Image: Tom Hanks

Pop Culture

Tom Hanks

The two-time Oscar winner proved himself first in comedy before becoming one of Hollywood’s most wanted men.

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Image: Tom Hanks

Captain of his soul

Actor and two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks appeared at a special screening for his latest film, "Captain Phillips" at the Newseum on Oct. 2, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

Alex Brandon / AP
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Image: Tom Hanks

Taken over

Hanks plays the title role in 2013's "Captain Phillips," a film based on the real-life kidnapping of a cargo ship captain and his crew by Somali pirates.

Sony - Columbia Pictures
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Image: The 67th Annual Tony Awards - Arrivals

Get 'Lucky'

Hanks made his Broadway debut in April 2013 in the role of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mike McAlary in "Lucky Guy," a play written by the late Nora Ephron. Here, he attends the 67th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 9 in New York; Hanks was nominated for his role.

Neilson Barnard / Getty Images North America
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Tom Hanks in Cloud Atlas

Primitive culture

In 2012's "Cloud Atlas," one of Hanks' multiple characters was from the distant, post-apocalyptic future in which he had to save members of his clan from marauding outsiders.

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'Cloud Atlas' Germany Premiere

Through the years

Hanks poses with "Cloud Atlas" co-star Halle Berry at the film's German premiere on Nov. 5, 2012. The pair play multiple characters across generations in the sci-fi film.

Andreas Rentz / Getty Images Europe
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The Revlon Concert For The Rainforest Fund - Songs From The Silver Screen - Auction

Friends for a cause

Hanks, right, joins Sting and his wife Trudie Styler and Sir Elton John during the auction following the Revlon concert for the Rainforest Fund at The Pierre Hotel in New York on April 3, 2012.

Kevin Mazur / WireImage
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"Game Change" Premiere

Top of his 'Game'

Hanks and wife Rita Wilson attend the "Game Change" premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York on March 7, 2012. Hanks was executive producer of the HBO film about Sarah Palin's run for the vice presidency.

D Dipasupil / FilmMagic
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Let's get 'Loud'

Hanks stars with Thomas Horn in a scene from 2011's "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." The film tells the story of a young boy who believes his father, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11, has left a final message for him hidden somewhere in New York City.

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US director and actor Tom Hanks poses du

Causing a spectacle

Hanks poses during a photocall ahead of the premiere of his latest movie "Larry Crowne" in Berlin on June 9, 2011. The comedy romance stars Hanks and Julia Roberts.

John Macdougall / AFP
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Film Title: Larry Crowne

On the road in 'Larry Crowne'

When appealing everyman Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) is inexplicably fired from his job as a big box store clerk in "Larry Crowne," he realizes it’s time for some life changes. Directionless and deep in debt, he returns to college where he befriends a group of scooter-riding students and eventually develops an affection for his beautiful speech class instructor, Mercedes Tainot (Julia Roberts).

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Image: Actor Hanks greets the character Woody, whose voice he plays in the film, at the world premiere of Disney Pixar's "Toy Story 3" in Hollywood

'Howdy, pardner!'

Hanks greets Woody, the charater he voices in the "Toy Story" series at the world premiere of Disney Pixar's "Toy Story 3" at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, Calif., on June 13, 2010.

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Image: Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks

Honoring veterans

Producer-director Steven Spielberg, center, and Hanks, right, lay a wreath during at the WWII Memorial in Washington on March 11, 2010, during a ceremony to honor and pay tribute to WWII veterans who served in the Pacific. The event is timed for the March 14 premiere of HBO's "The Pacific," a television 10-part miniseries based on the true stories of World War II Marines who fought in the Pacific Theater.

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Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular

Driven to tears

Hanks and Oprah Winfrey attend "Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular" at the United Center in Chicago on May 17, 2011.

Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images North America
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Image: Celebrities At The Lakers Game

Eye on the ball

Hanks, right, and his son Truman attend an NBA game between the Detroit Pistons and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 4, 2011.

Noel Vasquez / Getty Images North America
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ANGELS & DEMONS (2009)

The team behind the global phenomenon "The Da Vinci Code" returns for the highly anticipated "Angels & Demons," based upon the bestselling novel by Dan Brown. Tom Hanks reprises his role as Harvard religious expert Robert Langdon, who once again finds that forces with ancient roots are willing to stop at nothing, even murder, to advance their goals. Ron Howard again directs the film, which is produced by Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, and John Calley. The screenplay is by David Koepp and Akiva Goldsman.

Underground mystery

Hanks, left, and director Ron Howard re-teamed for a 2009 sequel to "The Da Vinci Code" called "Angels & Demons," in which the actor reprises his role as Professor Robert Langdon. This time, Langdon must work to stop a terrorist act at the Vatican.

