The Dynamics of Tom Hank’s Family Relationships and Works That Made Him a Worldwide Star

Tom Hanks is one of the most popular faces in the American movie industry. The renowned actor and filmmaker is widely famous for his outstanding performances in movies like Forrest Grump (1994), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Cast Away (2000), Catch Me If You Can (2002), Captain Phillips (2013), Bridge of Spies (2015), and The Post (2017) among other impressive bodies of work.

Hanks’ talent has been recognized by his peers, as he has so far won eight Emmy Awards, four Golden Globes, two Academy Awards, and many more. His talents have further earned him a few honorary awards such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the French Legion of Honor.

Tom Hanks Honed His Acting Skills At The Great Lakes Theater Festival

Hanks’ passion for acting manifested in his high school days as he took up roles in school plays. In 1974, he finished his high school education at Skyline High School, Oakland, and then enrolled at Chabot College in Hayward, California. He later transferred to California State University where studied Theatre.

While still in college, Tom Hanks took an internship that lasted for three years at the Great Lakes Theater Festival in Cleveland, Ohio. There, he whetted his skills in production, lighting, design, and stage management and then decided to quit the university in 1977. He featured in stage works during his internship at the festival and his portrayal of Proteus in Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona in 1978 earned him the Cleveland Critics Circle Award for Best Actor.

He Landed His Big Break With Splash

Tom Hanks relocated to New York in 1979 and there, he got his first movie role in a low-budget film, He Knows You’re Alone. He later appeared in the television series Mazes and Monsters and then got a lead role in the 1980 sitcom, Bosom Buddies.

Eventually, Hanks had his career breakthrough with his role in Splash in 1984. The romantic comedy movie became a box office hit, having grossed over $68 million at the box office against a budget of $11 million.

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Hanks then landed another lead role in Big in 1988. His performance gave him much exposure and fame but most importantly, earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Later in 1992, the protean actor gained mainstream attention for his critically acclaimed role in A League of Their Own before becoming a movie star with his amazing depictions in the commercially successful films; Philadelphia (1993) and Forrest Gump (1994), both of which earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor, as well as a Golden Globe Award.

In 2006, he starred in The Da Vinci Code which had a massive theatrical performance, grossing more than $750 million worldwide on a budget of $125 million. In the course of his career, Tom Hanks has worked with renowned film director Steven Spielberg in several movies, including Saving Private Ryan (1998), the mini-series Band Brothers (2001), Catch Me If You Can (2002), The Terminal (2004), Bridge of Spies (2015), and The Post (2017).

His others notable works are That Thing You Do (1996), You’ve Got Mail (1998), The Polar Express (2004), Charlie’s War (2007), Angels & Demons (2009), Sully (2016), Henry IV (2018), and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019). His performance in the latter, got him nominated for an Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, and British Academy Film Award.

Apart from being a recipient of various awards, Tom is also an inductee of the US Army Hall of Fame in 2006. The honor was bequeathed to him for his fantastic character display as Captain Phillips in Saving Private Ryan.

Hanks’ Voice-Over Role in The Toy Story Franchise Has Also Gotten Him Much Popularity

In 1995, Tom Hanks began voicing the character of Sheriff Woody in the Disney/Pixar CGI animated film, Toy Story, which became a box office success, grossing over $350 million on a budget of $30 million. His performance in the role got him nominated for an MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo (with Tim Allen) in 1996. He followed it up by reprising his role in its sequel Toy Story 2 released in 1999, as well as Toy Story 3 (2010) which emerged as the highest-grossing animated movie at the time of its theatrical release. It was the first animated film to earn more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office.

Later in 2019, Hanks further reprised his role as Sheriff Woody in the fourth installment of the franchise. For his voice roles in Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3, and Toy Story 4, he got nominated for Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards for Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie in 2000, 2011 and 2020 respectively.

Tom Hanks recently scored a role in the 2020 film, Greyhound, and is set to appear in many upcoming projects, including News of the World, which is slated for a release in December 2020, as well as Bios, Elvis and The Mighty Eight.

How Much is Tom Hanks Worth?

Through sheer hard work and God-given talent, Tom Hanks has been able to pay his dues in Hollywood to be considered as one of the movie industry’s heavyweights. Most of the movies in which he has appeared in have grossed millions of dollars at the box office. His films have earned more than $4.8 billion at the North American box office and more than $9.9 billion at the worldwide box office. As such, he is regarded as the fifth highest-grossing box office star of all-time in North America.

With some of his movies being box office hits, he sure has received huge remuneration for appearing in them. Besides acting, Hanks is also a writer and filmmaker best known for his works in My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Mamma Mia!. His plethora of careers have all contributed to giving him a net worth estimated to be around $350 million as of February 2020.

The Box Office Star Comes From a Family of Six

Thomas Jeffrey Hanks was born on July 9th, 1956, in Concord, California, the United States of America. He is the third of four children born to Janet Marylyn and Amos Mefford Hanks.

As a child, Tom Hanks’ family moved around so often that by the time he was about 10, he had lived in ten different cities. His parents separated in 1960 and as a result, Tom along with his older brother Larry and sister Sandra stayed with their father while the youngest sibling Jim was raised by their mother. The actor’s father later remarried and had three more children.

He is Not The Only Actor in the Family

Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks and his younger brother Jim (Image Source)

As mentioned earlier, Tom Hanks has two brothers; Lawrence “Larry” Michael Hanks and Jim Hanks. Larry, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1991, is an entomologist and professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In 1978, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Davis, and four years later, he achieved his M.S. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Later in 1996, Larry became an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He then rose through the ranks to become an associate professor in the year 2003. Tom Hanks’ brother eventually became a full professor at the university, five years later.

