those sides can make it very real and at the same time almost preposterous bonfire of the vanities was a scandalous failure bringing hanks his first bad reviews and inspiring a book The Devil's candy Tom had done unsuccessful pictures before but because of its size bonfire got the most attention most disturbing and surprising to Tom was that he was among those blamed you never know when it's going down the tubes you never know when it's gonna be great the odds are against you making a good movie anyway when you make a really good movie you have you have defied an awful lot of the fates and bonfire comes out and it's unequivocally not very good and you know and everybody tell us you so repeatedly you just say well yeah it didn't quite quite they achieve it on that when you shake it off he appeared philosophical in public but the bonfire experience was traumatic for Tom he took a 19-month break and then he signed with super agent Michael Ovitz this what I like is this is biography for December 21st 1999 at biography with Harry Smith miracles are fine thanks you never know when they're going to happen this week you can see Tom Hanks has a prison guard in Stephen King's The Green Mile I'm officially freaked out now or you can hear him as woody the cowboy in Toy Story 2 this can't help if Hollywood producers had their way 9 out of 10 movies at your local multiplex would feature Tom Hanks oh wow will you look at me he has joined the ranks of American heroes but his is a very 90s kind of heroism like his oscar-nominated role as Captain Miller in Saving Private Ryan his hands shakes from the constant tension he's afraid to get too close to his men knowing they'll die if he gives the wrong order his friend Steve Martin calls him a complicated John Wayne after our biography I'll chat with film critic Elvis Mitchell about Tom Hanks and some of the best films of 1999 houston we have a problem after 19 years in movies Tom Hanks has starred in over 20 films and now earns as much as 20 million dollars a picture and yet he's regarded as a regular guy a family man who shuns the spotlight he is one of only two stars to win back-to-back Best Actor Oscars won in 1994 and again in 1995 and he's made it look easy in many ways he truly has become Hollywood's golden boy Thomas J Hanks the second of four children was born in Concord California on July 9th 1956 his father Amos was an itinerant cook his mother Janet was a waitress the marriage lasted only five stormy years and produced four children with the divorce amos packed up and began a prolonged journey whose first stop was Reno Nevada Tom with his brother Larry and sister Sandra went with Amos while baby brother Jim stayed with his mother Amos and the kids went from job to job town to town and marriage to marriage Thom lived only occasionally with his mother or with his hand who was a strictly religious Nazarene he was raised mostly Catholic Thomas described his childhood as being raised like lion cubs in Reno Amos Hanks was briefly married to a Mormon woman with five children later he settled with his third wife Frances who had one daughter Tom's mother Janet remarried three more times and had one more child in order to adjust to so many changes Tom began to develop a remarkable sense of humor it helped him deal with 11 new siblings over the next five years tom was always the new kid on the block he learned to make new friends or get out of tight situations with jokes and that loopy smile I think he was just a very friendly guy he was outgoing he wanted everybody to know who he was in high school Tom realized the value of entertaining classmates his fellow students named him class cut-up he and a couple other fellows were or instigators and they started a kazoo band these senior guys with Tom leading the pack would walk around what's called the senior lawn at Skyline High School at lunchtime playing the kazoo band and they just played it with such authority that you just thought that's what everybody did he worked at the nearby Oakland Hilton for extra money and even tried being a soda vendor for Oakland A's ballgames tom was a natural athlete at Skyline High School in Oakland he went out for soccer and he ran track but when he saw a friend in a school production of Dracula he decided that acting looked like fun and he signed up for a drama class he didn't realize what an important decision it was Tom loved acting he was good at it and he could meet lots of girls graduating in 1974 a C student Tom entered Shabbo Junior College in Hayward California and joined the drama realized they had found their star for his first major role Tom earned $70,000 that seemed like a fortune to Tom but the real payoff from splash was not the money splash was one of 1984's biggest hits earning over 70 million dollars as Disney's first r-rated movie and it made Tom Hanks a household name he was a great guy when we did splash and very impressive fella very relaxed pretty calm even though it was his you know real shot for him his first feature film and all that the momentum started by splash led to an exhausting four movies in just a year and a half Tom proved his