The Transformation Of Tom Hanks From 24 To 64 Years Old

Tom Hanks is one of the most lovable stars in Hollywood, "hanks" to his humble personality (see what we did there?) and incredible acting skills. We'd be lying if we said that Hanks wasn't one of our favorite actors, and he's starred in several films that we could watch over and over again. According to his IMDb profile, Hanks began his career in 1980, playing the role of Elliot in "He Knows You're Alone." From there, he's starred in one blockbuster after another, including "Big," "Forrest Gump," "Saving Private Ryan," and "Cast Away" (more on those later). He's also done work behind the camera, serving as a writer and director — and also proving that there's pretty much nothing that he isn't capable of.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Hanks shared that he fell in love with acting after seeing "2001: A Space Odyssey" in 1968. He's since seen the movie 100 times. "Here's this dawn-of-man sequence and they got the apes to perform this way, which was astounding, and oh, wait, there's a fight over the waterhole and then the most amazing time cut in the history of cinema when the moon walker throws that bone in the air and it becomes this orbiting satellite," he said. "Until then, I just watched anything that was on TV. I was never aware of this collection of only light color and you didn't need even words to explain anything." Let's take a look back at Tom Hanks' career.

The role that put Tom Hanks on the map

Prior to his breakout role on "Bosom Buddies" in 1980, Tom Hanks married his college sweetheart, Samantha Lewes, and had two children: Colin and Elizabeth. According to IMDb, "Bosom Buddies" ran from 1980-1982, and a young Hanks starred alongside Peter Scolari. As fans of the show know, Hanks and Scolari disguised themselves as women to live in an apartment in New York City that they were actually able to afford. In all, Hanks appeared in 37 episodes of the series. Me-TV reports that the legendary actor's salary was modest at the time, with Hanks pulling in about $2,500 a week. The figure wasn't terrible for the '80s, but it was also just a drop in the bucket compared to some of his more recent paychecks, including $15 million for "Toy Story 4," as the voice of Woody.

Another fun fact about Hanks' time on set? It was there that he met his now-wife, Rita Wilson. Wilson appeared in the episode titled "All You Need Is Love." The show was the first time that the pair met in person, but Hanks admitted that he first laid eyes on Wilson when she appeared as a cheerleader on "The Brady Bunch" in 1972. "I was actually at a friend of mine's house when it aired, and I remember thinking, 'That girl's cute,'" he told People. (Hanks and Lewes divorced in 1987.) More on Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson's romance to come!

1988 was a huge year for Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks has had several memorable years in his life, but 1988 has to be one of the ones that stick out most, both personally and professionally. That year, Hanks starred alongside Elizabeth Perkins in "Big," one of the films that helped launch him to superstardom. Through the years, it's become a classic, and we're not going to lie: we grin from ear-to-ear when we flip through the channels and see it's on.

The same year, Hanks married Rita Wilson, and thus, they become one of the most adorable couples in Hollywood. As of this writing, the pair have been together for 30 years, and it's a true testament to their commitment because it doesn't happen too often in Tinseltown. The couple regularly spill marriage secrets and beam over one another in interviews and awards acceptance speeches. 

When Hanks was presented with the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2020 Golden Globes, he got choked up as he thanked his family within the first two minutes of his speech. "A man is blessed with a family sitting down front like that, a wife who is fantastic in every way, who has taught me what love is, ... kids who are braver and stronger and wiser than their old man is." In true Hanks fashion, he rebounded with a joke — saying cold medicine caused his tears and not his emotions. We're not crying...

The early '90s and a packed year for Hanks

The earlier part of the '90s were huge for Hanks, both personally and professionally. He and Rita Wilson welcomed two sons, Chet and Truman, and Hanks starred in several hits, including "A League of Their Own," "Apollo 13," and as the voice of Woody in "Toy Story." The actor enjoyed a particularly packed year in 1994, when one of his most iconic films, "Sleepless in Seattle," came out, making almost everyone in the world want to call in to a radio program to find love. Hanks starred opposite the great Meg Ryan.

The same year, Hanks won his first Oscar for his role in "Philadelphia." The actor played the role of Andrew Beckett, a gay man who was fired by his law firm for having HIV. He took his firm to court, and in the process, Hanks gave the performance of a lifetime. In his acceptance speech, the actor thanked his wife and "two important men in his life." 

"I would not be standing here if it weren't for ... my high school drama teacher, who taught me that 'act well the part, there all the glory lies,' and one of my classmates ... I mention their names because they are two of the finest gay Americans, two wonderful men that I had the good fortune to be associated with, to fall under their inspiration at such a young age." The next year, he nabbed another Oscar for "Forrest Gump." 

Two completely opposite roles earned Tom Hanks even more success

There were years when Tom Hanks had a few hit movies come out at once, and 1998 was definitely one of them. That year, Hanks showed off his versatility, starring in both "You've Got Mail" and "Saving Private Ryan," which are on totally opposite ends of the spectrum. "You've Got Mail" was special for the actor because it meant a reunion with Meg Ryan. The same year, he starred in one of his most famous movies of all time, "Saving Private Ryan."

According to NBC News, "Saving Private Ryan" was a box office smash, earning $481.8 million, in addition to five Oscars. Hanks even went through boot camp to star in the film, giving him a taste of what it would be like to be in the conditions that he was put in during the film. "The legend of it now is that we were out in the freezing cold woods for ... weeks and weeks. I think it was really only five days," Hanks recalled. "When a fake ambush happens at three in the morning, and gets you up out of your tent, your adrenaline gets pumping." During the late '90s, he appeared in a few other smashes like "That Thing You Do!" and "The Green Mile." His role as Paul Edgecomb in the film will forever be one of his most memorable performances.

There have been even more momentous occasions for Tom Hanks

Every decade of Tom Hanks' life has been filled with hit movies, but the 2000s — and beyond — marked some of his greatest work to date. A few of the most popular films that Hanks starred in during the time include "Catch Me If You Can," "The Da Vinci Code, "Angels and Demons," "Charlie Wilson's War," "Captain Philips" and more. Hanks' most famous film during the time period may be up for debate, but we think that he nailed his role in "Cast Away" in 2000. Seriously, who can co-star with a volleyball and give such a convincing performance? The media highly touted the actor for his role in the film, for which he lost 50 pounds — but Hanks told The Independent that his gaining and losing weight for roles may contributed to his diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes.

Tom Hanks appeared in several other hits during the time period, including "Saving Mr. Banks" in 2013 and "Sully" in 2016. One of his most notable roles during came in 2019, when Hanks portrayed Mr. Rogers in "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," for which he was nominated for an Oscar. The following year, the actor got recognized with prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2020 Golden Globes. A few months later, Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, contracted COVID-19, but fortunately recovered.