When it comes to celebrities who have stood the test of time and remained at the top of Hollywood without blemish, they rarely come more squeaky-clean than Tom Hanks.
Hollywood’s favorite “Mr Nice Guy” is an actor that nobody has a bad word to say about. On-screen he is a legend. Off-screen, he seems to be the nicest guy in Hollywood — a true gentleman.
But did you know that Tom has been suffering from a “silent” disease for many years?
It’s sometimes hard to believe it, but Forrest Gump star Tom Hank is only 66 years old – to me, it feels like he’s been around forever.
Over the years, the two-time Academy Award-winning actor has made a reputation for himself not only as a terrific actor but also as an all-around good guy, one who’s never let fame and fortune get to his head. As well as a cultural icon, Hanks is known as “America’s Dad” and is frequently seen performing acts of kindness toward his fans and those he meets away from the glitz and glamor of Hollywood.
If we dig a little deeper into Tom Hanks’ childhood and upbringing, it becomes clear why he has kept both feet on the ground, despite his successful career and all the millions in his bank account.
Born in Concord, California, Tom Hanks didn’t precisely have an idyllic childhood. He was the product of divorce and was forced to move a lot during his younger years – Tom himself described his childhood as nomadic.
As per reports, no one told him how to brush his teeth and Tom was often overlooked.
“Maybe there was a degree of loneliness because really no one — I kind of like fell through the cracks and didn’t really have adults per se that were taking care of me,” Tom told Graham Bensinger in an interview.
By the time Tom turned 10, he had lived in 10 different houses. Both his parents remarried “three or four times” and had several partners, so Tom was surrounded by stepbrothers and sisters who came and went. He has said that if he saw some of them today, he wouldn’t recognize them.
“When our parents divorced, we three older kids went with our mother, our younger brother went with our dad. Later we were herded back and forth. I can remember times of living together – all four of us in one bedroom at one point: in a big, spread-out house at another. Other times, we didn’t see each other for years,” Tom told Chicago Tribune in 1984.
Humor became the key that helped Tom get through his chaotic upbringing. He used it every time he attended a new school to get acceptance.
“I was a geek, a spaz. I was horribly, painfully, terribly shy. At the same time, I was the guy who’d yell out funny captions during filmstrips. But I didn’t get into trouble. I was always a real good kid and pretty responsible,” Tom told Rolling Stone.
After seeing a school play in high school, Tom became interested in acting and started taking drama classes.
“Up until then I’d had no clue that acting was ever an option,” he said. [I] had more fun than I could possibly imagine,” he said.
After studying at the California State University in Sacramento, Tom jumped on another project, spending three years with the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival. The young actor learned all there is to know about classical theater, but then felt he was ready for another change.
Tom moved to New York in 1979 and landed his first movie role in He Knows You’re Alone, a low-budget “hack and slash” movie shot entirely on Staten Island. The film received mostly negative reviews, but was a commercial success and opened up many doors for the 24-year-old Tom.