faithfulness in bachelor party escaped KGB and CIA killers in the man with one red shoe and showed the Peace Corps how to make a decent martini in volunteers by 1985 movie offers were pouring in but his marriage to Samantha Luz was in trouble after Tom film the money pit his marriage deteriorated even more the money pit was Tom's first flop and his marriage failed too after seven years together Tom and Samantha separated he wondered if he was creating the same unsettled life for his children that he had experienced the burden of a failed marriage and the box office failure of money pit weighed heavily on him but two things happened in both his career and his personal life that led to a delightful turnaround they first met when she appeared on bosom buddies as a computer date who turned out to be a devil worshiper a year later she was Tom's leading lady in volunteers and he couldn't remember her name she was Rita Wilson and Tom was captivated by this funny attractive woman romance however was out of the question at the time he was married she was engaged and the two actors became friends after Tom's marriage ended and Rita had broken off her engagement they began dating they were inseparable they dated for two and a half years and lived together in the New York apartment which the tabloids called their love nest Tom was amused by the lurid gossip and admitted to the press that he had only been with seven women in his whole life he proposed to Rita on New Year's Eve 1987 and they were married in a Greek Orthodox service in April of 1988 wedding guests included Penny Marshall dan Aykroyd and Tom's two children Colin and Elizabeth with inspiration from the woman whom he called the light of his life Tom put greater importance on his new marriage and his family this all comes down to the heading I guess those things that are really important in this life and that is under the separating of family and loved ones and it doesn't matter what what order they they come in these people there they are and you have to you have to love them and understand that this is the stuff that really lasts for for the ageism Tom and Rita settled near the beach in Los Angeles Tom's children Colin and Elizabeth spent weekends and holidays with them and the couple started a new family with the birth of a son Chester with the support of his new marriage tom was ready to take his career in another direction after five comedies in a row Tom developed the film nothing in common with director Gary Marshall he played the son of a difficult ailing father played by Jackie Gleason after only a few days on the set Gleason said the verdict on Tom Hanks is in he's got it for the role Tom tapped into his own experience with his father Amos who had recently become ill with kidney disease Tom's pace didn't slow he was Dan Aykroyd's Protege in dragnet and a struggling comic with Sally Field in punchline at 32 years of age his salary hit three million dollars a picture and then came a very big offer as in splash Tom owed his luck to other actors turning down apart Harrison Ford Robert De Niro and Warren Beatty had all passed on playing a twelve-year-old stuck in a 31 year olds body after seeing the script Tom jumped at it the director Penny Marshall understood Hanks appeal saying he's a vulnerable man the kind of guy you want to take care of I pretended I was 12 years old and that that's love he continued his theater studies with a scholarship in drama from California State University at Sacramento in 1977 at a Sacramento theater Tom made his first professional stage appearance in Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard the director Vincent Dowling of Dublin's Abbey Theatre remembers my very first day in Sacramento I went back to the hotel and I said to Alan my wife who's in the business I said I saw a young lad today he reminded me of Tony Curtis only better I think he's got star quality name is Tom Hanks darling was so impressed by the 20 year old that he invited him to join the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival Theatre in Cleveland Ohio I asked him would he like to come back to Great Lakes Shakespeare and be an intern and I warned him that interns are the last form of slavery in the theatre in those days they did everything understudy play to all the changes everything you could think of me Hanks first major role was as Grumio in The Taming of the Shrew but he also worked as an electrician carpenter and stage manager the youngster who had experienced a constant Roadshow as a child now found a new portable family in the professional theatre I think it's a great training it's it's a great preparation for the life that you're going to lead one in which you learn how to pack a very small bag as far as the things that are important to you there was something about the idea of wanting to get up onstage and pretend that I was somebody else that was probably very much fostered along by being that kid in a new school when everybody else has already been in there for months and here it is in February and some new guy is there and making friends within two or three days and you know a year and a