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Sep 29, 2013
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Biographic 
Steve McGarry

Tom Hanks

Born in Concord, California, on July 9, 1956, Thomas Jeffrey Hanks developed an interest in acting while still in high school.  Majoring in Drama at Sacramento State, he was frustrated at failing to land a role in University Stage Productions, so he began to act in Community Theater.  This led to an invitation to intern with the Great Lakes Theater in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was immersed in all aspects of acting.  After moving to New York, he made his screen debut in 1980's low-budget slasher movie "He Knows You're Alone."  That same year, he got his big break with a lead role in the sitcom "Bosom Buddies."  He went on to make appearances on "Family Ties," and guested on "Happy Days" - which led to actor-turned-director Ron Howard casting him in 1984's "Splash."

The story of an ordinary guy who falls in love with a mermaid, "Splash" was a box-office hit, and established Tom as a movie star.  He went on to make a string of hits that included "Dragnet," "Turner and Hooch" and "Big," a $100 million hit that also earned him his first Oscar nomination.  But there were also disappointments, both personal and professional.  His marriage to actress Samantha Lewes ended in divorce - they had two children together - and 1990's "The Bonfire of the Vanities" was poorly received.  Tom married actress Rita Wilson in 1988, the couple have two children together.  

In the early 1990s, a run of hits elevated him to megastar status.  "A League of Their Own" and "Sleepless in Seattle" were followed by his Oscar-winning performance in "Philadelphia."  "Forrest Gump" made him the first consecutive Best Actor Academy Award-winner in 55 years.

The likes of "Apollo 13," "Saving Private Ryan," "Cast Away" and "The Da Vinci Code" - a well as such animated fare as "The Polar Express" and the "Toy Story" movies and shorts - and his successes as a producer and director cemented his place in Hollywood legend.
Oct 13, 2013
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