Run, Tom Hanks, Run! Celebrate the Legendary Star's Birthday By Reliving All of His Iconic Film Roles

By Johnni Macke Jul 09, 2019 3:00 PMTags
NOV. 15, 9PM
Tom Hanks Best RolesShutterstock, Warner Bros, Getty Images

There might not be any crying in baseball, but don't worry because you've always got a friend in me...and Tom Hanks!

The actor who yelled at the Rockford Peaches in A League of Their Own and made us all say, "howdy, howdy, howdy" in Woody's voice from Toy Story is celebrating his birthday today and we are here for him, and all of his movies.

Today, Hanks turns 63 years old and after four decades of being an actor he has earned the title of one of Hollywood's greatest stars and the man that everyone seems to want to be friends with...not just Buzz Lightyear. 

The California native is a legend and icon and since he's the one celebrating a birthday we are going to shine an even brighter light on his success by going back through his best roles in film thus far.

Beginning in 1980, Hanks hit the ground running with his acting career and now he has more than 90 acting credits to his name in addition to producing, writing and directing accolades.

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He's been a romantic comedy lead in films like You've Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle and he's talked to volleyballs in Cast Away.

He's brought to life an iconic toy cowboy in four Toy Story films—Toy Story 4 hit theaters in late June—and played real-life people in movies including, Charlie Wilson's War, Apollo 13 and The Post.

If none of these films are your favorite from the Oscar-winning actor don't fret, there are plenty more where that came from. 

Check out all of Hanks' best roles below and make sure to vote for the one you will always remember him for.

It won't be easy to pick, but hey, if you have a hard time just remember, life is like a box of chocolates and you never know what you're going to get anyway! 

Bosom Buddies

From 1980 to 1982, Tom Hanks played Kip Wilson, one of two advertising guys who must dress up as women in order to live in a nice apartment building that is only meant for females on Bosom Buddies.

Splash

Mermaids are real...at least to Allen (Hanks). In this 1984 film, Allen is reunited with a mermaid named Madison (Daryl Hannah) who saved him from downing when he was young. He falls in love with her, without knowing exactly who or what she is.

 

Big

After wishing "to be big," Hanks' young character becomes an adult overnight in the 1988 fantasy comedy. The film was the actor's first big hit and led to his first Academy Award nomination.

Turner & Hooch

As the police investigator of a small town in Northern California, Hanks' character befriends a Dogue de Bordeaux after its owner is suddenly murdered and hilarity ensues.

Joe Versus the Volcano

Joe (Hanks) is a hypochondriac, who after learning he's dying decides to accept an offer to throw himself into a volcano on a tropical island. The one thing he didn't expect on his trip was to learn how to really live.

A League of Their Own

Hanks plays manager Jimmy Dugan, a former baseball star and current drunk, of the Rockford Peaches in this 1992 film that takes place during World War II. While the men of the country are off fighting, jobs are filled by the women left behind, including baseball teams, which leads to the first women's baseball league, which made a big mark on the United States...even if Jimmy himself wasn't a fan of women playing the sport to start. 

Sleepless in Seattle

Sam Baldwin (Hank) is a grieving and caring widower trying to keep his eight-year-old son and himself a float in this rom-com. After his son calls into a radio talk-show, his love life becomes the talk of Seattle and with that brings about a romance that was made for the movies.

Philadelphia

In 1993, Hanks starred in the drama as a homosexual AIDS patient with Denzel Washington, and soon after, he won the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Forrest Gump

Run, Forrest, run! Hanks stars in this six-time Academy Award winning classic that details the life of an intellectually limited but endearing man from Alabama named Forrest Gump.

Apollo 13

Hanks acts as Apollo 13 Commander Jim Lovell in the 1995 docudrama box-office success. The movie also stars Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise and Ed Harris.

Toy Story

You've got a friend in me! Hanks voices toy cowboy Woody in this animated buddy comedy, which now has three sequels and has become a childhood staple for Disney and Pixar fans.

That Thing You Do!

Written and directed by Hanks, That Thing You Do! is about a Pennsylvania band who has a one-hit wonder in 1964 that takes them on a wild ride...with a lot of help from their manager Mr. White (Hanks).

Saving Private Ryan

As the lead of this graphic World War II film, Hanks' acting helped catapult the movie into a resounding success. It won five Academy Awards for its portrayal of U.S. soldiers who go behind enemy lines in Europe to find Private Ryan (Matt Damon), who is the only sibling left in his family, after all of his brothers are killed in action.