Jim, on the other hand, followed in the footsteps of his older brother to become an actor and filmmaker. He is best known for appearing in Blood Type (1999), Purgatory House (2004), Scrubs (2005), Deadwater (2008), Acts of Violence (2010), Automotive (2013), A Leading Man (2013), and Lamp Life (2020). As a filmmaker, Jim Hanks has directed and produced many short films, including Wish (2008), Collision (2010), and Coveting Roses (2012). He is a recipient of the Angel Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Blood Type.

Tom Hanks is Married to an Actor and Their Marriage Has Lasted For More Than Thirty Years

Tom Hanks has been married twice. He and his first wife, actress Samantha Lewes, tied the knot in 1978 and their union was blessed with two children; a son named Colin Hanks born on November 24th, 1977, and a daughter named Elizabeth Ann Hanks born on May 17th, 1982. The couple parted ways in 1987, giving room for the filmmaker to marry actress Rita Wilson in 1988, a year after his divorce. Sadly, his first wife, Samantha succumbed to bone cancer in March 2002.

Before becoming man and wife, Hanks and Wilson had met on the set of Bosom Buddies in 1981. They then reconnected in 1985 on the set of Volunteers before later taking things a step further. Like his first marriage, the duo also have two children; sons Chester Marlon fondly called Chet born on August 4th, 1990, and Truman Theodore Hanks born on December 26th, 1995.

Since getting attracted to each other while filming Volunteers, the love between the pair has been waxing strong and has kept them together for more than three decades, thus establishing one of the longest celebrity marriages in Hollywood.

Rita Wilson is as Talented as Her Husband

Born Margarita Ibrahimoff in Hollywood, California on October 20th, 1956, Rita Wilson is a widely known actress, singer, and producer. Since kicking off her acting career with a guest role in The Brady Bunch TV show in the year 1972, she has gone on to appear in a good number of movies such as Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Runaway Bride (1999), The Chumscrubber (2005), Dawn Patrol (2014), My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016), A Simple Wedding (2018), and Love Is Love Is Love (2020).

On the TV front, Tom Hanks’ wife has scored roles in Hawaii Five-O (1979), Who’s the Boss? (1986), Mad About You (1998), The Good Wife (2011-14), Girls (2013-17), and Pitch (2016). Her works as a producer include My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), Mamma Mia! (2008), My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016), Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018), and A Simple Wedding (2018).

Additionally, Rita has been making waves in the music industry. She has put out a number of songs and has performed on various TV shows such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Today Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and The Late Late Show with James Corden.

Rita dropped her first studio album AM/FM in May 2012 and it spawned singles like ‘Cherish’, ‘You Were on My Mind’, and ‘Walking in the Rain’. Later in March 2016, she released a self-named album which came before her third effort titled Bigger Picture in September 2018. Her fourth studio album, Halfway to Home, was released in March 2019. In the same month, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions to arts.

Facts About Tom Hanks’ Children and What They Are Known For

Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks and Family (image source)

Tom Hanks is a doting father to four children and a grandfather as well. Interestingly, all his kids have followed in his footsteps and are making a worthwhile contribution to the entertainment world.

Colin Hanks

The accomplished actor’s first son Colin works as an actor, director, and producer. He is best recognized for starring in Rosewell (1999-2001), King Kong (2005), The House Bunny (2008), The Good Guys (2010), Fargo (2014, 2015), and the Jumanji film series (2017-2019). He has further served as the director of some documentary series, including All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records, and Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends). More so, he co-produced the 2005 film, RX.

Colin Hanks has thus far in his career received the Spike Video Game Award and San Diego Film Festival Award. With regards to his personal life, the actor is married to former New York Publicist, Samantha Bryant. The two tied the knot in May 2010 and in the following year, they welcomed their first child, a daughter named Olivia Jane Hanks. Later in 2013, another baby girl named Charlotte Bryant Hanks was welcomed into the family.

Elizabeth Hanks

Tom Hanks’ only daughter Elizabeth first ventured into acting by making appearances in Forrest Gump (1994), and That Thing You Do! (1996). After earning a degree in English and Literature from Vassar College, she has been working as a writer and editor. Her writing works have been published on many widely read journals such as The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Time Magazine, and The Guardian.

Aside from working as a writer in recent years, Elizabeth Hanks scored a role in the short film, Anchoraged (2015). She also appeared in one episode of the TV series Big City Green in 2019.

Chet Hanks

Tom Hanks’ first son with Rita Wilson, Chet Hanks, is an actor and rapper who has dubbed himself the black sheep of the family after he made headlines for the wrong reasons while struggling with drug addiction. However, he has been sober since 2016 and has put his career on track by featuring in seven episodes of Shameless (2016-18), as well as two episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm (2017). He also featured as Blake Sterling in the TV series, Empire from 2018-19.

Additionally, Chet is a member of a two-man band called Somewhere Out West which has released singles like ‘A Lean and Hungry Look’ and ‘Bloody Noses and Crack’d Crowns’. The rap artist is a proud father of one. He had a daughter named Michaiah with Tiffany Miles in the year 2016 and has attributed his change of lifestyle to the birth of his baby girl.

Truman Hanks

The youngest in the family, Truman Hanks, completed his basic education at the Los Angeles-based Thacher School before enrolling at Stanford University where he majored in Mathematics. According to his IMDb profile, Tom Hanks’ last son has worked as the assistant director of photography for the film West Side Story (2020), as well as the production assistant for Charlie’s Angels (2019), and The Cloverfield Paradox (2018). He additionally worked as the Cinematographer for the 2019 short film, The Ice Queen Society.

Ose Blessing
Ose Blessing
From entertainment stories to news, blog posts, short stories to reviews and guides, my writings can be seen across a variety of publications both online and offline


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