25 Little Known Nifty And Cool Facts About Tom Hanks

Posted by , Updated on April 22, 2024

Today, renowned American actor Tom Hanks is celebrating his 60th birthday. He is known for a plethora of acclaimed roles in a wide variety of films, such as his performance as Jimmy Dugan in A League of Their Own, his portrayal of Jim Lovell in Apollo 13, his role as Richard Phillips in Captain Phillips, his poignant depiction of Andrew Beckett in Philadelphia, and of course, his indelible performance as Forrest Gump in the 1994 film of the same name. Tom Hanks has undoubtedly cemented himself as one of Hollywood’s most commercially and critically successful actors. His exceptional acting skills have seen him feature in over a hundred films, TV shows, and theater performances, playing characters engaged in war, marooned on a deserted island, on the hunt for the legendary Holy Grail, and even journeying through the expanses of space. Given Tom Hanks’ enduring presence in the public eye, chances are, you’re well-versed with his illustrious career, but there may still be several fascinating facts you aren’t aware of. In celebration of this iconic actor’s 60th birthday, we’ve compiled a list of 25 Little Known Nifty And Cool Facts About Tom Hanks. We wish Tom a very joyous birthday!


A proud American, Tom Hanks was born in Concord, California, but his mother, Janet Marylyn, was of Portuguese descent, while his father, Amos Hanks, had English ancestry.

Tom HanksSource and image: en.wikipedia.org

Just 4 years after Tom was born, his parents divorced. Young Tom and his older sister, Sandra, and brother, Larry, went with their father while the youngest child, Jim, stayed with their mother. In his childhood, Tom´s family moved often. By the age of ten, Hanks had lived in ten different houses.

Tom HanksSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: flickr.com

Tom Hanks is a third cousin, four generations removed, of former President Abraham Lincoln. Their common ancestor is John Hanks (1680 - 1740), who was the great-great-grandfather of Lincoln and the six-time great-grandfather of Tom Hanks.

Abraham LincolnSource: moviefone.com, image: commons.wikimedia.org

Before he played a gay lawyer with AIDS in the famous 1993 drama “Philadelphia,” Hanks lost 35 pounds (16 kilograms) and even thinned his hair in order to appear sickly for the role.

Tom HanksSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: youtube.com

The movie´s iconic song, “The Streets of Philadelphia,” written and sung by Bruce Springsteen, won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and four Grammy Awards. Hanks and Springsteen have been close friends since their childhood.

Bruce SpringsteenSource and image: en.wikipedia.org

Tom Hanks is a keen fan of the English soccer club Aston Villa. He first revealed he was a Villa supporter in 2001 and has frequently sported the club´s claret and blue scarf while attending red carpet events.

Aston VillaSource: dailymail.co.uk, image: commons.wikimedia.org

Talking about English soccer, Tom Hanks might be one of the most successful bettors ever. In April 2016, he said he had bet £100 on Leicester to win the Premier League at the beginning of the season when the odds were 5000/1 as Leicester were the league´s biggest outsiders. Incredibly, Leicester won the league, but it remains a mystery if Hanks had really placed the bet or not.

LeicesterSource: telegraph.co.uk, image: en.wikipedia.org

Tom Hanks shares his birthday, July 9th, with musicians Jack White, David O'Hara, Courtney Love, actor Chris Cooper, and politician Donald Rumsfeld.

Donald RumsfeldSource: moviefone.com, image: commons.wikimedia.org

On October 7, 2013, on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” Tom Hanks announced that he has Type 2 diabetes.

David LettermanSource and image: en.wikipedia.org

Tom Hanks cited the help of a nearby ice cream shop which helped him gain 30 pounds (13.6 kilograms) for his role in the famous 1992 American comedy-drama, "A League of Their Own."

A League of Their OwnSource: imdb.com, image: youtube.com

He was not always the cool, confident Tom Hanks we are all so familiar with. He told the Rolling Stone Magazine that when he was growing up, “I was a geek, a spaz. I was horribly, painfully, terribly shy.”

Tom HanksSource: neatorama.com, image: en.wikipedia.org

Before marrying his second wife, actress Rita Wilson in 1988, Tom Hanks converted to the Greek Orthodox Church, the religion of Wilson and her family.

Rita WilsonSource and image: en.wikipedia.org

Tom Hanks has been involved in politics. He has donated to many Democratic politicians, and during the 2008 United States presidential election, he uploaded a video to his MySpace account endorsing Barack Obama. Hanks also supports same-sex marriages.

Tom HanksSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: commons.wikimedia.org

Tom Hanks has 4 children. With his first wife, actress Samantha Lewes, he has son Colin Hanks (born 1977) and daughter Elizabeth (born 1982). With his second wife, actress Rita Wilson, he has sons Chester Marlon (born 1990) and Truman Theodore (born 1995).

Colin HanksSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: commons.wikimedia.org

Tom Hanks has played a captain in 3 different movies: Apollo 13 (1995), Saving Private Ryan (1998), and Captain Phillips (2013).

Tom HanksSource: imdb.com, image: youtube.com

His films have grossed more than $4.3 billion at American and Canadian box offices and more than $8.5 billion worldwide, making him the 4th highest-grossing actor of all time (after Harrison Ford, Samuel L. Jackson, and Morgan Freeman).

Tom HanksSource: imbd.com, image: commons.wikimedia.org

Before Tom Hanks kicked off his acting career, one of his jobs was a hotel bellman. Some of the celebrity guests whose bags he carried were Cher, Sidney Poitier, Slappy White, and Bill Withers.

CherSource: imbd.com, image: en.wikipedia.org

Apart from soccer, Tom Hanks is a huge fan of football and baseball. He supports the Oakland Raiders in football and the Cleveland Indians in baseball.

Oakland RaidersSource: neatorama.com, image: en.wikipedia.org

He has played with Meg Ryan in 3 movies as love interests: Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Joe Versus the Volcano (1990), and You've Got Mail (1998). In reality, Tom and Meg are close friends.

Meg RyanSource: imbd.com, image: en.wikipedia.org

Tom Hanks is not just a great actor. He is also a successful film producer. He has produced over 20 films including the 2002 Canadian-American romantic comedy, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” and the 2004 American 3-D animated musical fantasy film, “The Polar Express.”

Tom HanksSource and image: en.wikipedia.org

Tom Hanks is an avid collector of typewriters. He has purchased over 80 typewriters from around the world and has been collecting them “for no particular reason” since 1978.

typewritersSource: whatculture.com, image: commons.wikimedia.org

A dedicated proponent of environmentalism, Hanks is an investor in electric vehicles and owns a Toyota RAV4 EV and the first production AC Propulsion eBox.

Toyota RAV4 EVSource and image: en.wikipedia.org

A supporter of NASA's manned space program, Hanks said he originally wanted to be an astronaut. In fact, the asteroid 12818 Tomhanks was named after him.

astronautSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: commons.wikimedia.org

Tom Hanks is a big fan of Monty Python, the famous British surreal comedy group. He even became a member of the group for one night - at the 2002 memorial concert for George Harrison.

Monty PythonSource: imbd.com, image: en.wikipedia.org

Tom’s all-time favorite movie is “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968). His second favorite is the Beatles' 1964 film, “A Hard Day's Night.” He is also a fan of the British science-fiction television program, “Doctor Who.”

Tom HanksSource: neatorama.com, image: commons.wikimedia.org