half later and having you know a knock on the door I'm gonna say come on let's throw stuff in the back of the car cuz we're moving to San Mateo Tom could not have been happier he was acting professionally making the unheard-of sum of 210 dollars a week and he'd gotten his Actors Equity card and that allowed him to work in any theater in the country in 1978 just 21 years old Tom received his first award from the Cleveland critics has Best Actor for his performance in two gentlemen of verona tom was different he looked such an ordinary nice lad but it seems to me that there was an energy and incredible energy and yet it was controlled so you always felt that there was a kind of shooting star you know going across the stage in 1978 Tom felt it was time to move on so at Thanksgiving he sold his Volkswagen sent for his college sweetheart Samantha Luz and headed for the mecca for serious actors New York City Samantha was eight months pregnant life in New York was not easy with an infant son Colin born in December the struggling family got by and very little Tom and Samantha had a small church wedding just after Colin arrived daughter Elizabeth arrived four years later he paid the price his fame to come with a terrible year in New York you know he had a young child and and a wife and they went through really tough times Tom's only acting work in New York was for no pay with the Riverside Shakespeare Company then in 1980 he got his first film role it was a low-budget slasher movie called he knows you're alone shot on nearby Staten Island here and $800 for three weeks work tom was beginning to attract attention at 24 he signed with a manager and was chosen to star in the ABC series bosom buddies with Peter Scolari the sitcom revolved around two young ad writers forced to dress in drag to live in an all-female hotel the show gave Tom national exposure and the weekly grind helped to sharpen his comedy skills but in 1982 bosom buddies was cancelled after 38 episodes the best was yet to come though Tom Hanks was about to make a splash on the big screen inez look at Tom Hanks continues on biography Tom's ability brought him a long way his stage movie and television experience were about to yield unexpected success Ron Howard and Brian Grazer could not find the man who would be mesmerised by their mermaid Daryl Hannah other actors like Michael Keaton had turned them down but after Tom Hanks auditioned Ron Howard we asked him would he like to come back to Great Lakes Shakespeare and be an intern and I warned him that interns are the last form of slavery in the theatre in those days they did everything understudy play to all the changes everything you could think of me Hanks first major role was as Grumio in the Taming of the Shrew but he also worked as an electrician carpenter and stage manager the youngster who had experienced a constant road show as a child now found a new portable family in the professional theatre I think it's a great training it's it's a great preparation for the life that you're going to lead one in which you learn how to pack a very small bag as far as the things that are important to you there was something about the idea of wanting to get up onstage and pretend that I was somebody else that was probably very much fostered along by being that kid in a new school when everybody else has already been in there for months and here it is in February and some new guy is making friends within two or three days and you know a year and a half later having you know a knock on the door come and say come on let's throw stuff in the back of the car cuz we're moving to San Mateo Tom could not have been happier he was acting professionally making the unheard-of sum of 210 dollars a week and he'd gotten his Actors Equity card and that allowed him to work in any theater in the country in 1978 just 21 years old Tom received his first award from the Cleveland critics as Best Actor for his performance in two gentlemen of verona tom was different he looked such an ordinary nice lad but it seems to me that there was an energy and incredible energy and yet it was controlled so you always felt that there was a kind of shooting star you know going across the stage in 1978 Tom felt it was time to move on so at Thanksgiving he sold his Volkswagen sent for his college sweetheart Samantha Luz and headed for the mecca for serious actors New York City Samantha was eight months pregnant life in New York was not easy with an infant son Colin born in December the struggling family got by and very little Tom and Samantha had a small church wedding just after Colin arrived daughter Elizabeth arrived four years later he paid the price his fame to come with a terrible year in New York you know he had a young child and and a wife and they went through really tough times Tom's only acting work in New York was for no pay with a Riverside Shakespeare Company then in 1980 he got his first film role it was a low-budget slasher movie called he knows you're alone shot on nearby Staten Island here and $800 for three weeks work tom was beginning to attract attention at 24 he signed with a manager and was chosen to