 

You've Got Mail

Starring in his third rom-com with co-star Meg Ryan, the actor plays the part of Joe Fox, heir to a mega bookstore chain, who is the rival to Kathleen Kelly (Ryan), the owner of her mother's small book shop in NYC. The two meet in an online chat room, without knowing who they are talking to, and fall for each other, which only complicates matters when their businesses continue to compete.

The Green Mile

In 1999, the fantasy crime drama was released, with Hanks playing prison officer Paul Edgecomb. The movie focuses on the Death Row guards whose lives are affected when a black man accused of child rape and murder comes to their prison with a mysterious gift.

Cast Away

Hanks plays a marooned FedEx employee in this epic survival film, which grossed $429 million worldwide. While stranded on the island, he is left to survive on his own with only a volleyball named Wilson as his friend.

Catch Me If You Can

This biographical crime film, directed by Steven Spielberg, is based on the true life of a successful conman. Hanks co-stars with Leonardo DiCaprio, and the pair's stellar acting helped lead the movie to the eleventh highest-grossing film of 2002.

The Da Vinci Code

The actor stars as the professor of religious iconography and symbology at Harvard University in the 2006 American mystery thriller based on the best-selling novel by Dan Brown.

Charlie Wilson's War

The California native plays Texas congressman Charlie Wilson in this drama which tells the story about Wilson's covert dealings in Afghanistan where he assisted rebels in their war with the Soviets. 

Larry Crowne

As lead actor, co-writer, producer and director of the romantic comedy, Hanks played a major role in catering this film to an older audience which also stars Julia Roberts and is about a middle-aged man who goes back to college to reinvent himself.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

After his father dies in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Oskar (Thomas Horn), a nine-year-old who sees the world a little differently, searches all over New York City for the lock that matches a key he left behind. 

Captain Phillips

In 2013, Hanks took on the role of Richard Philips, a captain who was taken hostage by pirates in 2009, in this biographical thriller. 

Saving Mr. Banks

Co-starring with Emma Thompson, the actor portrays Walt Disney in this 2013 period drama, which was praised as a true tribute to the Disney legend.

Bridge of Spies

During the Cold War, American lawyer James B. Donovan (Hanks) is recruited to defend a Soviet spy in court in hopes of helping the CIA exchange the spy for an American spy who is being held overseas. As you might expect, it isn't as black and white as it all may seem.

Sully

In 2016, Hanks portrayed real-life American pilot Chelsey Sullenberger, who in 2009 became an a hero after landing his damaged plane on the Hudson River, saving the passengers and crew. Along the way he was praised for his efforts, but at the same time his career and character were called into question as an investigation into the event transpired.

The Circle

After Mae (Emma Watson) lands her dream job at a powerful tech company called the Circle, she quickly learns that their ability to track everyone's actions and business is being used for a hidden agenda that could affect the lives of everyone on Earth. In the film, Hanks plays Bailey, the head of the company and mastermind behind the cameras that follow everyone.

The Post

Co-starring with Meryl Streep, Hanks acts as Ben Bradlee, the executive director of The Washington Post in this historical political thriller. The film follows what happened when the country's first female newspaper publisher decided to reveal the truth behind a cover-up that spanned four different U.S. Presidents and culminated in the Pentagon Papers.

 

Poll

Tom Hanks' Best Roles

Which Tom Hanks movie is your favorite?
Bosom Buddies
0.8%
Splash
1.2%
Big
6.9%
Turner & Hooch
0.8%
Joe Versus the Volcano
0.4%
A League of Their Own
13.9%
Sleepless in Seattle
2.3%
Philadelphia
4.2%
Forrest Gump
31.7%
Apollo 13
2.7%
Toy Story
2.3%
That Thing You Do!
2.3%
Saving Private Ryan
10.8%
You've Got Mail
8.1%
The Green Mile
3.5%
Cast Away
3.9%
Catch Me If You Can
0.4%
The Da Vinci Code
0.4%
Charlie Wilson's War
0.8%
Larry Crowne
0.4%
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
0%
Captain Phillips
0.8%
Saving Mr. Banks
0.4%
Bridge of Spies
0.4%
Sully
0.4%
The Circle
0%
The Post
0.4%