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Tom Hanks, Colin Hanks

Like father, like son

Hanks, left, and his son Colin attend a screening of "The Great Buck Howard" on March 10, 2009, in New York. In the film, the elder Hanks plays the father of Colin's character. "Buck Howard" was not the first time the father and son worked together: Colin's first film appearance was as a page in his father's "That Thing You Do!" He also appeared in "Band of Brothers."

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Tom Hanks

Presidential honors

Hanks speaks during "We Are One: Opening Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial" in Washington, on Jan. 18, 2009, prior to the Jan. 20 inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Alex Brandon / AP
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Pelosi, Hanks, Boehner and Giamatti sit down for screening of new HBO miniseries on life of John Adams at Capitol in Washington

History lesson

Actor Paul Giamatti, far left, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), second from left, Hanks, and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sit down for a screening of the HBO miniseries "John Adams" at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on March 5, 2008. Hanks produced the historical miniseries, in which Giamatti stars as Adams, the second president of the United States.

Jonathan Ernst / X01676
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CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR (2007) 

Based on George Crile's book about the CIA's largest and most successful covert CIA operation, the arming of the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan. The covert ops were engineered by Charlie Wilson (Hanks), a charismatic, wheeler-dealer, liberal Texas congressman who teamed with a rogue CIA operative (Hoffman). The two manipulated Congress, the CIA and a host of foreign governments in order to assist the Afghan rebels in their fight against the Soviets in the 1980s. Many of the men armed by the CIA went on to become the Taliban's enforcers and Osama bin Laden's protectors.

Rare misfire

In 2007's "Charlie Wilson's War," Hanks stars as a Texas congressman who decides to raise money to fund Afghan rebels in their war with the Soviet Union. Though future "Larry Crowne" co-star Julia Roberts shared the screen and Philip Seymour Hoffman was nominated for an Oscar, the film was considered a box-office disappointment.

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THE DA VINCI CODE (2006)
While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) receives an urgent late-night phone call: the elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum. Near the body, police have found a baffling cipher. While working to solve the enigmatic riddle, Langdon is stunned to discover it leads to a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci -- clues visible for all to see -- yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.

Langdon joins forces with a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, and learns the late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion -- an actual secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci, among others.

Bad hair day

In 2006's "The Da Vinci Code," Hanks stars as Professor Robert Langdon, who investigates a murder inside the Louvre that leads him to the discovery of an incredible secret about the origins of Christianity. Audrey Tautou co-starred in the Ron Howard-directed film, in which Hanks was much chided for his long, slicked-back hairstyle.

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World War II Memorial Dedication Held In DC

Pledging allegiance

Hanks and then-President George W. Bush, right, stand on stage at the dedication of The World War II Memorial on May 29, 2004, in Washington. The memorial was finished 59 years after the Allies victory in Europe and Japan and meant to honor the 16 million who served in World War II.

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The Polar Express  (2004) Tom Hanks produces and stars in this screen adaptation of the beloved children's book of the same name written by Jumanji author Chris Van Allsburg. Polar Express tells the story of a boy who maintains his belief in Santa Claus despite the teasing of his more cynical friends. The boy's conviction is rewarded one Christmas Eve when a steam train, guided by Hanks, appears in front of his house and carries him and his disbelieving friends off to the North Pole. Robert Zemeckis is onboard to produce and possibly direct.

Drawn that way

Robert Zemeckis' 2004 film "The Polar Express" used motion-capture technology with live-action performances of the actors, after which he applied animation over the images. Hanks plays six roles in the film: Hero Boy, Father, Conductor (pictured), Hobo, Scrooge and Santa Claus.

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CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (2002)The true story of Frank Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio), the youngest man to make the FBI's most-wanted list for forgery. Frank posed at various times as a doctor, a lawyer, a pilot, and even an FBI agent. Throughout his life, he passed millions of dollars in bad checks and later, after finally being captured, escaped from prison. Frank Abagnale eventually became a consultant for the FBI, specializing in the field of white-collar crime.

Taking aim

Hanks, left, re-teamed with Steven Spielberg for 2002's "Catch Me If You Can." Leonardo DiCaprio (right) stars as Frank Abagnale Jr., a man who in real life successfully conned his way through life by posing as an airline pilot, a doctor and a Louisiana prosecutor. Hanks plays the FBI agent who doggedly pursues, then catches up with him.

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ROAD TO PERDITION (2002)
Based on writer Max Allan Collins and illustrator Richard Piers Rayner's serialized mystery comic novel for DC Comics, the film is set in Depression-era Chicago and revolves around hit man Michael Sullivan, known to friends and enemies as a dangerous man. Uncompromising in his work, Sullivan is just as devoted to his private life as a husband and father of two young boys. But when his two worlds collide, leading to the death of his wife and youngest son, Sullivan and his surviving son, Michael Jr., leave their peaceful home life behind and embark on a journey of revenge.

