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One of the world's most admired and respected actors today, TOM HANKS (Goldthwait Higginson Dorr, Ph.D.) also holds the distinction of being the first actor in 50 years to be awarded back-to-back Best Actor Academy Awards®. In 1993, he was rewarded for his compelling performance as the AIDS stricken lawyer in "Philadelphia,” and the following year he won the Oscar® for his outstanding performance in "Forrest Gump.” He also won Golden Globes for both of these performances. Throughout the success of "Forrest Gump,” Hanks has won a Golden Globe Award, a Peoples Choice Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Chicago Film Critics Award, a National Association of Theater Owners Male Star of the Year Award, and the Hollywood Women's Press Club Award. In addition to the many honors Hanks has received, he was named "Man of the Year” by Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals (the nation's oldest undergraduate dramatic group), for his performance as astronaut Jim Lovell in Ron Howard's "Apollo 13.”

In 1996, Hanks made his feature film writing and directing debut with "That Thing You Do!” for Twentieth Century Fox. "That Thing You Do!” follows the meteoric rise to fame of a local rock band named The Wonders from Erie, Pennsylvania, in the summer of 1964. The film's signature song, "That Thing You Do!,” not only reached the top 10 in many contemporary music charts, but was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Achievement in Music (Original Song). In addition to his other responsibilities, Hanks also appeared in the film.

Born and raised in Oakland, CA, Hanks first became interested in acting during high school. He attended California State University in Sacramento, where he appeared in the production of "The Cherry Orchard,” and met director Vincent Dowling, the resident director of the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival in Cleveland. Dowling invited Hanks to intern with the company, where he made his professional debut, portraying Grumio in "The Taming of the Shrew.” Hanks appeared in other Great Lakes productions, including "Two Gentleman of Verona,” for which he received the Cleveland Critics Award for Best Actor. From Cleveland, Hanks went on to New York, where he appeared in his first feature film, "He Knows You're Alone,” and onstage in "The Taming of the Shrew.”

After moving to Los Angeles where he performed in a production of "The Dollmaker,” Hanks got his first big break when he was cast as the lead in the ABC television comedy series "Bosom Buddies.” This led to starring roles in "Bachelor Party” followed by Ron Howard's "Splash” – a box office hit that started him on his path to becoming one Hollywood's busiest and most sought-after actors. Hanks's many film credits include "Volunteers,” "Nothing in Common” and "A League of Their Own.” In 1988, with his box office success established, Hanks found himself a critical success with highly acclaimed work in "Punchline” and "Big” – the latter for which he earned his first Academy Award® nomination and his first Golden Globe Award. The same year, the Los Angeles Film Critics recognized the two performances by bestowing on him their coveted Best Actor Award. In 1993, he received a Golden Globe nomination for his work in "Sleepless in Seattle,” starring opposite Meg Ryan.

Constantly challenging himself, Hanks served as Executive Producer for HBO's "From the Earth to the Moon” – an ambitious 12-hour dramatic film anthology that explored Americas Apollo space program. Not only did Hanks personally help make this show a reality, he directed the first episode and wrote and appeared in the final episode.

Hanks starred in Steven Spielberg's feature film "Saving Private Ryan” for Paramount and DreamWorks SKG®, which was released in July 1998. Hanks played a soldier who went deep behind enemy lines to save a trapped private during the Allied invasion, for which he received an Oscar® nomination. He also starred in 1999, in Castle Rock's

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