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Tom Hanks is known to be one of the nicest guys in Hollywood.
Even perennial decent guy Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson conceded that the Big star deserved the title more than him, saying in 2019 '[Tom Hanks is] much nicer and cusses much less [than me]', after being dubbed 'Hollywood's nicest guy' by US Weekly.
As the Oscar-winning Toy Story star celebrates his birthday, we look back on the some of the moments that made him one of the greats.
Getting a bride to the church in time
In 2008, while filming by the Pantheon in Rome for Ron Howard's Angels and Demons movie, the shoot was preventing a bride and her father from approaching the chapel. Upon learning about it, Hanks called cut on the blockbuster and personally escorted them to the altar.
"It was like, 'Uh, how do we fix this?'," he recently shared. "So, like a stalker...I knocked on the [limo] window; I said, 'Hey listen, we have a thing, but would you do me the honour of escorting you to your bridal altar?' So we did it!"
Tom Hanks loves being a wedding crasher
No-one wants a wedding crasher, unless it's an Oscar-winner with a reputation for being nice of course. Over the years Hanks has earned a reputation as for posing for photos with fans on their wedding days, and it was his experience in Rome that has spurred him to crash as many weddings as he can.
"It's my ego, unchecked. I just can't help but think, 'What would these people like more than anything else to remember this magic day of days? Oh I know, me!'" Hanks revealed on Late Night with Seth Meyers in 2022.
Pretending he was drunk with fans
Back in 2012, a story popped up on Reddit showing the actor apparently sitting with an unconscious guy in a bar laughing at the how the bloke had drunk too much. The story even turned into how Hanks had pinched the guy’s mobile phone and taken pictures of him for when he woke up.
Actually, it was all staged, with the fans in question convincing Tom to pretend he was making fun of his drunk friend. The pictures remain awesome.
Making everyone laugh at Michael Clarke Duncan’s funeral
In the same year, Hanks’s friend and co-star from The Green Mile Michael Clarke Duncan sadly passed away.
Tom was asked to speak at Clarke Duncan’s memorial service and he told a story about the late actor’s mum stopping him for being in a gang that is both hilarious and incredibly moving.
Being Woody for sick kids in a clever way
Tom’s Toy Story co-star Tim Allen (who voices Buzz Lightyear) told TV host Kelly Clarkson about how the pair of them visited a children’s hospital and Hanks gave Allen a nifty tip for how to really bring the house down.
Read more: Tom Hanks: 'I'm more Woody than Tom now'
“Hanks, my good buddy, he did a sweet trick for us,” said Allen. “We went to a children’s hospital together and what he did, it was such a wonderful idea. He had these kids close your eyes for a minute. When the kids close their eyes, then we can do the voices together and they imagine Woody and Buzz are there.
"Oh God, he’s a great guy.”
Leaving his ego at the door for David S. Pumpkins
Hanks is a regular on Saturday Night Live and has many memorable sketches. But perhaps his most bizarre — and in our opinion funniest – is the character David S. Pumpkins, a sort of, er, scary, weird guy with two dancing skeletons.
It’s incredibly odd and only someone of the calibre of Tom Hanks could pull it off.
Buying coffee for the press
While visiting the White House during the Bill Clinton administration, Hanks paid a visit to the cramped press room which houses journalists 24 hours a day. The writers told him they'd complained for years about the crowded, dirty conditions and the absence of a proper coffee machine.
He's since donated three top of the range espresso machines for the room to use, sending a typewritten note that reads: "To the White House Press Corps. Keep up the good fight for Truth, Justice, and the American Way. Especially the Truth part."
He loves typewriters
It’s not that he loves them, he’s obsessed with them, amassing a huge collection. Not only that, but he really does use them and people have managed to persuade him to appear on things just be appealing to his typewriter addiction.
He’s also reached out to various other lovers around the world, like the owner of an Edinburgh bookshop, to share their mutual passion. So if you ever need a spare ribbon for your Corona, you know who to ask.
Reminiscing about Splash during the pandemic
Lockdown was hell, but one thing that made it a little more tolerable for movie fans was Josh Gad’s Zoom shows about classic films, Reunited Apart. Splash is an oft-forgotten gem about a mermaid who comes on land and falls in love with an early-career Hanks.
And rather than pretend he didn’t do anything before winning Oscars and starring in Saving Private Ryan, Tom was more than happy to take the mickey out of himself and chat about his memories of making the film alongside director Ron Howard and co-star Daryl Hannah.
Twitter lost & found
Lauren! I found your Student ID in the park. If you still need it my office will get to you. Hanx. pic.twitter.com/Ee9kK4V4qf
— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) October 6, 2015
Hanx, as he’s known on social media, realised that Twitter could be used for more than just shouting about politics and dunking on people, instead using it as a place to reunite lost items with their owners. Which is why lucky folks got their missing gloves back, or even their university ID card.
He’s a big Aston Villa football fan
He could have chosen Man U or City, but instead Hanks has always been a vocal Villa supporter, although he admitted to James Corden that his reasoning was a little skewiff.
Having caught the football scores when getting up early once in Britain with jetlag, he thought that the club was based in a lovely coastal town rather than just outside Birmingham.
Nevertheless, when he found out the truth, he didn’t back down and now has a nice haul of Villa merch.
He sang happy birthday for a fan in a restaurant
Birthdays are already pretty good, but birthdays with Tom Hanks involved? Well, they’re just better aren’t they. In 2019, while filming Finch in Albuquerque he was having a steak at Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
Samantha Aragon was at the next table celebrating her birthday with friends, and it clearly caught the attention of Hanks, who is, frankly, always a delight when it comes to meeting fans.
Aragon told KRQE: “I said, ‘Can he just sing happy birthday to me too?’ I think he probably heard that.”
And so over Hanks came to the table. “He said, ‘Well, where’s your dessert? We would’ve sang to you.’ I said, ‘Well, we haven’t gotten it yet.’ He said, ‘I’ll sing to you anyways.’”
Describing the experience of being sung to by Hanks as ‘probably the best 12 seconds of my life, she added: “He was tremendous. He’s just the nicest person.”