Tom Hanks in 'Forrest Gump'
Tom Hanks in 'Forrest Gump'

Thomas Jeffrey Hanks is one of the most popular and acclaimed film stars worldwide, and is regarded as an American cultural icon. He’s famous for being the nicest guy in Hollywood and is known for the versatility of his roles delivering honest performances.

Tom Hanks celebrates his 65th birthday on July 9, 2021.

The actor has won the Academy Award twice, first for 'Philadelphia' in 1993 and in the consecutive year for 'Forrest Gump.'

Tom hanks has done a multitude of roles, experimenting with vastly different characters, plots and genre. The profound nature of his acting lets him own every fictional persona he plays, giving the narrative a depth and authentic edge. His prolific and iconic career has left a paramount film legacy.

To celebrate his birthday, here are some of his finest performances:

1. Apollo 13 (1995)

Apollo 13 is a wonderfully well-made space docudrama, directed by Ron Howard. It is considered a Hollywood classic featuring Tom Hanks as Apollo 13 Commander and the dependable hero of this gripping thriller.

Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell in Apollo 13. Photograph: Allstar/Universal
Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell in Apollo 13. Photograph: Allstar/Universal

2. Toy Story (1995) / Toy Story 2 (1999) / Toy Story 3 (2010) / Toy Story 4 (2019)

In Pixar's brilliant animated Toy Story movies, Hanks' voice acting for the leader of the toys, Woody, is innocent and heartfelt. His work in these movies is earnest and joyful, truly bringing the loveable toy to life.

3. Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump was of great importance to Hanks career, getting him an Oscar win for Best Actor. It is a drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis, and is based on a novel of the same name.

The story depicts the life of Forrest Gump (Hanks), a well-intentioned man with low IQ who finds himself in the midst of several historical events in the 20th century United States.

Tom Hanks Birthday Special: From 'Apollo 13' to 'Forrest Gump' - Top 10 movies

4. Big (1988)

Big is a is a fantasy-comedy drama film directed by Penny Marshall.

It stars Tom Hanks as adult Josh Baskin, a twelve year old boy who makes a wish to be "big" and is then suddenly grows into an adult overnight.

Tom Hanks' performance in Big is ageless as he delivered his interesting role with a touch of innocence and a lot of charm. Hanks got his first Oscar nomination from this performance.

5. Philadelphia (1993)

Philadelphia is a 1993 American legal drama film directed by Jonathan Demme, and is one of the first mainstream films to confront themes of HIV/AIDS and homosexuality in the history of America.

This movie won Hanks his first Oscar in 1993 for playing the role of the AIDS affected lawyer fighting for his rights. His spectacular performance in it solidified him as a serious actor.

Tom Hanks Birthday Special: From 'Apollo 13' to 'Forrest Gump' - Top 10 movies

6. Sully : Miracle on the Hudson (2016)

Sully is a biographical rescue docudrama directed by Clint Eastwood. It is based on the real incidents of January, 2009, water landing of a US Airways jet onto New York’s Hudson. Hanks plays the pilot of the plane - Sully Sullenberger.

The plot of the movie provides a range of emotions to be portrayed by Hanks, which he does wonderfully, making this movie one of his best performances in recent times.

7. 'Sleepless in Seattle' (1993)

Sleepless in Seattle is a romantic comedy film directed by Nora Ephron, based on a story by Jeff Arch. It stars Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan as the lead couple and their chemistry in the final scenes of the movie is overwhelming.

Hanks who had already established himself as a wonderful actor is the romantic genre by this time, brought a certain sensitivity to the character that charmed the audience greatly.

8. A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood (2019)

A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood is a 2019 biographical drama film, directed by Marielle Heller, inspired by the 1998 article "Can You Say ... Hero?" by Tom Junod.

In the film, Lloyd Vogel is a cynical Esquire journalist who is assigned to interview children's television presenter Fred Rogers (played by Tom Hanks.)

This movie is appraised as one of Hanks' later masterpieces, with a notable authenticity in his acting shining through.

Tom Hanks Birthday Special: From 'Apollo 13' to 'Forrest Gump' - Top 10 movies

9. A League of Their Own (1992)

A League of Their Own is a 1992 American sports comedy-drama film that tells a fictionalised tale of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL).

A movie about teamwork, strength and breaking barriers, Penny Marshal reminisces about her old team in the movie. Hanks does a impactful job as the manager of the league.

10. Cast Away’ (2000)

Cast Away is a survival drama film directed and produced by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, and Nick Searcy.

Hanks gets stranded on an unknown island after his plane crashes in the South Pacific, and the plot showcases his several attempts to to survive in the unfamiliar land.

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