star in the ABC series bosom buddies with Peter Scolari the sitcom revolved around two young ad writers forced to dress in drag to live in an all-female hotel the show gave Tom national exposure and the weekly grind helped to sharpen his comedy skills but in 1982 boozing buddies was cancelled after 38 episodes the best was yet to come though Tom Hanks was about to make a splash on the big screen inez look at Tom Hanks continues on biography Tom's ability brought him a long way his stage movie and television experience were about to yield unexpected success Ron Howard and Brian Grazer could not find the man who would be mesmerised by their mermaid Daryl Hannah other actors like Michael Keaton had turned them down but after Tom Hanks auditioned Ron Howard realized they had found their star for his first major role Tom earned $70,000 that seemed like a fortune to Tom but the real payoff from splash was not the money splash was one of 1984's biggest hits earning over 70 million dollars as Disney's first r-rated movie and it made Tom Hanks a household name he was a great guy when we did splash and very impressive fella very relaxed pretty calm even though it was you know real shot for him his first feature film and all that the momentum started by splash led to an exhausting four movies in just a year and a half tom proved his faithfulness in bachelor party escaped KGB and CIA killers in the man with one red shoe and showed the Peace Corps how to make a decent martini in volunteers by 1985 movie offers were pouring in but his marriage to Samantha Luz was in trouble after Tom filmed the money pit his marriage deteriorated even more the money pit was Tom's first flop and his marriage failed too after seven years together Tom and Samantha separated he wondered if he was creating the same unsettled life for his children that he had experienced the burden of a failed marriage very very deep back along with his part came up Tom had bounced back from failure both personally and creatively and he was now about to be honored not only by the public but by his peers inez look at Tom Hanks continues on biography Tom Hanks talent and charm had made him a box-office superstar and now he was about to join Hollywood's elite first the international press honored with a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in Philadelphia after accepting the award Tom gratefully acknowledged the people with AIDS he had come to know during the making of the film not fair for me to be here you know in some ways I can't separate the fact that I'm an actor and I do this and there's commerce involved and there's big money and there's advertising campaigns and there's press junkets and all that stuff and I have come I have met I have grown to love and respect men and women who aren't here any longer who will not be here any longer and it just puts everything in in a perspective that is undeniable would you get what did you find a lawyer the Golden Globe was followed by an Oscar for Philadelphia an Academy Award for Best Actor no longer just a comedic star Tom had proven himself a great dramatic actor as well the following year in Forrest Gump he played a simple-minded southern boy who lives through some remarkable adventures will you marry me I'd make a good husband Jenny you don't want to marry me Tom had come a long way from his scuffling days in New York and Cleveland now his asking price was 15 million dollars a picture and with Gump his earning power surpassed even that of Hollywood's top star Arnold Schwarzenegger I'm pretty tired think I'll go home now Hank's had decided to take a lower salary in exchange for a small percentage of Gump's box office receipts the movie was a runaway hit and with more than 350 million dollars at the box office became one of the highest-grossing films in history Tom's percentage earned him more than 60 million dollars again Hanks fans had rewarded him at the box office if I had known this was going to be the last time me and Bubba was going hey force in 1995 for the second year in a row tom was honored with a Golden Globe for Best Actor two months later Tom became only the third star in history to receive the Best Actor Oscar two years in a row Tom earned his place in the record books by winning back-to-back Oscars only two leading actors have done that before Louise Reiner and Spencer Tracy it was hard not to cheer Tom on because he is such an ingratiating guy that you you're bound to be in his ruling section typically though deeply honored Tom's thoughts were mostly about his family my family goes through a lot of sacrifices because of what I do they-they-they we have to compromise an awful lot of their regular daily life because of the the level that I'm able to work at I'm just so glad that I get to share it with you know my babies are in the room and my wife is there and my mom is there and it's a family it's a family thing Hanks career had reached an unimaginable zenith and now he was ready to go even higher in 1995 it didn't seem like things could get any better for Tom Hanks but he was about to realize a boyhood fantasy as he joined the team that would reenact one