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Overview for Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks


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Also Known As: Thomas Jeffrey Hanks Died:
Born: July 9, 1956 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Concord, California, USA Profession: Cast ... actor producer screenwriter director songwriter sold peanuts at Oakland Coliseum hotel bellboy


as panned by most critics for failing to live up to expectations.

After providing voice cameos for "Cars" (2006) and "The Simpsons Movie" (2007), he helped narrate "The War" (PBS, 2007-08), Ken Burns' stunning and comprehensive look at ordinary Americans fighting in World War II. Hanks then starred in the critically-acclaimed political satire, "Charlie Wilson's War" (2007), adapted by Aaron Sorkin from George Crile's non-fiction novel. Hanks played "Good Time Charlie" Wilson, a U.S. congressman with a taste for hookers and blow whose deep patriotism and frustration with American foreign policy leads him to team up with the wealthiest woman in Texas (Julia Roberts) and a blue-collar CIA operative (Philip Seymour Hoffman) to fund the Mujahideen fighters after the Soviets invade Afghanistan. Once again, Hanks found himself being showered with praise for another strong performance, earning a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical or Comedy as well as the requisite Oscar buzz. Turning back to the role of producer, he helped bring to life the exquisite and much-acclaimed seven-part miniseries, "John Adams" (HBO, 2008), which starred Paul Giamatti as the American Revolutionary leader and second President of the United States. The epic series won just about every major award possible, including 13 Emmys, four Golden Globes and the Humanitas Prize.

In 2009, Hanks won the Producers Guild of America Award for Producer of the Year - Longform Television. After executive producing the film adaptation of the West End musical "Mama Mia!" (2008) with his wife, Hanks co-starred with son Colin Hanks in "The Great Buck Howard" (2009), a comedy about a young aspiring magician who becomes an assistant to a renowned illusionist against his father's wishes. Meanwhile, he reprised the role of Professor Robert Langdon for the successful adaptation of Dan Brown's "Angels & Demons" (2009), after which he went back to producing with director Spike Jonze's take on "Where the Wild Things Are" (2009). Returning to his fascination for World War II, Hanks rejoined "Band of Brothers" cohort Steven Spielberg for "The Pacific" (HBO, 2010), a true-to-life fictionalization of the war between Japan and the U.S. in the Pacific theater, as told though the intertwining stories of three U.S. Marines (Joseph Mazzello, James Badge Dale and Jon Seda) who fight their way through the blood-soaked beaches of Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. After reprising Woody for "Toy Story 3" (2010) ¿ widely considered to be the best of the series ¿ and starring opposite Julia Roberts in the poorly received romantic comedy "Larry Crowne" (2011), which he directed, Hanks appeared as a father whose son tried to unlock his secrets following his death on 9/11 in the acclaimed drama "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" (2011). Slipping back into producing mode, Hanks was executive producer on "Game Change" (HBO, 2012), an inside look at the 2008 presidential campaign as seen through the eyes of campaign manager Steve Schmidt (Woody Harrelson), who was at least in part responsible for picking Alaskan governor Sarah Palin (Julianne Moore) as the vice presidential running mate of John McCain (Ed Harris). The series won Emmys for Moore, director Jay Roach and Outstanding Miniseries or Movie, for which Hanks delivered a typically effusive acceptance speech.

Later in 2012, Hanks unveiled a web series that he produced and created, the animated sci-fi show "Electric City," which also featured him as a voice actor. That fall he starred with Halle Berry and an impressive ensemble cast in "Cloud Atlas," an expansive time-hopping literary adaptation that found him playing six different roles. Continuing to voice Woody in a variety of "Toy Story" shorts, including the TV special "Toy Story of Terror" (ABC, 2013), Hanks won accolades for his turn as a real-life merchant mariner under siege at sea in the tense Paul Greengrass drama "Captain Phillips" (2013) and as Walt Disney in "Saving Mr. Banks" (2013), a tale of the making of "Mary Poppins" (1964).

ing in Georgia in 1942 through their participation in the invasion of Normandy. Hanks additionally directed one episode of the miniseries, for which he earned an Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special. The actor then took on an atypical role, portraying a 1920s Chicago gangster seeking revenge for the death of family members in "The Road to Perdition" (2002). Though Sam Mendes' film prompted mixed critical responses, Hanks' efforts were roundly praised, even if his inherent likeability served to undermine the professional killer he played.

His next film, "Catch Me If You Can" (2002), reunited him with Spielberg who cast him as Carl Hanratty, a real-life FBI fraud investigator hot on the trail of the youngest con artist ever to make the Most Wanted list, Frank Abagnale, Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio). Equal parts downtrodden and dogged, Hanratty was one of Hanks' most distinctive onscreen creations and stood in perfect contrast to DiCaprio's glamorous, happy-go-lucky Abagnale. In fact, Hanks' likeability served his underdog character well, allowing him to convincingly convey Hanratty's more unlikable aspects. Meanwhile, Hanks the movie producer scored mega-success with the unexpectedly popular comedy "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" (2002), which Hanks' part-Greek wife Rita Wilson had discovered when it was a one-woman show created by Nia Vardalos. Hanks' next trick was a return to his wacky comedic roots ¿ indeed, even quirkier territory than he had plumbed before ¿ in the Coen Brothers' remake of the cult classic British film, "The Ladykillers" (2004). Hanks played the verbose, guffawing Professor Dorr, a criminal mastermind whose plan for the Heist of the Century is stymied by a stubborn old woman (Irma P. Hall).

The actor reunited with Spielberg yet again for "The Terminal" (2004), playing an Eastern European immigrant Viktor Navorski, who becomes stranded in a New York City airport terminal because of a quirk in international politics and passport law. He subsequently takes up residence and becomes involved with many of the terminal's temporary inhabitants, including a beautiful flight attendant (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Despite a strong performance and smart direction, "The Terminal" ultimately suffered from an obvious sentimental ending. Hanks teamed up again with Robert Zemeckis to appear as multiple characters in the ambitious CGI-animated adaptation of the popular children's story, "The Polar Express" (2004). Using groundbreaking performance capture technology to digitally morph his physical performances, Hanks was projected onscreen in various forms, playing The Conductor, Hero Boy, Santa Claus, the Hobo and the Boy's Father, which were subsequently woven seamlessly into the film's computer generated environments.

Hanks returned to his love of outer space to narrate the short IMAX film, "Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D" (2005), a stunning journey into mankind's most incredible adventure. The film showcased past, present and future space explorations, as audiences experienced the moon's surface as if they were Apollo astronauts. Returning to dramatic fare, he starred in "The Da Vinci Code" (2006), the long-anticipated adaptation of Dan Brown's monumental bestseller about a murder at the Louvre investigated by a famed symbologist, who unravels a sinister plot to keep a secret that has been protected since the time of Christ. While the script was kept a secret during filming as the fictional mystery in the story, the controversial nature of the book had kept filmmakers from shooting at key locations, including Westminster Abbey. Meanwhile, religious groups, already in a tizzy over the book, braced themselves for what was almost assured to be a blockbuster movie. Though on paper a huge success, taking in $200 million in domestic box office, "The Da Vinci Code" w

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