Lucky for us, Tom Hanks likes to make a lot of movies. He’s not as yet at the one-new-movie-per-month rate of someone like James Franco, but for a star of his stature, it’s clear that he’s not afraid to work. In the 20 years since the acclaimed “Saving Private Ryan,” Hanks has made more than 30 films. Some work, some don’t — Hanks’ most recent film, James Ponsoldt‘s “The Circle,” opened to disappointing box-office and reviews.
But Hanks will be back by year’s end with some real Oscar bait — a film tentatively called “The Post” about the release of the Pentagon Papers, which will mark his fourth collaboration with Steven Spielberg and his first with co-star Meryl Streep.
From his early work with Ron Howard on “Splash,” he showed his comedy chops right away. He starred in “Bachelor Party,” “The Money Pit,” and three films with Meg Ryan — “Joe vs. the Volcano,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” and “You’ve Got Mail.” He is now a beloved animation icon with his role as Woody in the “Toy Story” classics. And yet, Hanks needn’t worry about awards, either. He has been nominated for five Oscars (winning two: Best Actor for “Philadelphia” in 1993 and again for “Forrest Gump” in 1994), seven SAG Awards (winning two: Best Actor for “Forrest Gump” and Best Ensemble for “Apollo 13” in 1995) and eight Golden Globe Awards for his film work (winning four: Best Musical/Comedy Actor for “Big” in 1988 and Best Drama Actor for “Philadelphia,” “Forrest Gump,” and “Cast Away” in 2000).
But Hanks has already left a film legacy that’s nearly unrivaled among actors of his generation. Let’s look back at 20 of his greatest performances in the photo gallery above.