of the most dramatic stories in the history of space exploration we've got a problem here nothing stirred the tank houston we have a problem Apollo 13 is the story of three astronauts trapped in space after a freak accident the saga of the moon flight held special appeal for hanks who admits a childhood passion for space travel I love the space program I paid attention to it I knew all the flights of the Apollo mission and I watched religiously I remember running home from junior high school to watch Jules Bergman and tell us what happened to Apollo 13 while I was in school Tom's enthusiasm proved contagious and for all involved the shooting of Apollo 13 was a once-in-a-lifetime experience it was great we became good friends I think I can say that and it was a wonderful experience we were and tom was definitely the commander of the voyage he knew a lot about the subject but he was just a leader in every way this is biography for December 21st 1999 at biography with Harry Smith miracles are funny things you never know when they're going to happen this week you can see Tom Hanks has a prison guard in Stephen King's The Green Mile I'm officially freaked out now or you can hear him as woody the cowboy in Toy Story 2 the wind bullseye this can't help if Hollywood producers had their way 9 out of 10 movies at your local multiplex would feature Tom Hanks oh wow will you look at me he has joined the ranks of American heroes but his is a very 90s kind of heroism like his oscar-nominated role as Captain Miller and Saving Private Ryan his hands shakes from the constant tension he's afraid to get too close to his men knowing they'll die if he gives the wrong order his friend Steve Martin calls him a complicated John Wayne after our biography I'll chat with film critic Elvis Mitchell about Tom Hanks and some of the best films of 1999 houston we have a problem after 19 years in movies Tom Hanks has starred in over 20 films and now earns as much as 20 million dollars a picture and yet he's regarded as a regular guy a family man who shuns the spotlight he is one of only two stars to win back-to-back Best Actor Oscars won in 1994 and again in 1995 and he's made it look easy in many ways he truly has become Hollywood's golden boy Thomas J Hanks the second of four children was born in Concord California on July 9th 1956 his father Amos was an itinerant cook his mother Janet was a waitress the marriage lasted only five storming years and produced four children with the divorce amos packed up and began a prolonged journey whose first stop was Reno Nevada Tom with his brother Larry and sister Sandra went with Amos while baby brother Jim stayed with his mother Amos and the kids went from job to job town to town and marriage to marriage Thom lived only occasionally with his mother or with his hand who was a strictly religious Nazarene he was raised mostly Catholic Thomas described his childhood as being raised like lion cubs in Reno Amos Hanks was briefly married to a Mormon woman with five children later he settled with his third wife Frances who had one daughter Tom's mother Janet remarried three more times and had one more child in order to adjust to so many changes Tom began to develop a remarkable sense of humor it helped him deal with 11 new siblings over the next five years tom was always the new kid on the block he learned to make new friends or get out of tight situations with jokes and that loopy smile I think he was just a very friendly guy he was outgoing he wanted everybody to know who he was in high school Tom realized the value of entertaining classmates his fellow students named him class cut-up he and a couple other fellows were or instigators and they started a kazoo band these senior guys with Tom leading the pack would walk around what's called the senior lawn at Skyline High School at lunchtime playing the kazoo band and they just played it with such authority that you just thought that's what everybody did he worked at the nearby Oakland Hilton for extra money and even tried being a soda vendor for Oakland A's ballgames tom was a natural athlete at Skyline High School in Oakland he went out for soccer and he ran track but when he saw a friend in a school production of Dracula he decided that acting looked like fun and he signed up for a drama class he didn't realize what an important decision it was Tom loved acting he was good at it and he could meet lots of girls graduating in 1974 a C student Tom entered Shabbo Junior College in Hayward California and joined the drama club he continued his theater studies with a scholarship in drama from California State University at Sacramento in 1977 at a Sacramento Theatre Tom made his first professional stage appearance in Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard the director Vincent Dowling of Dublin's Abbey Theatre remembers my very first day in Sacramento I went back to the hotel and I said to our and my wife who's in the business I said I saw a young lad today he reminded me of Tony Curtis only better I think he's got star quality name is Tom Hanks darling was so impressed by the 20 year old that he invited him to join