Edge of darkness

Hanks took a break from nice guy roles when starred with Paul Newman and Jude Law in 2002's "Road to Perdition." The Sam Mendes-directed film tells the story of a hitman (Hanks) who must go on the run when his son witnesses another assassin in the process of killing a man.

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Steven Spielberg (L) and Tom Hanks (R) hold their

Over there, over here

Spielberg and Hanks hold their Outstanding Miniseries or Movie and Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries Emmys. They won them for HBO's "Band of Brothers," at the 54th Annual Emmy Awards on Sept. 22, 2002, a 10-part HBO miniseries that followed a company of soldiers from basic training through the end of World War II.

Lee Celano / AFP
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Cast Away 2000

Hanks stars as Chuck Noland, a FedEx systems engineer whose personal and professional life are ruled by the clock. His fast-paced career takes him, often at a moment's notice, to far-flung locales -and away from his girlfriend Kelly, played by Helen Hunt. 

Chuck's manic existence abruptly ends when, after a plane crash, he becomes isolated on a remote island - cast away into the most desolate environment imaginable. Stripped of the conveniences of everyday life, he first must meet the basic needs of survival, including water, food and shelter. Chuck, the consummate problem solver, eventually figures out how to sustain himself physically. But then what? Chuck begins his true personal journey. 

After four years, fate gives Chuck a chance to fight his way back to civilization, only to find an unexpected emotional challenge greater than all the earlier physical ones. His ability to persevere and to hope are a product of his life-changing experience. Though the conclusion of Chuck's story may not be a conventional Hollywood ending, it is, like life, full of truth, pain and promise.

Hungry for a role

In Robert Zemeckis' 2000 film, "Cast Away," Hanks played a FedEx executive who, after a plane crash, survives on a deserted island for four years. When he returns, he realizes his life and the world have moved on. Production on the film was halted for a year so that Hanks could lose 50 pounds and grow out his hair. Hanks was nominated for an Oscar for the part.

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The Green Mile 1999

Paul Edgecomb's tour of duty as the head guard on Death Row at Cold Mountain in the Depression-era South included watch over a quartet of killers awaiting their final walk down "the Green Mile," the stretch of green linoleum flooring that took convicts from their jail cells to the electric chair. 

Over the years, Edgecomb walked the mile with a variety of cons. He had never before encountered someone like John Coffey, a massive black man convicted of brutally killing a pair of nine-year-old sisters. Coffey certainly had the size and strength to kill anyone, but his demeanor starkly contrasted with his appearance. Beyond his simple, naive nature and a deathly fear of the dark, Coffey seemed to possess a prodigious, supernatural gift. Edgecomb began to question whether Coffey was truly guilty of murdering the two girls.

The long walk

In 1999's "The Green Mile," Hanks starred as a death row guard who realizes that the gentle giant he's guarding hasn't actually committed the crime for which he's about to be executed. The film was based on the novel by Stephen King, and written and directed by Frank Darabont.

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98hanksryan_20000529_08603.jpg

Two of a kind

After the successful romantic romp "Sleepless in Seattle," Hanks and Meg Ryan re-teamed for 1998's "You've Got Mail." The film, an update of 1940's "The Shop Around the Corner," features Ryan as an independent bookstore owner, who has an e-mail flirtation with Hanks, though she doesn't realize he works for a bookstore chain.

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Dale Dye (Far Right Who Is Hollywood's Favorite War Movie Consultant)

The fog of war

Hanks, second from right, teamed up with director Steven Spielberg, second from left, for the 1998 film "Saving Private Ryan." The World War II film tells the story of a group of soldiers who go behind enemy lines to find another soldier whose two brothers have already been killed in action.

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US actor and two time Oscar winner Tom Hanks (L) l

Clay day

Hanks laughs after pulling his hands out of wet cement as wife Rita Wilson looks on during a July 23, 1998, handprint ceremony in front of the world famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. Hanks and Wilson wed in 1988.

Vince Bucci / AFP
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1996 (l to r) Tom Hanks, Johnathon Schaech, Liv Tyler, Ethan Embry, Tom Everett Scott and Steve Zahn star in the new movie written and directed by Tom Hanks.That thing you do

In the director's seat

1996's "That Thing You Do!" was the first film both written and directed by Hanks, far left. The film told the story of The Wonders, starting second from left, Tom Everett Scott, Steve Zahn, Johnathan Schaech, Ethan Embry, a one-hit wonder band who shoot to the top of the charts and then break up. Hanks plays the A&R man who signs the band.

