Everyone wants to know if Tom Hanks has had a nose job, and now you can find out for sure!
The actor and comedian was born in 1955, so it’s been a while since he’s been in the media spotlight for something other than his acting. That change was brought about by his remarkable portrayal of Mr. Rogers in the 2013 film Thirteen. While Hanks received critical acclaim for his performance, it wasn’t without its haters. One of the most vocal critics was none other than Tom Hanks himself. In one scene in particular, he refers to the character of Fred Rogers as a “preppy nazi.”
While the vitriol hurled Hanks’ way was certainly undeserved, the actor responded by having some fun at the expense of his detractors. He took to Twitter to share a series of hilarious photos of himself, Rogers, and director Danny Boyle mimicking stereotypes. It’s safe to assume the tweet was in response to the Twitterati’s reaction to his portrayal of Rogers.
An Early Blip
One of the earliest indications that Tom Hanks might be interested in pursuing a career in comedy came in the form of an appearance on The Tonight Show. During his interview with Johnny Carson, host of the Tonight Show, Hanks joked that he had to do the interview because he was running for president. He didn’t end up becoming a politician, but he did appear in the 1987 film Arthur, which also starred Carson. Hanks was reportedly asked to appear on the show because Carson thought he was funny.
It was one of the earliest connections made by Hollywood to suggest that Hanks might have what it takes to be a comedian. He followed up with a guest appearance on the short-lived Robin Leach’s Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, portraying a rich businessman with a heart of gold. Despite the praise heaped on him for his performance in The Terminal, Hanks would later reveal that he only did the role because it was easy money.
Early Comedy Roles
Hanks made his mark in the world of comedy with his role on the short-lived Joey. The actor’s role as a goofy, yet lovable, teenaged boy made him a natural fit for the role, and he quickly racked up praise for his work. However, it was Mr. Rogers that would make Tom Hanks a household name. While the role itself didn’t garner him Oscars, Mr. Rogers put Hanks on the map as an actor to watch out for. It was the start of a successful career in which Hanks portrayed a string of iconic characters that spanned multiple genres. Hanks appeared in a total of five Mr. Rogers films, making him the longest-serving actor to play the role to date.
It was during this time that Hanks began to pursue comedy, as he appeared in several comedic films, including the cult classic Catch-22. He would later go on to play an important role in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, directed by Michael Curtiz, one of the greats of the Hollywood studio era. The film, which also starred Kevin Costner and Scottie dogs, is considered by many to be the best of the Robin Hood films. It was one of the last films that legendary film editor Billy Silverstein worked on before passing away in 2014.
Comedy To The Rescue!
As a comedian, Hanks’ stand-up has always been a crucial part of his act. His rapid-fire, one-liner style is reminiscent of legends like Woody Allen and George Carlin, masters of the art form. While he never became one of the most famous comedians of all time, the careers of many comedians, writers, and performers were altered by the so-called “Hollywood blacklist.” During the height of the blacklist era in the 1950s and ’60s, comedians were pressured to keep their mouths shut about politics and social issues in case they offended any of the influential Democrats, Republicans, and members of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC). The committee met frequently to ferret out Communists and suspected Communists in American movie and television in the 20th century. Comedians like Red Skelton, who died in 1961, were unable to work in Hollywood due to his critical comments about President Eisenhower’s handling of the Cuban Revolution. Skelton is remembered for saying, “Every day you learn something new. And every night you teach something new. And that’s enough for anybody.”
Comedy would later come to the rescue for several other blacklisted talents. Danny Kaye, who died in June 2017 at the age of 99, was among the first to benefit from the blacklist’s demise. He went on to appear in The Court Jester in 1933, which is generally regarded as one of the best films in the history of the Jewish cinema. Similarly, Preston Sturges, who died in January 2018 at the age of 106, appeared in a total of 21 films, more than any other actor. Many of Sturges’ films, including The Great McGinty and The Lady Eve, are considered masterpieces and helped establish the director as a major force in Hollywood film. It was during this time that Hanks began to realize the lasting impact that his activism against Communism would have on his career. He actively supported Senator Joe McCarthy’s hunt for Communists in the media in the early 1950s, and in turn, was protected by many of Hollywood’s most powerful figures, including HUAC chairman Richard Nixon. While Hanks kept a relatively low profile in the media during this time, he did make one statement that would foreshadow his later acting career. In March 1953, while promoting his film The Country Club, Hanks was asked about his political views. He responded, “I think the issues are complex, and the answers aren’t always simple. I’ve never shied away from controversy. But I don’t believe I could carry on a serious conversation about politics with anyone. At least not while we’re filming.”
Hollywood has always been a world full of famous faces, and it seems that some of them just want to socialize a younger generation. It was in this spirit that Johnny Weissmuller, who died in April 2019 at the age of 111, starred in Steamboat Willie, a film adaptation of the song “Who Needs Kids When You Can Have Fun Like This?” from the 1934 musical Showboat. The film also starred Gloria Swanson and John Payne, and was directed by Michael Curtiz, the man who helmed Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. The only thing missing was Leo the lion, who was replaced with a toy replica.
During this time, Hanks also starred in the biographical drama The Man With the Golden Ear, which told the story of jazz musician Sidney Bechet. The film was directed by Vincent Ward, who also helmed The Jackpot, a film about racecar driver Jack Cooper. While the film itself wasn’t a box office success, it did spawn a small genre of films, known as “Hollywood biopics,” which tell the story of famous people. Ward would later go on to direct several other films, including the musical Singin’ in the Rain and the comedy Airport 1975.
Hollywood has also always been home to many first-time actors who went on to become famous. The 1937 film Darkest Hour, directed by Victor Fleming and starring Irene Dunne and George Sanders, is one of the greatest examples of a Hollywood debut. The film tells the story of a struggling actress named Claire Trevor, who becomes embroiled in a conspiracy when the head of a studio, Bert Marshall (played by Sanders), coerces her into helping him discredit a journalist, Adam Hall (played by Dunne), who is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a popular young actress, Barbara Payton. Dunne and Sanders, both born in 1895, had never appeared in a film before, and Darkest Hour is considered by many to be their cinematic debut. The film is filled with some of the most iconic scenes from the golden era of Hollywood, including a recreation of its famous oval office and an elaborate chariot race, which has since become an integral part of the film’s lore.