the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival Theatre in Cleveland Ohio never before you are watching Tom Hanks in 1989 Tom Hanks was at the top of his game he was riding a wave of box-office success and had his first Academy Award nomination Hank's looked unstoppable but he would still have to endure some lesser films and some downright flops in the burbs Tom endured his paranoid neighbours in Turner and hooch his co-star was a drooling Mastiff he thought he'd found a winner co-starring with meg Ryan in an offbeat comedy by John Patrick Shanley Joe versus the volcano and he pursued the part he made a pre-emptive bid for it I met with him once and we really hit it off and I explained the whole concept for the film to him everything I intended to do music camera everything and he was very happy with that and and we shook hands and it happened volcano was a box-office failure but the worst was still ahead bonfire of the vanities had all the earmarks of a hit a best-selling book and a top director Brian De Palma I always wanted an actor like Tom with the play books comedic and the serious side of this character it's not overtly comic this is one of the first characters idea that doesn't do anything specifically in order to get laughs he reacts only to what goes on to them this is God cast sort of you know like Kubrick would cast Strangelove you want actors to come play book you know at church see Scott or Peter Sellers and play both those sides can make it very real and at the same time almost preposterous bonfire of the vanities was a scandalous failure bringing hanks his first bad reviews and inspiring a book The Devil's candy Tom had done unsuccessful pictures before but because of its size bonfire got the most attention most disturbing and surprising to Tom was that he was among those blamed you never know when it's going down the tubes you never know when it's gonna be great the odds are against you making a good movie anyway when you make a really good movie you have you have defied an awful lot of the fates bonfire comes out and it's unequivocally not very good and you know and everybody tell us you so repeatedly you just say well yeah it didn't quite quite they achieve it on that when you shake it off he appeared philosophical in public but the bonfire experience was traumatic for Tom he took a 19-month break and then he signed with super agent Michael Ovitz this what I like it's good to be that night you think play does that mean you just give 100% all the time you can't operate at half speed and even if you're feeling cranky you're mad or you hate the other person that you're working with look you you you do the professional thing you you respect the material and you and you go at it you do the best job that you are capable of doing day in and day out Tom returned to work reunited with director Penny Marshall in an offbeat supporting role he played the harsh boozy manager of a failing women's baseball team in a league of their own then with Meg Ryan Hanks triumph in 1993 surprised summer hit Sleepless in Seattle there was another on-screen reunion with wife Rita Wilson who played one of Tom's married friends in the film he's friendly he's collaborative he's generous he's funny and and when we would go home at night he'd be my husband again Rita continued her own acting career planning jobs around Tom's schedule so the family could travel together I pursue it and I work maybe not in as visible away as Tom's but I've been doing a lot of television and a lot of theater we really make a commitment to travel with each other when they're working so we keep the family together and that's sort of a decision we've made and we stick to Tom brought more than just star power to Sleepless in Seattle he became a collaborative artist a creative force the other thing that tom is he's a great writer so if he is playing a scene that he thinks could be better he is going to tell you how to make it better and if you have any brands at all you just write it down and type it up Tom's next film presented him with his greatest challenge in Philadelphia he gambled that audiences would accept him as a gay attorney with AIDS Tom put his body and soul into the part he did extensive research with patients at the UCLA AIDS Institute and lost 35 pounds mr. Beckett come in it's good to see you again counselor in Occupy what I need face I have AIDS it was right it was timely and it was political and it was you know the blazing there's a certain degree of new territory but more than anything else it was a story it was that was work it was a good story that's the thing that you're always looking for on this trip Tom's co-stars were impressed with his open attitude he's a good man very talented dedicated funny regular guy you know he's like myself just for the work and got a whole lot of whoo blood he was fantastic too everything was very open you never had a problem with thinking that he was playing a normal sexual something like that it was just playing with a lot of courage you know dignity was so beautiful we've mainly seen Tom in comedy so far our light romances or what have you but that