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Tom Hanks As One of the Country’s Most Respected and Decorated Actors of the Century

Though it took almost a decade to rise from the depths, Hanks made his name with a touching performance in “Big” (1988), opening the doors to eventual back-to-back Oscar glory with “Philadelphia” (1993) and “Forrest Gump” (1994). Not one to rest on his laurels, Hanks continued making quality work while challenging the everyman persona he developed, taking on roles as an autocratic company man in “Cast Away” (2000), a mob hit man in “Road to Perdition” (2002) and a cocaine- and hooker-loving congressman in “Charlie Wilson’s War” (2007), all the while firmly establishing himself as the finest actor of his generation, as well as being universally perceived as “the nicest guy in show business.”

You have to agree, Tom Hanks is hardly a sex symbol. He’s no Brad Pitt. You never hear about him getting drunk and making a fool of himself, or having lurid love affairs, you never see him at all in the gossip mags. Even he admits he’s a bit of a nerd. Yet, somehow, he’s made an extraordinary career out of being very ordinary. His movies have made billions, just the name “Tom Hanks” in big letters on the billboards can guarantee success. In fact, he’s the biggest earner of them all. Add a couple of Oscars and other assorted accolades, and who said nice guys don’t come first.

Tom Hanks has been elected on the Board of Trustees of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, which helps the United States retain its world leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships for college students who exhibit motivation, imagination, and exceptional performance in the science or engineering field of their major. In non-profit organizations, the Board of Trustees often provides a means for members or associates of the organization to elect or appoint individuals that will oversee the function of the organization. Tom Hanks will serve one year, until May 2010, when new elections will take place.

No surprise that Tom Hanks attended, along with producer  Goetzman, the Commemorations of 65th Anniversary of D-Day that took place today in the American Military Cemetery of Colleville-sur-Mer, in Normandy, France. As always he took time to have a talk with the veterans.

As an executive producer Tom Hanks has an impressive list of producer credits along with Playtone’s producer Gary Goetzman. He has produced such films as Cast Away, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, The Polar Express, The Ant Bully and HBO Films’ Starter for Ten. His TV producing credits include the award-winning HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon and Band of Brothers, and the current HBO series Big Love. His interests range from grand projects like a documentary on World War II called “Beyond All Boundaries” to movies or projects like “Starinside.tv” which don’t overwhelm studio cash registers but do boost promising filmmakers — or at least attempt to.

Hanks is also the producer of the upcoming Spike Jonze film Where The Wild Things Are, based on the children’s book by Maurice Sendak “There’s a lot of things that we’ve been fascinated in that didn’t go anywhere. We still face up to all the realities of the marketplace that everyone else does. We go to our grave saying, ‘We thought that was a great idea.'” – says Hanks. Hanks has proved that his talent is truly multi-faceted: as a regular host on Saturday Night Live, he has proved his comedic side, while as director of features such as That Thing You Do! (which he also wrote the script for) and the television miniseries Band of Brothers, and producer of a bevy of features (most notably Cast Away), Hanks has mastered every angle of film making.

Also a family man, Hanks is happily married to Rita Wilson with whom he has two children. He has another two children with his ex-wife, Samantha Lewes.

Tom Hanks is one of the most respected and likable men in Hollywood (and the only actor worthy of a $20 million salary, according to Entertainment Weekly).

Hanks topped a 1,500-strong list of ‘most trusted celebrities’ compiled by Forbes magazine. Hanks is currently ranked the #1 box office star in the world with over $3.521 billion total box office gross, an average of $100.6 million per film. He has been involved with nineteen films that grossed over $100 million at the worldwide box office

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