Tom Hanks, Renee Zellwegger, Variety, November 2019

Variety

Tom Hanks' first TV role was cause for celebration for his whole family...almost.

During a chat with actress Renée Zellweger for the Variety Studio: Actors on Actors series, the Oscar-winning actor recalled his then-toddler son Colin Hanks' adorable reaction to seeing his dad on TV for the first time. The year: 1980. The setting: A guest spot on the popular series The Love Boat.

"I was on the friggin' Love Boat and when it aired that night, I can't tell you what it meant to my world. My fifth grade teacher called me up," Tom recalled. "I couldn't afford a party so we just watched it with the kids. My son Colin, he was only like 3 maybe, 3 or 4, and at the end of The Love Boat, it's sailing away and they show the closing credits and he started crying. And I said, 'Why are you crying?' He says, ''Cause you're going away on the Love Boat.' He thought I was on that boat, sailing away. It was really very sweet."

On the episode, Tom played an old college fraternity brother of regular character Gopher, and he hits on Julie McCoy.

Tom Hanks, Colin Hanks

Dave Allocca/Starpix/Shutterstock

The actor had actually made his onscreen acting debut in the horror film He Knows You're Alone, which was released a couple of months before his episode of The Love Boat aired.

Tom would go on to get a regular role on the ABC sitcom Bosom Buddies, which effectively launched his TV career. He later had roles on the shows Taxi, Happy Days and Family Ties. In 1984, he played the hopelessly romantic Allen Bauer alongside Daryl Hannah as a mermaid in the movie Splash and portrayed main character Rick Gassko in Bachelor Party.

Now a movie star, throughout the '80s and '90s, the actor starred in films like The Money Pit, Big, Turner & Hooch, Joe Versus the Volcano, The Bonfire of the Vanities, A League of Their Own, Sleepless in Seattle and Philadelphia, which earned him his first Oscar in 1994. A year later he won his second for Forrest Gump.

Colin, 41, is also an actor. he made his acting debut in his dad's 1996 film That Thing You Do! and has since starred in movies such as Orange County and shows such as DexterFargo and Life in Pieces. He can be seen next in the film Jumanji: The Next Level, set for release on December 13.

Tom can be seen next playing Mister Rogers in the film A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood, which is set for release on November 22.

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