In the present day, Tom Hanks stands as an iconic figure in the world of entertainment, renowned for his stellar performances in a multitude of films and the countless accolades he has garnered over the years. However, it’s crucial to remember that before he became a household name, this beloved actor was merely a budding talent trying to make his mark in the acting world.
Hanks, a native of California, embarked on his journey in the realm of entertainment through theater and television. His breakthrough moment arrived after he made the bold decision to drop out of college and venture to the bustling streets of New York City. It was in this city that he clinched a leading role in a popular ’80s sitcom, a pivotal moment that would ultimately shape his destiny. Today, we take a nostalgic glimpse into this journey, as we explore nine rare photographs of Tom Hanks during his formative years.
1) The Beginning of ‘Bosom Buddies’ (1980)
In 1980, Hanks and his Bosom Buddies co-star, Peter Scolari, were interviewed by ABC for a television special. This was the same year that the hit show premiered. Sadly, Peter Scolari passed away in 2021 at the age of 56.
2) On the Set of ‘Bosom Buddies’ (1981)
Pictured in 1981, a youthful 25-year-old Tom Hanks graces the set of ‘Bosom Buddies.’ The show, which also featured Holland Taylor, enjoyed a two-season run. Holland Taylor fondly reminisced, “I can say I absolutely knew Tom Hanks was going to be an enormous star in our first rehearsal,” in a 2020 interview with People.
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3) Making Waves in ‘Splash’
A few years after ‘Bosom Buddies,’ Hanks transitioned to the big screen in Ron Howard’s ‘Splash.’ In the film, he portrayed Allen Bauer, a man who falls in love with a mermaid named Madison, played by Daryl Hannah. Hanks revealed that he secured the role after Ron Howard saw his guest appearance on ‘Happy Days.’
4) Fox Studios Backlot (1984)
A snapshot from 1984 captures Hanks striking a pose at the Fox Studios Backlot. Little did he know that he would go on to star in the beloved film ‘Big’ in the years to come.
5) Venturing into ‘Volunteers’ (1985)
In 1985, Hanks took part in ‘Volunteers,’ a film directed by Nicholas Meyer, alongside John Candy and Rita Wilson, who would later become his wife. Interestingly, this wasn’t their first encounter, as Wilson had previously guest-starred on ‘Bosom Buddies,’ leading to a fast friendship.
6) Saturday Night Laughter (December 1985)
December 1985 saw Hanks joining the cast of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ sharing the stage with Jon Lovitz and Damon Wayans in a skit aptly titled “The Stand Ups.”
7) Walking the Red Carpet for ‘Nothing in Common’
In this snapshot, Hanks elegantly graces the red carpet with Rita Wilson for a screening of ‘Nothing in Common.’ It was during this time that they publicly acknowledged their budding romance.
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8) Immortalizing ‘Big’ (Mid-1980s)
Regarded as a classic even today, Hanks starred in ‘Big’ during the mid-’80s, portraying Josh, a young boy who wished to be “big” and awoke one day as an adult. The film, co-starring Jon Lovitz and John Heard, earned two Oscar nominations.
9) Deauville American Film Festival (1988)
In 1988, Hanks and his newlywed wife, Rita Wilson, ventured to France to attend the Deauville American Film Festival. Their wedding had taken place just a few months earlier, marking the beginning of a beautiful journey together.
These rare photos provide a heartwarming glimpse into the early days of a talent who would go on to captivate audiences around the world. Tom Hanks’ journey from humble beginnings to Hollywood stardom is a testament to his dedication and passion for the craft of acting, reminding us all that even the greatest stars have to start somewhere.