Getty Images / Getty Images North America
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TOY STORY (1995)

The art of animation goes "to infinity and beyond" as Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios, a Northern California-based pioneer in computer graphics, join creative forces on the infinitely entertaining "Toy Story," the first full-length animated feature to be created entirely by artists using computer tools and technology. Four years in the making, this delightfully irreverent new comedy-adventure combines an imaginative story and great characters with the visual excitement of 3-D computer-generated animation. Conceived and directed by John Lasseter, a former Disney animator whose innovative work with Pixar includes the 1989 Oscar-winning short, "Tin Toy," this film represents a major milestone in animated moviemaking with its groundbreaking graphic style adding to the believability of a world where toys have a life of their own. With a cast of top vocal talent headed by Tom Hanks and Tim Allen plus three entertaining new songs and an inspired score by renowned composer/performer Randy Newman, the fantasy takes flight and provides extraordinary delights for moviegoers of all ages.

Toy oh toy!

Hanks provides the voice of Woody, a cowboy doll whose place as a boy's favorite toy is usurped by Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Tim Allen) in 1995's "Toy Story." Directed by John Lasseter, the film was the first Pixar feature to warrant a sequel; as of 2011 a third had been released and a fourth was rumored to be in development.

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Apollo 13 Premiere

Royal welcome

Princess Diana, left, met Hanks, his wife Rita Wilson, second from right, and director Ron Howard, center, at the London premiere of "Apollo 13" in September 1995.

Princess Diana Archive / Hulton Archive
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An undated photo showing actors Bill Paxton (L), T

Right stuff

Hanks, center, stars as Jim Lovell in 1995's "Apollo 13," which tells the true story of a moon mission gone awry and how the men made their way safely back to Earth. Hanks' fascination with space led him to produce the HBO miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon" and co-write and co-produce the IMAX film "Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon - 3D." Also pictured: Kevin Bacon (right) and Bill Paxton, far left.

Afp / AFP
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US actor Tom Hanks poses with his Oscar 27 March a

Top of his game

Hanks holds his Oscar for 1994's "Forrest Gump." He was only the second actor to win back-to-back Oscars, after Spencer Tracy. Hanks' first Oscar came the year before, for "Philadelphia."

Jeff Haynes / AFP
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FORREST GUMP, Tom Hanks, 1994. (c) Paramount Pictures/ Courtesy: Everett Collection.

'Life is like a box of chocolates...'

Hanks in his Oscar-winning role in 1994's "Forrest Gump." In the film, he portrays an intellectually challenged man who makes his way through the world, becoming a part of famous moments in history by following the sound advice of his mother.

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PHILADELPHIA, Tom Hanks, 1993, standing outside the legal office

City of brotherly love

In 1993's "Philadelphia," Hanks played a man with AIDS who is fired by his law firm due to his condition, and who hires a homophobic lawyer played by Denzel Washington to help him fight the wrongful termination. Hanks won his first Oscar for the role; during his acceptance speech, Hanks revealed that his high school drama teacher was gay.

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Calif: Actor Tom Hanks shows off his star on the H

Starry-eyed

Hanks was given a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1992, some years before he garnered his true acting acclaim. Still, he had already made "A League of Their Own" and "Sleepless in Seattle," that year, films which portended great things.

Vince Bucci / AFP
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Tom Hanks star in the 1988 comedy "Big."

Hitting high notes

After a series of not-so-funny comedies ("The Man With One Red Shoe," "The Money Pit"), Hanks, right, found his footing again with 1988's "Big." In the Penny Marshall-directed film, he plays a boy whose wish to be "big" is granted when he wakes up one morning as an adult. In one classic scene, Hanks shows his boss (Robert Loggia, left) how to play again when the two come across a piano mat inside a toy store.

20th Century Fox
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Splash, Daryl Hannah, Tom Hanks, 1984. (c) Buena Vista Pictures/ Courtesy: Everett Collection.

'Splash'-ing around

Hanks' first big post-"Bosom Buddies" feature was in 1984's "Splash." Directed by Ron Howard, the film tells the story of a man who falls in love with a mermaid (Daryl Hannah, left) and tries to help her fit into the human world. It also helped popularize the name "Madison" for girls, as that's the name the mermaid takes, after a New York City street, when she emerges on dry land.

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BOSOM BUDDIES, Tom Hanks, Peter Scolari, 1980-1982

Checking out

Tom Hanks, left, with Peter Scolari, had only appeared in a horror movie and an episode of "The Love Boat" before joining "Bosom Buddies" in 1980. The sitcom, which ran for two seasons, told the story of two men who dressed as women in order to live in an all-female apartment building. It was a silly high concept, but Hanks' talent managed to shine through, turning the show into a cult classic.

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