How can one forget his iconic dialogue, “My mama always said, 'Life is like a box of chocolates'”, in Forrest Gump, and “Houston, we have a problem”, in Apollo 13? How can one not swoon over his romantic comedies You've Got Mail, and Sleepless in Seattle? In Cast Away, he lost 50 pounds to play Chuck, whose plane goes down the Pacific, and gets marooned in an island. Remember his portrayal of Captain John Miller in Saving Private Ryan, even though he missed out on an Oscar for that role? There are just too many movies with unforgettable and effortless performances, like Saving Mr. Banks, Bridge of Spies, Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal, Captain Philips, Splash, The Green Mile, etc.
As actor par extraordinaire, this award-winning actor, producer, and writer can handle a tense drama as well as a completely idiotic comedy. From the Academy Awards to the Golden Globes, he has been honored for his masterful performances, even winning the Academy Award for Best Actor twice, back-to-back, in 1993 and 1994 (For Philadelphia and Forrest Gump). He is the voice of Pixar animated Toy Story's Woody, the voice that said, “That wasn't flying. That was falling in style”. He is Tom Hanks, and he turns 60 on July 9.
And on his birthday, we bring you 10 of some of the most quirkiest facts about Tom Hanks that you may not have known!
1. HE LOVES COLLECTING TYPEWRITERS
'I am TOM. I like to TYPE,' he wrote in The New York Times. Not only does he collect over 50 antique typewriters, he actually uses them! Hanks states that he uses a manual typewriter, writes snail-mail letters and thank you notes, to-do lists, and office memos. He also knows how a Remington from the 30's should sound like (THICK THICK). Listen, millennials!
2. HE HAS AN ASTEROID NAMED AFTER HIM
Asteroid 12818 Tomhanks, discovered in April 1996 by astronomer Joseph L. Montani, and named by his colleague Jim Scotti, is well-deserved for the man who played an astronaut in Apollo 13, don't you think?
Bonus fact: Tom's co-star in 3 rom-coms, Meg Ryan too has an asteroid named after her. They even passed each other somewhere in space, when these asteroids made their closest approach to earth.
3. HE IS A GREAT FAN OF LAW & ORDER
Tom Hanks is said to be obsessed with the drama tv series 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit', and has always expressed desire to have a guest appearance in the show. Seeing that so many other celebrities (Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Garner, Fred Savage, Bradley Cooper, Robin Williams) have already guest starred in SVU, we don't see why it should be that difficult?
4. HE WAS ONCE A HOTEL BELLMAN
Yes, he used to be a bellhop at the Hilton, and even carried the bags of some celebrity guests like Cher, Slappy White and Bill Withers much before his acting career waved at him. He also gave a ride to Sidney Poitier to the airport. He has also reportedly said, that being a bellman is the greatest job.
5. HE HAS STARRED IN A SEX COMEDY
We are talking about Tom Hanks, alright. In 1984, a little comedy film called Bachelor Party by Neal Israel hit the cinemas. This mad flick is about a bachelor party thrown by a totally crazy group of friends for their buddy Rick Gassko played by Hanks, on his wedding eve. Things go horribly wrong, and a little more than wild, and it puts Gassko to the ultimate test—whether or not he will yield in to temptation. Bachelor Party was deemed very vulgar and juvenile by critics.
6. HE WAS VERY CLOSE TO PLAYING LEAD IN JERRY MAGUIRE
Hanks was offered to play the dynamic sports agent Jerry Maguire in this eponymous sports drama-romantic comedy, but he turned it down since he was busy directing that thing you do. Hanks had rejected an earlier version of the script, and this time, he was glad that it was then passed on to Tom Cruise, who got a Best Actor award for the role.
7. HE PLAYED A CLOSETED GAY LAWYER, AND A CROSSDRESSER
In Hank's academy award-winning portrayal of Andy Beckett, he blazes the screens as the gay lawyer at a high-profile law firm who has AIDS, and sues his firm for discrimination. This high-powered performance in the movie Philadelphia changed people's attitudes towards HIV-AIDS. In an 80's sitcom Bosom Buddies, Hanks also played an advertising professional, who had to cross dress as a young woman to stay in an all-woman apartment complex.
8. HE IS CALLED THE MODERN JAMES STEWART
When the editors of Life magazine brought together the screen legends of today, and put them up with their counterpart thespians of yesterday, the then 30-something Hanks was placed with James Jimmy Stewart, and actor who did classics, comedies and courtroom dramas, with elan. Stewart's small-town aura, and debonaire is often compared to Hanks' own.
9. HE IS RELATED TO AMERICA'S GREATEST PRESIDENTS, ABRAHAM LINCOLN
Hanks is Lincoln's third cousin, four times removed, and the connection comes through the former president's mother, Nancy Hanks. Actor George Clooney is also said to be related to the Honest Abe.
10. HE TWEETS LOST GLOVES, SHOES, AND SOCKS
Have you lost a shoe or a sock on your stroll around New York city? Tom Hanks is always here to help. If you check out his Twitter, you will find random tweets of lost items he regularly spots in the streets. Other than a Fordham University student getting back her ID card after his tweet, there has been no news of owners getting back the lost items he tweets about.
Bonus fact: The actor signs all his tweets with 'Hanx'!
Happy Birthday, Hanx. You are the best!