Versatility of Tom Hanks: 30 Uncovered Facts About his Diverse Acting Career

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1Tom's Public Outreach Award

Tom's Public Outreach Award

Tom Hanks is an avid support of NASA's manned space programs and originally wanted to be an astronaut, but "didn't have the math". He was awarded the Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award in 2006 for his contributions to raising public awareness of space programs.

2. Tom Hanks turned down the role of Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption because he chose to star in Forrest Gump instead.

3. Tom Hanks intentionally gained 50 pounds to film the first half of Cast Away. He then took a year off to lose the weight and grow out his hair prior to filming the second half. During the break, the director and most of the crew went off to film What Lies Beneath.

4. Tom Hanks was asked how he wanted Michael Conner Humphreys (Young Forrest) to speak so that there was continuity from young Forrest to grown-up Forrest. Instead, Tom decided to imitate Humphreys' thick Mississippi accent, and thus the iconic Gump accent was born.

5. Tom Hanks gets his brother (Jim Hanks) to do Toy Story voiceover work when he is busy with other projects.

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6Hanks as a Member of Army Ranger

Hanks as a Member of Army Ranger

In 2006, Tom Hanks was inducted as an honorary member of the Army Ranger Hall of Fame for his portrayal of Captain Miller in the film Saving Private Ryan.

7. Tom Hanks wanted to be in a superhero movie but was never offered any roles. He specifically wanted to be the Flash.

8. Tom Hanks is related to Abraham Lincoln. Tom Hanks is a third cousin, four generations removed, of former President Abraham Lincoln. Their common ancestor is John Hanks (1680 - 1740), who was the great-great-grandfather of Lincoln and the six-time great-grandfather of Tom Hanks.

9. Tom Hanks personally paid to shoot some ‘Forrest Gump’ scenes, including the famous run across America. When the movie hit financial roadblocks, Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis had to dig into their own pockets to pay for some scenes to be shot.

10. Tom Hanks agreed to play Mario in the 'now infamous' live-action movie "Super Mario Bros". However, studio executives turned him down because they were worried he couldn't handle the film's more dramatic elements.

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11League of Their Own

League of Their Own

Tom Hanks' character in A League of Their Own was based on Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx. Foxx, one of the greatest power hitters of his day, suffered from injuries and alcoholism and eventually died from choking on dinner.

12. In his Oscar acceptance speech for “Philadelphia”, Tom Hanks inadvertently outed his old high school drama teacher as being gay, and this speech became the inspiration for the 1997 Kevin Kline movie “In and Out.”

13. In Tom Hanks' first movie, "He Knows You're Alone", his character was supposed to be killed off, but the crew liked him so much they decided not to film the scene, meaning his character survived.

14. Tom Hanks got the inspiration for the movie ‘Cast Away’ after he read an article about Fed Ex. He realized there were multiple 747’s flying across the ocean every day and thought “What happens if that goes down?” It took 6 years to get everything in place to make that story into a movie.

15. Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd filmed a rap song called “City of Crime” to promote their movie Dragnet. Paula Abdul choreographed the music video.

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16Tom' First Movie Role

Tom' First Movie Role

Tom Hanks' first starring movie role was in a 1982 anti-Dungeons & Dragons propaganda film called Mazes and Monsters.

17. Tom Hanks in ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ was the first-ever actor to play Walt Disney in a mainstream film.

18. Tom Hanks collects typewriters. He has over 50 in his collection and uses them for correspondence.

19. A town in Poland named Bielsko-Biala gifted Tom Hanks a refurbished Fiat 126p car in 2017 after the town was smitten with his twitter posts. When he visited Hungary he came across a few random Fiat 126p cars just parked along the streets and took photos with them. He would jokingly lean up against the cars and caption the photos with “I am so excited about my new car!”

20. Tom Hanks, who played Mr. Rogers in “ A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood”, is Mr. Rogers’ sixth cousin.

21Tom's Twitter Lost & Found

Tom's Twitter Lost & Found

In 2015, Tom Hanks started using his official Twitter feed as a lost and found (posting photos and locations of lost items such gloves, shoes, socks, etc.). This resulted in at least one item being successfully returned to its owner, a lost student ID card.

22. The character of Tom Hanks in The Terminal (2004) was inspired by the real-life of Mehran Karimi Nasseri, an Iranian national who lived in the departure lounge of Terminal One in Charles de Gaulle Airport from 26 August 1988 until July 2006.

23. Tom Hanks' daughter, Elizabeth Hanks appeared in the film, Forrest Gump. She was the little girl on the school bus that refused to let Forrest sit next to her.

24. Tom Hanks stole his mannerisms for Forrest Gump, for which he won an oscar for best actor in 1995, from his younger brother Jim Hank's performance in the low-budget film Buford's Beach Bunnies.

25. While shooting The Green Mile, Tom Hanks was flown to West Hollywood for his handprint ceremony, and instead of staying home as was expected, he flew back out just to read lines off-camera for the actors that were shooting.

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