stuff requires just as much hard work as any of the any of the heavy stuff does so I sort of had a clear understanding of Tom Hanks was a and the box office failed you're a money pit weighed heavily on him but two things happened in both his career and his personal life that led to a delightful turnaround they first met when she appeared on bosom buddies as a computer date who turned out to be a devil worshiper a year later she was Tom's leading lady in volunteers and he couldn't remember her name she was Rita Wilson and Tom was captivated by this funny attractive woman romance however was out of the question at the time he was married she was engaged and the two actors became friends after Tom's marriage ended and Rita had broken off her engagement they began dating they were inseparable they dated for two and a half years and lived together in the New York apartment which the tabloids called their love nest tom was amused by the lurid gossip and admitted to the press that he had only been with seven women in his whole life he proposed to Rita on New Year's Eve 1987 and they were married in a Greek Orthodox service in April of 1988 wedding guests included Penny Marshall dan Aykroyd and Tom's two children Colin and Elizabeth with inspiration from the woman whom he called the light of his life Tom put greater importance on his new marriage and his family this all comes down to the heading I guess those things that are really important in this life and that is under the super adding of the family and loved ones and it doesn't matter what what order they they come in these people there they are and you have to you have to love them and understand that this is the stuff that really lasts for for the ageism Tom and Rita settled near the beach in Los Angeles Tom's children Colin and Elizabeth spent weekends and holidays with them and the couple started a new family with the birth of a son Chester with the support of his new marriage tom was ready to take his career in another direction after five comedies in a row Tom developed the film nothing in common with director Gary Marshall he played the son of a difficult ailing father played by Jackie Gleason after only a few days on the set Gleason said the verdict on Tom Hanks is in he's got it for the role Tom tapped into his own experience with his father Amos who had recently become ill with kidney disease Tom's pace didn't slow he was Dan Ackroyd's Protege in dragnet and a struggling comic with Sally Field in punchline at 32 years of age his salary hit three million dollars a picture and then came a very big offer as in splash Tom owed his luck to other actors turning down apart Harrison Ford Robert De Niro and Warren Beatty had all passed on playing a twelve-year-old stuck in a 31 year olds body after seeing the script Tom jumped at it the director Penny Marshall understood Hanks appeal saying he's a vulnerable man the kind of guy you want to take care of I pretended I was 12 years old and that that's really about what I did which you know kind of drove some of the crew members crazy at times but what they were handing out here was one of the best roles that I had ever read we kind of thought that this kid was on the more immature side at 12 years old I was probably something of the same it was until I was 13 that I really started growing up and becoming highly intelligent than that debonair with his performance in big Tom brought to the screen a character who is awkward lonely a bit confused but always likable he relied on memories of his own adolescence to recreate a 12 year olds approach to the opposite sex how do you feel about all this I don't feel about one well how do you how do you feel about me you're still gonna find an awful lot of young boys out there who were very very shy when it comes down to talking with girls they're still worshipful and they're still they still are willing to idolize them but when it comes to actually talking to them on a one-to-one basis still Lily stammered a little bit and not really know what to say I didn't start shaking that till I was about seen you know 24 25 is another commandment oh where are these people who are they that know exactly what to say to women they think they exist only on the pages of men's magazines and nowhere else the most famous scene in big took place in a toy store ironically Tom was unsure whether the piano dancing scene would work in the film it was a huge dance number that required hours and hours and hours and hours and hours of rehearsal stretched out over six weeks chopsticks big placed Hanks in that rare category of major box-office star it was his first film to gross over 100 million dollars and even though comedies rarely earn Academy Awards tom was nominated for Best Actor for his performance in big Tom Hanks in big the Academy nomination for big was an acceptance of Tom a recognition that this was not a role that many actors could have pulled off I mean he was just magnificent in its Tom reveled in his success but what goes up must often come down and the next stage in Tom's career would challenge him as

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