Academy Award winner Tom Hanks is known for his extensive work in Hollywood and for his charitable endeavors. However, The Post actor’s life hasn’t been completely picturesque.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient just revealed that his father witnessed his grandfather’s murder and he never got over it.
Inside Tom Hanks’ childhood
Though he might be one of the most acclaimed and decorated actors of our time, Hanks has very humble beginnings. Born in Concord, Califonia in 1956, the Forrest Gump actor was raised by his mother, Janet Marylyn, who was a hospital worker and his father, Amos Mefford Hanks, a traveling cook.
When his parents divorced in 1960, Hanks, along with his two older siblings went to live with their father while his younger brother remained with their mother. By the age of 10, the Catch Me If You Can actor had lived in 10 different homes. In 2017 He told Rolling Stone,
I was a geek, a spaz. I was horribly, painfully, terribly shy. At the same time, I was the guy who’d yell out funny captions during filmstrips. But I didn’t get into trouble. I was always a real good kid and pretty responsible.
This is how Tom Hanks became famous
In college, Hanks studied theater and eventually met actor/ director Vincent Dowling, whom he interned under for three years. During this time, he dropped out of college and began working in the Cleveland theater circuit wher he gained some notoriety.
In 1979, Hanks moved to New York City and stared in his first film He Knows You’re Alone, a low-budget horror movie. He then moved to LA after landing a lead role on the ABC sitcom, Bosom Buddies. Though the show only ran for two seasons, Hanks’ performance was praised.
A guest appearance on the beloved show, Happy Days in 1982 put the Oscar Winner in contact with Ron Howard eventually helping him land his breakout film role in Splash opposite Daryl Hannah. From there, Hanks began to gain traction in Hollywood. By the time he starred in Big in 1988, the 64-year-old was a bonafide movie star.
Tom Hanks’ father watched his grandfather being killed
Though Hanks is known for his work and cheerful disposition, not all aspects of his life have been perfect. He recently revealed that his father witnessed his grandfather being killed. During an interview on In Depth with Graham Bensinger Hanks said,
Well, my dad got a raw deal. When he was a very young man because he happened to witness the murder of his father in a fight. He was 8 or 9 or 10 years old, and a hired hand killed his father in the barn of the farm that they were growing up in Willows, California. He was one of four kids and he was the only one there. And he was broken by that experience. He had to go and testify as a kid three times. With the lawyers, and the judge, and the flag ‘Do you hereby solemnly swear?’ It was a contentious fight, the man was acquitted because it was a fight. But his father was killed and he witnessed that.
In fact, the whole thing was so horrific for Hanks’ father that the actor believes it robbed his dad of any real joy and his dream of being a writer. “It ruined him,” Hanks said. “It robbed him of a carefree life. It robbed him of a sense of fairness in the world. It was a black mark of injustice and unfairness that landed squarely on his very young shoulders. It wasn’t right that he saw it.”
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