Tom Hanks - An Unparelled Star

Thursday October 10th 2013

Can his new release be the one that brings Tom Hanks back
from his decade of flops?

Hollywood superstar Tom Hanks, also known as Thomas Jeffrey Hanks, is an actor, producer, director and writer. He is the highest all-time box office star, having starred in and produced some of the highest grossing films in Hollywood history. Without a hit on his hands since 2002, can this be the season that puts Tom Hanks back on the “hit” list?

Born and raised in California, Tom was unpopular in school, both with students and teachers. He described himself to Rolling Stone magazine as being “a geek, a spaz. I was horribly, painfully, terribly shy. At the same time, I was the guy who'd yell out funny captions during filmstrips. But I didn't get into trouble. I was always a real good kid and pretty responsible."  Even with his lack of social stature, he still had an itch for acting, and got involved in several plays. After graduating from high school, he went on to study theatre in college, where he met Vincent Dowling, head of the Great Lakes Theatre Festival in Cleveland, Ohio. It was with Vincent that Hanks studied lighting, set design, stage management and all the other aspects of theatre. Tom made the decision to leave college and act full time. The decision paid off, as he soon won the Cleveland Critics Circle Award in 1978. The award was won for his performance in the play, Shakespear’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona, in which Tom played Proteus; one of many awards that would soon come his way.

After moving to New York in 1979, he starred in the film “He Knows You're Alone” and television series “Bosom Buddies”. It was his guest appearance on the hit TV show “Happy Days” that caught the attention of its star, Ron Howard, who cast Hanks in his film “Splash”. That was the movie that kick started his amazing film career, which included 80’s hits like “Big”, “Turner and Hooch” and “A League of Their Own”. Tom eventually went on to win Oscars for his perfect performances in “Phildelphia” and “Saving Private Ryan”, making him one of only two actors to ever have won back to back Best Actor awards at the Academy Awards. He has been involved in some of the most beloved and respected movies of all time. Tom even surprised everyone with his voice over work in the “Toy Story” movies, representing Sheriff Woody, one of the most popular children’s characters to ever appear on file.   As of 2012, Hanks' films have grossed over $4.2 billion at the United States box office alone, and over $8.5 billion worldwide, making him the highest all-time box office star.

As loved and respected as Tom is in Hollywood, and worldwide, he has not had a box office hit since the 2002 release of “Catch Me If You Can”, co-starring Leonard DiCaprio. The film was the last in a string of hits for the actor, including “Road To Perdition”, “Cast Away” and “The Green Mile”. His luck seemed to run out in 2003, and the nine movies released since Catch Me were flops in theaters. His only hit in the last decade was the third installment of the Disney franchise, “Toy Story 3”.  Although it’s been a long time since we were excited about a Tom Hanks film, his fans will not be left waiting much longer. His newest release, “Captain Phillips”, hits theaters October 11th, and is expected to be one of the best in 2013. He will also be starring as Walt Disney in the film “Saving Mr. Banks”, scheduled for release closer to the holidays. Among his many other accomplishments, Hanks will be the first actor to ever play Disney in a film.

It appears that the Tom Hanks drought may be over, as we look forward to some highly anticipated movies, and performances in the months ahead. 

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