There are few actors as beloved as Tom Hanks. Long before social media quantitatively measured the “real-life” personalities for their fans, Hanks was widely known for his jovial demeanour and Genuine Nice Guy status.
Some movie stars over the last half-century have had a spotty record for quality movies, but the ones that foster long careers become savvy enough to mostly make above-average pictures. In his 36-year career, Hanks has become one of the best at it — in no small part because of what a powerful actor the Bosom Buddy became over the years.
While digesting his latest picture, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons sequel Inferno, consider these 25 pictures that made him the beloved star he is today.
25. SPLASH (1984)
Ron Howard’s comedy about a man who falls head over heels with a mermaid was the first comedy Hanks tackled on the big screen, making for a bold argument for his career in comedies.
24. EXTREMELY LOUD &
INCREDIBLY CLOSE (2011)
The “unfilmable” novel of a young boy with Asperger syndrome trying to solve a puzzle left by his deceased father was largely able to escape the gravity of the dark subject matter through Hanks’ touching performance.
23. THE GREAT BUCK HOWARD (2008)
Playing Colin Hanks’ father may not have been too much of a stretch for Tom, but thankfully The Great Buck Howard’s comedy is riotous enough to support itself even without the senior Hanks’ help.
22. SAVING MR. BANKS (2013)
The polishing of Walt Disney’s actual rough edges aside, Hanks is the perfect person to play the mogul of children’s entertainment, hell-bent on acquiring the rights to P.L. Travers’ book Mary Poppins, despite the objections of the ornery Travers (Emma Thompson).
21. THE TERMINAL (2004)
One of Steven Spielberg’s lighter movies but also one of his most enjoyable, The Terminal features Hanks as a man without a home country, stuck in international limbo at JFK Airport. Stanley Tucci, as a slimy U.S. Customs official, is the perfect foil for Hanks.