10 Extraordinary Things Tom Hanks Has Done In His Lifetime

March 7, 2014

Some people in the entertainment industry are simply larger than life, and Tom Hanks undoubtedly falls into that category. Never one to shy away from a challenge, most of the feats Hanks has accomplished in his career and his personal life rank as extraordinary. Here is a look at 10 amazing things the actor has done in his lifetime.

1. Back-to-back “Best Actor” Oscars

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Hanks won back-to-back “Best Actor” Oscars for his roles in “Philadelphia” (1993) and “Forrest Gump” (1994). He was the first actor to have accomplished this feat since Spencer Tracy had done it in 1937 and 1938.

2. Member of the “Five-Timers-Club”

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He became a member of the Saturday Night Live “Five-Timers Club” (celebrities who have hosted the hit sketch show at least five times) in 1980. In fact, he coined the name of the club during his hosting gig, and it has been used to describe SNL’s most frequent hosts ever since. Since joining the club, he has hosted three more times to bring his total to eight.

3. Too many roles, too little time

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Hanks was offered roles in both “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Jerry Maguire”, but he turned them down. He couldn’t sign on for “Shawshank” because its schedule overlapped with directing and starring in “That Thing You Do”, and he turned down the title role in “Jerry Maguire” (even though it had been written with him in mind) because he had already signed on to star as Forrest Gump.

4. Youngest ever to achieve Lifetime Achievement Award

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At age 45, Hanks became the youngest person ever to be honored with AFI’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He accepted the honor from his friend and colleague Steven Spielberg in 2002.

5. When Tom Hanks “outs” you, it’s acceptable

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In his Oscar acceptance speech for his role in “Philadelphia”, Hanks accidentally outed one of his high school teachers as gay when he was thanking him for providing inspiration. His mistake inspired the plot of the movie “In and Out”, which tells the story of a gay teacher accidentally outed at the Academy Awards.

6. He gained and loss tremendous weight for roles

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Always willing to devote his entire body to his craft, Hanks famously gained 30 pounds to play his role in “A League of Our Own.” Later, he had to lose 30 pounds to play a man suffering with AIDS in “Philadelphia” and then lose 50 pounds for the movie “Cast Away.”

7. Member of the Army Ranger Hall of Fame

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In 2006, Hanks was inducted into the U.S. Army Ranger Hall of Fame as an honorary member. The Army wanted to acknowledge his respectful and accurate performance as a World War II soldier in “Saving Private Ryan.”

8. Collection of typewriters

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For years, he has collected typewriters, and now he has acquired well over 100 of them from throughout history around the world.

9. He has an asteroid named after him

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A few years after starring in “Apollo 13”, Hanks had an asteroid named after him. Spacewatch at Kitt Peak discovered a new asteroid in 1996, and they decided to call it “12818 tomhanks.”

10. Highest-grossing actor ever

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Hanks is actually the highest-grossing actor ever at the box office when all of his films are taken into consideration. The movies he has been in have earned more than $4 billion in box office returns, which puts him well ahead of the number-two earner, Eddie Murphy.

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