Happy Birthday Tom Hanks: Celebrating the ‘Forrest Gump’ Actor’s Iconic Moments

by Suzanne Halliburton

And just like that, Tom Hanks turned 65.

So to celebrate the guy who gave us Forrest Gump, one of the best movies of all time, let’s drift back to all our favorite Tom Hanks moments. And there are lots of them.

Like, do you remember when Tom Hanks became a star on the small screen when he played a young ad executive who dressed up as a woman part of the day so he could live in the Susan B. Anthony all-female hotel? That charming show was Bosom Buddies and it ran from 1980-82.

After his brief career on TV, Hanks had his first breakthrough movie role in Splash, the movie directed by Happy Days alum Ron Howard. This was back in 1984 when Hanks played a guy named Allen who reunited with the mermaid (Daryl Hannah) who saved his life as a boy. A who’s who of Hollywood were considered for the role, including Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Robin Williams, Jeff Bridges, and Christopher Reeve.

The movie was a surprise hit of 1984, grossing almost $70 million. And it definitely propelled Tom Hanks onto Hollywood’s A-List.

Yes, It’s a Really ‘Big’ Movie.

Tom Hanks certainly could play endless youth. In his 1988 movie Big, directed by Laverne & Shirley’s Penny Marshall, Hanks played a kid who wished to become an adult. So what you got was a wide-eyed, innocent boy named Josh Baskin, who saw the grown-up world through a child’s eyes. And something rare happened. Movie fans loved the movie. So did the critics.

The movie grossed $151 million worldwide. And Tom Hanks landed his first-ever Academy Award nomination. Wonder if he knew then that he’d be a semi-regular at the ceremony?

Tom Hanks Says ‘There’s No Crying in Baseball!’

Penny Marshall and Tom Hanks combined again for this 1992 summer charmer, A League of their Own. It was the best sort of sports movie because it came at the genre in an entirely new way. The movie told the story of the All-American Girls Baseball League. Although the movie was fiction, there was such a league back in World War II.

Hanks played Jimmy Dugan, the former Chicago Cub and sometimes drunk manager of the Rockford Peaches. He treats the women as ballplayers but gets freaked out when some of his team reacted like women. And that gave us the line of the summer: “There’s no crying in baseball.”

Run Forrest, Run!

In 1994, Tom Hanks gave us one of the most endearing movies of our time — Forrest Gump. He played a slow-witted, but big-hearted guy from Alabama. And Hanks always was super close to major events in our nation. As Forrest, he was in love with Jenny, and he raised his brilliant boy, Forrest Jr.

The movie gave us so many classic lines, including this one:

“Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

(Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Getty Images)

And what did Hanks get? An Academy Award. Forrest Gump gave him two straight Oscars. The year before, Hanks portrayed Andy Beckett in Philadelphia. In it, he played a lawyer in a major firm that hid the fact he had AIDS. When he was fired, Beckett hired an attorney played by Denzel Washington.

Tom Hanks is one of the world’s most favorite actors. Happy, happy birthday!