Tom Hanks has been making a name for himself for many decades landing big roles in dramas, comedies, and even kids’ movies as well as writing and directing many of his own films. He has a massive fan base and plenty of avid viewers, but what exactly do these fans know about his career and life? With how many decades Hanks has spent in the business, there’s so much to know behind the scenes. Here are some little known facts about Tom Hanks.
Hanks’ first wife Samantha Lewes was his college sweetheart that he married in 1978. They had a son and daughter during their time as a couple but divorced in 1987. However, when Samantha was diagnosed with cancer years later Tom paid for her medical bills and treatments to try to overcome cancer. She sadly passed in 2002 from the battle, but the efforts and assistance from Tom were surprising to many after a divorce had occurred.
Many people know of Tom Hanks from his success in the film Forest Gump which was debuted in the 90s. This film became one of the highest-grossing ones in the 1990s and Hanks won an Oscar for it. What’s surprising is: Tom already had faith in the movie before filming. In fact, he refused to take money upfront and wanted percentage points of the gross earnings for Forest Gump. It made him $40 million.
Tom Hanks won the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award at the age of 45, making him the youngest to ever receive that award. This was surprising to many fans and people as 45 was quite young to get an award for his lifetime achievements. And the actor has not slowed down in success since. This was just one of his many awards for the rest of his lifetime and career both before and after this amazing achievement.
One of Hanks’ first debuts on television was a small appearance in the TV series Happy Days. However, this role helped to get him into the movie business when Ron Howard remembered Tom and cast him for a role in Splash. Of course, his talent and charisma increased this as Tom was meant to be cast for a small role in Splash and after meeting with Howard was given a leading role instead.
As a directorial debut, Hanks directed That Thing You Do! in 1996. He wrote and directed this project, and it starred his current wife as well as had cameos from his two eldest children Colin and Elizabeth. It certainly started his director career in a great way, and there hasn’t been a single film since that had Tom, Rita, Colin, and Elizabeth all together in the movie. It was quite a success for his first writing and directing project.
The first major job that Tom Hanks had as a teen was selling as a vendor at the Oakland Coliseum. Since then he has remained true to his hometown football team and continues to be a big fan of the Oakland Raiders. Who would’ve guessed the teen vendor in Oakland would be able to have a net worth in the hundreds of millions someday and get this great of a career in the movie business.
Whether you’re already a big fan, a new fan, or just learning more about famous actors; this information can be great to build your knowledge. There’s much to learn and develop in your knowledge of famous actors or directors, and learning more could help you find a better understanding or perspective on these individuals. Tom Hanks has made and starred in many films and received a lot of awards, it’s certain that he made his mark in his career.