Happy Birthday Tom Hanks: Exploring His Greatest Movies of All Time As Actor Turns 68

Tom Hanks has pulled off every character be it a tragic or comedy with equal elan. His characters have always touched the viewers' hearts.

Published on Jul 09, 2024  |  07:01 AM IST |  35.6K
Celebrating Tom Hanks 68th Birthday With Some Of The Actors' Greatest Movies
Tom Hanks (PC: Instagram/ tomhanks)
Key Highlight
  • Tom Hank's iconic performances across four decades
  • Tom Hanks bagged his first Oscar nomination for Big
  • Tom Hanks' immaculate voice gives the character of Sheriff Woody a real face

Tom Hanks is more than an actor with an uncanny ability to get into the character's soul. Considered one of the most celebrated actors ruling Hollywood from the second half of the 20th century. Over four decades, he played diverse characters, his fans always rooted for. On the actor's 68th birthday, we list out of some his greatest performances of all time:

Catch Me If You Can

Tom Hanks plays the role of an FBI agent Carl Hanratty who tracks down Frank Abagnale Jr who is a teenage forger played by Leonardo DiCaprio. The con man can easily pass off as a doctor, lawyer, and pilot. The game of cat and mouse is maneuvering and Hanks skillfully embodies his role with precision adding a lot of depth. Hanratty relentlessly pursues Abagnale. It is seen that his loneliness adds to the story and focuses on his motivations. The movie directed by Steven Spielberg is focused on a thrilling narrative.

The Green Mile

Directed by Frank Darabont, it is set on death row where John Coffey has the power to heal the ailments of people. Paul Edgecombe is the lead guard who after recognizing John's gift, strives to prevent the condemned man's execution. The movie has been adapted from Stephen King's story where Tom Hanks plays a death plays the role of a death row prison guard in the 1930s. The movie is full of emotions and heart-wrenching which makes the audiences ponder.



Big got Tom Hanks his first Oscar nomination when a young boy of 12 years Josh Baskin (David Moscow) made a wish with a carnival machine to turn him big. The next morning his wish was granted and Josh turned into an adult with a kid's mind. Josh deals with a lot of ups and downs but Tom Hanks acts seamlessly, balancing every moment of childlike wonder and energy and emotional sadness. Big eventually proved that Tom Hanks can equally do justice to laughs and tears.


Tom Hanks handles the serious issue of AIDS with a lot of grace and empathy. The topic has been a major taboo in Hollywood but Philadelphia portrayed it in a commendable way. The legal thriller directed by Jonathan Demme is a poignant portrayal of a gay man. He takes the help of a lawyer to fight against biases. Tom Hanks makes a positive contribution to bringing awareness to social issues and removing unnecessary barriers.


Forrest Gump

Directed by Robert Zemeckis, the film was one of the highest-grossing films of 1994 and bagged an Oscar for Best Picture. Tom Hanks gave a wonderful performance adding a dramatic twist he had delivered in Big. The movie follows the life of Forrest, his interaction with people, and events happening through the 20th century. Forest's simplicity led to him facing some of the harrowing events, experiencing both love and loss in Forrest Gump.

Captain Phillips

The film is based on real-life events where Hanks took the role of Captain Richard Phillips. Paul Greengrass's 2013 film is based on the standoff between pirates and the US military. Hanks is a calm leader in charge of a container ship sailing through the Horn of Africa. Hanks holds the trust of the crew; one such incident was when the ship was seized by Somali pirates but Phillips provided safety to his crew and was taken hostage.


Cast Away

Tom Hanks is the only survivor of a plane crash who is all alone on a deserted island. This was Hanks's second collaboration with Robert Zemeckis where Hanks took the role of FedEx Systems Anaslit, Chuck Noland. Hanks goes through a physical transformation in this challenging solo performance. The filming was even paused for a year for Hanks to grow his chest hair, and beard and lose weight to give it a more real touch.

Apollo 13

NASA successfully brings back a damaged spacecraft through innovation and teamwork. Apollo 13's returns showed human resilience in times of difficulty. This drama reveals Hanks's magnetic charm as he plays the role of Commander Jim Lovell (If there was no catastrophe in-flight failure, he would have taken the fifth spot to walk on the moon. Director Ron Howard carefully balances a historical drama with a motivational problem-solving film.

Toy Story

In John Lasseter's film, Tom Hanks voiced the pull-string cowboy toy Sheriff Woody in all four Toy Story movies. Over generations, fans listened to his voice. Hanks embraced all his insecurities and brought immense wit and humor to the character. All the rivalries and existential crises are seen from the perspective of a child's imagination. The character of Woody is not always good, he has shades of grey and at times manipulative. Hank's presence brings a of dimensionality and audiences feel the animated toy to be so human-like.


Saving Private Ryan

Steven Spielberg's film is based on Captain Miller's internal conflicts when he goes through the brutal war and keeps suffering from moral conviction. Miller's character evolves as he gets affected by war from a stoic leader to a vulnerable man. Hanks lands on the Omaha beach during the D-Day, Hanks leads a group of soldiers to go behind the enemy lines to get a paratrooper whose brothers were killed in WWII. Hanks plays the role enigmatically and masterfully.

ALSO READ: What Is Tom Hanks And Forrest Gump Director Robert Zemeckis' New Film Here About? All We Know So Far

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