This year marked Tom Hanks' 60th birthday; in those 6 decades, we've seen so many classics made by the legendary actor. He began starring in beloved films at an early age, appearing in classics such as Big and Turner and Hooch! Even today, Hanks is still making great films, such as his new biopic drama, Sully, that was directed by Clint Eastwood and has already opened to great reviews. Let's take a look at some facts you may or may not have known about the iconic voice behind Woody.
1. He Won Oscars Two Years In A Row
The Academy Awards are arguably the highest honor amongst actors, and winning back-to-back Best Actor awards is an immensely impressive achievement. Tom Hanks and Spencer Tracy are the only two actors to ever do this; Hanks won the awards for Philadelphia (1993) and Forrest Gump (1994). Since then, Hanks hasn't won an Academy Award for Best Actor — but this year's Sully is definitely good enough to get a nomination!
2. He Was Originally Asked to Play Jerry Maguire
Jerry Maguire was one of the best films of 1996, and it's hard to imagine the film without Tom Cruise. But did you know that Tom Hanks was originally asked to play the confident and charming Jerry Maguire? Looking back on it, Hanks is happy he passed the role on to Cruise. This is not because he didn't like the film —quite the contrary, it's because Tom Cruise was the perfect man to bring this story to life:
I think you look at it now and it couldn't have been anybody other than Tom Cruise. It's the way the movie's operated. I don't think anybody would look at that now and say, 'That movie was not perfect.
It's always great to see an actor as brilliant as Hanks take the time to admire the achievements of his peers.
3. He's Had an Asteroid Named After Him
Tom Hanks is one of the most influential actors out there, and if getting an asteroid named after him isn't proof, I don't know what is. The asteroid is called 12818 Tomhanks and according to nasa.gov, it was discovered on April 13th, 1996 by Spacewatch at Kitt Peak. Talk about leaving your mark on the world!
4. He's Got Strange Taste in Music
Tom Hanks has is known for having eclectic taste in music. His favorite musicians are Elvis Presley, Patrick Rondat and Alabama Thunderpussy. So you've got Elvis, the King of Rock and Roll; Patrick Rondat, who is a French heavy metal artist; and Alabama Thunderpussy, who are also a metal band from the '90s!
5. He Only Watches One of His Old Films
Tom Hanks has done some amazing work in his time, appearing in iconic movies like Toy Story, Big, Saving Private Ryan and Cast Away — but did you know he doesn't watch any of these? The one film he would watch again is That Thing You Do, which also stars Liv Tyler and Charlize Theron. Regarding That Thing You Do, Hanks said: "It still brings a smile to my face".
6. He Used to Work as a Hotel Bellman
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I always find it interesting to hear what previous jobs actors had before getting their big break, and Tom Hanks has a great one. Before he made it big, Hanks worked as a bellboy! Interestingly, he's even carried bags for stars such as Cher, Bill Withers and Sidney Poitier. I wonder if he's told any of these stars that he's carried their bags?
7. He's Got Great Taste in Movies
Another thing I love finding out about celebrities is their favorite movies, because you can tell a lot about them by what they regard as a good film. Tom Hanks counts the legendary Stanley Kubrick film 2001: A Space Odyssey as his favorite film ever. His second favorite movie ever is the Beatles' 1964 film A Hard Day's Night. I'm sure a lot of Tom's films are on other peoples all-time favorites lists.
8. He Collects Typewriters
Everybody's got a hobby, and Tom Hanks's is pretty unusual. The Cast Away actor has been known to collect typewriters! Apparently, he has purchased over 80 typewriters around the globe. His keen interest in typewriters spawned an app called Hanx Writer which simulates the sound and feel of a typewriter. This was made back in 2014, and has enjoyed some success.
9. He's Got 4 Movies on the Way!
At the prime age of 60, Tom Hanks is still a busy and in-demand actor. He's got 4 titles on the way, all of which sound entirely different!
The Angels and Demons sequel, Inferno, is first up on Tom's schedule. This film is slated to arrive in cinemas in October of this year. After that he's got a sci-fi thriller called The Circle, alongside Emma Watson and Karen Gillan, where Watson's character lands a new job and meets a mysterious man. That film is in post-production and is expected to arrive later this year. Fast forward to 2018, and the highly-anticipated Toy Story 4 will hit theatres in the summer. Then finally, a film called Greyhound is in production, and follows "a navy officer who commands the Greyhound during World War 2". It will be very interesting to see Hanks return to the war genre, as he shone in Saving Private Ryan back in 1998!
Tom Hanks is an incredibly interesting man, with two Academy Awards under his belt, and a Distinguished Public Service Award (for Saving Private Ryan). He's often regarded as one of the best actors of our time, the man is a legend! Keep an eye out for all his upcoming performances, especially Sully which is definitely set to attract some Oscar attention.
Let me know your favorite Tom Hanks role in the comments below!