Updated: Jul 24, 2020
Tom Hanks is one of the most popular and recognizable film stars worldwide. Famous for both his comedic and dramatic roles, Hanks is widely regarded as an American cultural icon.
On the occasion of his 65th birthday, we bring you some really interesting facts you did not know about Tom Hanks:
1. Hanks has An Asteroid Named After Him
Tom Hanks’ role of an astronaut in the 1995 Apollo 13 is a memorable one. In his honour NASA named an asteroid they discovered in 1996 “12818 Tomhanks”.
As a child, Tom wanted to become an astronaut, but with time he realised that he “didn’t have the math.”
A big fan of manned spaceflight, Hanks today sits on the Board of Governors of the “National Space Society,”
There is more… In 2006, Hanks was conferred with the Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award from the Space Foundation. The award is given to an individual or organization that contributes towards public awareness about space programs. Ironically, Hanks did more for the space exploration as an actor than he might have done as an astronaut.
Surely for Tom, the Sky’s the Limit.
2. Tom Hanks is the biggest "Loser"
To make his characters as realistic as possible, Hanks is always ready to give it his all in his movies.
He lost 30 pounds for his role in the movie Philadelphia, then gained weight to come back to his normal BMI only to drop 55 pounds in within an year to bring his Cast Away character to life.
Given his constant and medically inadvisable weight fluctuations, Hanks even developed Type 2 diabetes.
4. Hanks is fond of collecting typewriters.
While traveling around the world, Tom takes time to scope out finds for his collection, currently owning over 250 of the old-school writing machines.
He has nearly every make, type, and year model that have ever existed.
4. He has won back to back Oscars
He is the second actor ever to win back-to-back Best Actor Oscars for his role in Philadelphia (1993) and Forrest Gump (1994). The only other male actor being Spencer Tracy.
PS: Hanks’ Oscar acceptance speech for 1993’s Philadelphia, where he thanked a gay teacher, was the inspiration for the plot of 1997 film “In & Out,”.
Check out his speech here : LINK
Also, Hanks was The Youngest Actor To Earn American Film Institute's Highest Honor.
5. The US Government loves Tom Hanks
The US military bestowed the Distinguished Public Service Award to Tom on Veteran’s Day in 1999 alongside Steven Spielberg for their work on Saving Private Ryan.
For the same movie, in the year 2006- Hanks was inducted in the US Army's Ranger Hall of Fame as a honorary member.
The big day came on 23 Nov 2016, when President Barack Obama awarded Hanks the Presidential Medal of Freedom. President Obama referred to Mr. Hanks as "America's Dad" and went on to say, "He is a good man, which is the best title you can have." The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honour conferred by the President.
6. He is a money minting machine
At $9 billion worldwide, Hanks is the third highest grossing actor of all time, behind only Harrison Ford and Samuel L. Jackson. He just recently edged out Morgan Freeman for third place. That’s right. Tom Hanks beat God.
It’s safe to say that Forrest Gump is one of the highlights of Tom Hanks’ career, The movie dint just win him an Oscar but also a check of $40 million. The hit movie made approximately $680 million at the box office. Hanks didn’t take any money upfront for being in the movie but was paid in percentage points of the film’s gross. His gamble paid off, and he became richer by $40 million.
7. Hanks is related to a US President.
Tracing back on his mother’s side, Tom discovered he is the third cousin (four generations removed) of Abraham Lincoln. Their common ancestor is John Hanks who was the great grandfather of the Presidents and the six times great grandfather of Tom Hanks.
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"If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. It's the hard that makes it great".
-Tom Hanks. -Tom Hanks
Written by Anubhav Gaur
Founder, Skyshot Media