Although Tom Hanks is one of today’s most famous lead actors, he got his start quite modestly on a silly and popular television series called “Bosom Buddies.” He was one of two lead actors playing men who decide to cross-dress in order to get an affordable apartment. Hanks’ skills as one of the top comedic actors of the day quickly garnered him additional work, and within two years of the sitcom’s demise, he was among the lead actors in major movies.
He quickly became one of the American public’s favorite actors in such movies as “Splash,” “The Money Pit,” and “Big.” What was it about him that allowed him to become one of the most popular actors of the day? After all, he isn’t classically handsome or particularly unique in his appearance. Most people would say that Hanks is one of those rare actors with an amazing ability to channel directly into the most basic humanity which allows him to easily play the “every man” sorts of characters he has mastered, but with a bit of something special.
Just consider that he has shown impressive diversity compared to other actors and has gone from humor to drama without missing a beat or without turning in an unsatisfactory performance. For instance, he wowed audiences as one of the lead actors in “Punchline” and “Turner and Hooch” and then went even farther with “A League of Their Own,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” and “Philadelphia.” It was this last film that distinguished him from all other actors that year, and led to his winning an Academy Award, and some of the most challenging and yet ideally suited roles of the past twenty years.
Just imagine other actors attempting “Forrest Gump” or playing the voice of “Woody” in the Toy Story franchise. What about Capt. John H. Miller in “Saving Private Ryan?” When you cannot imagine another actor in a role, you know that the performer is at their best.