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Tom Hanks
Forecourt Ceremony held on Thursday, July 23, 1998
Born: July 9, 1956, in Concord, California
Age at the time of the ceremony: 42
Tom Hanks. Two words which conjure up images of "America's Dad." Personable and charming, Hanks has moments of power and command as a performer. He is considered one of the biggest box-office draws in the business, and, as a sideline, produces a whole lot of documentaries on American history. Despite Ken Burns.

Born to working class parents of Portuguese and English heritage, Tom's parents divorced when the lad was only four. Living with his father, he was raised in an "evangelical" atmosphere, while retaining his right to be an unpopular geek at school.

While in high school, Hanks' father re-married, to a woman of Chinese descent. Tom got a role in the school's production of South Pacific, and got the acting bug. Attending Chabot College, then Cal State in Sacramento, Hanks liked football, but liked going to plays — by himself — better. He got a thoroughgoing apprenticeship in the theatre by interning at the Great Lakes Theatre Festival in Cleveland Ohio, for three years, excelling as Proteus in Shakespeare's The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

Moving to New York City, Hanks got a role in the cheap slasher pic He Knows You're Alone (released in August 1980). After doing some Shakespeare in the park type stuff, Hanks got a co-starring role appearing, sometimes in drag, on 37 episodes of Bosom Buddies with Peter Scolari, aired over ABC from November 1980 to March 1982.

Hanks' tenure in television was short. He did a guest shot on Taxi aired over ABC in April 1982, played a doctor on Happy Days aired over ABC in November 1982, and guested on Family Ties aired over NBC in January 1984. After Happy Days, director Ron Howard cast Hanks in his hit film Splash (released in March 1984) with Darryl Hannah. Suddenly, Hanks was a movie star.

He veered into the orbit of Steven Speilberg rather quickly, starring in Speilberg's production of The Money Pit (released in March 1986) with Shelley Long, then co-starred with Dan Aykroyd in Dragnet (released in June 1987).

Big (released in June 1988) with Elizabeth Perkins, firmly put Hanks on the map. The film was both an artistic and financial success. He then played a struggling comedian in Punchline (released in October 1988) with Sally Field. The 'Burbs (released in February 1989) with Bruce Dern, didn't do well, and neither did Joe Versus the Volcano (which played the Chinese in March 1990) with Meg Ryan.

Hanks did his level-headed best in Brian DePalma's disasterous film of The Bonfire of the Vanities (released in December 1990) with Bruce Willis, but you know, he picked himself right back up playing the manager of a girl's baseball team in A League of Their Own (released in July 1992) with Geena Davis, and scored one of his biggest hits with Sleepless in Seattle (released in June 1993) with Meg Ryan.

Philadelphia (released in December 1993) with Denzel Washington, brought him the Best Actor Oscar, and won the same award for Forrest Gump (released in July 1994 — and played the Chinese in its IMAX®  reissue in September 2014) with Robin Wright, then starred as astronaught Jim Lovell in Ron Howard's Apollo 13 (released in June 1995) with Bill Paxton.

With a distinctive voice, Hanks launched a thousand franchises with his voicing Woody in Toy Story (released in November 1995). After directing episodes of several television programs, Hanks made his feature debut with That Thing You Do! (released in October 1996) with Tom Everett Scott, then finally appeared in a Speilberg film, Saving Private Ryan (which played the Chinese in July 1998) with Matt Damon.

The Hanks hit machine continued, with all of his films finding delighted audiences: You've Got Mail (released in December 1998) with Meg Ryan, Toy Story 2 (released in November 1999), and especially playing prison guard Paul Edgecomb in The Green Mile (released in December 1999) with Michael Clarke Duncan. As yet another personal best, Hanks re-teamed with director Robert Zemeckis for the incredible Cast Away (released in December 2000).

In quite the shift, Hanks played a mob hitman looking for redemption in Road to Perdition (released in July 2002), and a FBI man on the trail of Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can (released in December 2002). He played Abe Lincoln, Daniel Boone, and Paul Revere, in seven episodes of Freedom: A History of Us aired over PBS in February 2003, and worked for Speilberg once again in The Terminal (released in June 2004) with Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Hanks joined with Robert Zemeckis as practically the only performance capture castmember in The Polar Express (released in November 2004), did the voice of "Woody" — get it? in Cars (released in June 2006), and re-temaed with Ron Howard for their film of The Da Vinci Code (released in May 2006) with Audrey Tatou.

He three-peted as Woody in Toy Story 3 (released in June 2010), then starred with and directed Julia Roberts in Larry Crowne (released in December 2011). He played multiple roles in Cloud Atlas (released in October 2012) with Halle Berry, then began playing some more recent American heros: Captain Richard Phillips in Captain Phillips (released in October 2013), Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks (some of which was shot at, and later Premiered at the Chinese in November 2013) with Emma Thompson, played the lawyer James B. Donovan in Bridge of Spies (released in October 2015) with Mark Rylance, played Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger in Sully (which played the Chinese in September 2016) with Aaron Eckhart, and played Ben Bradley in The Post (released in December 2017) with Meryl Streep.

Hanks was able to help supply the voice of Woody for Toy Story 4 (which played the Chinese in June 2019, then played Mr. Rogers in the wonderful A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (released in November 2019), with Matthew Rhys.

Hanks headlined in the World War II Navy film Greyhound with Elisabeth Shue, streamed over AppleTV+ in July 2020, and starred as a Civil War veteran in News of the World with Helen Zengal, streaming over Netflix in December 2020. Hanks starred in the sci-fi flic Finch, aired over AppleTV+ in November 2021.

Hanks played General George Meade in the Yellowstone prequel 1883 with Sam Elliott, over Paramount+ in December 2021, and played Colonel Tom Parker in Elvis (which played the Chinese in June 2022), played Geppetto in the Disney live-action Pinocchio (released in September 2022), and headlines in A Man Called Otto with Mariana Treviño (released in January 2023).
Mann's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Tom Hanks Forecourt block. Executed by unknown, Thursday, July 23, 1998. 49 x 43 inches.
Mann's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Tom Hanks Forecourt ceremony, Thursday, July 23, 1998. Tom Hanks gives and impish grin after dating the block of wet cement.
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