Hanks to Receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award

At the Golden Globe Awards in January

Tom Hanks plays Mr. Rogers in a film that will open in November.        Photo: Lacey Terrell

Pacific Palisades resident Tom Hanks will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globe Awards show on January 5.

Hanks, who tried to help save Village Books on Swarthmore, who gained 30 pounds for a role (“A League of Their Own”) by frequenting Baskin-Robbins on Swarthmore and who was one of the parents flipping pancakes at the Pacific Palisades Baseball Association opening-day breakfast when his son played, is popular here as well as around the world.

According to IMDb, Hanks was born in July 1956 in Concord, California, to Janet Marylyn (Frager), a hospital worker, and Amos Mefford Hanks, an itinerant cook. After his parents’ divorce (1960), he lived with a succession of step-families. “No problems, no alcoholism – just a confused childhood,” IMDb wrote.

Hanks sold popcorn and peanuts as a teenager at the Oakland Coliseum and performed in plays at Skyline High in Oakland. He thanked his retired drama teacher, Rawley Farnsworth, in his “Philadelphia” Oscar speech. In 2002, Hanks returned to help dedicate the renovated theater named after Farnsworth, donating a quarter of the $465,000 cost of the project.

He attended Chabot College (Hayward) and Sacramento State but was not cast in a college play. He auditioned for a community theater play, and was invited by the play’s director, Vincent Dowling, to go to Cleveland as an intern in the Great Lakes Theatre Festival – and there his acting career started.

Hanks, who has starred in a wide range of movies including “Splash,” “Big,” “The Green Mile,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “You’ve Got Mail,” “Apollo 13,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Cast Away,” “Sully” and “Bridge of Spies.” He has won Oscar Awards for “Philadelphia” (1994) and “Forrest Gump” (1995).

In announcing the award on September 24, Hollywood Foreign Press Association President Lorenzo Soria said, “For more than three decades, he’s captivated audiences with rich and playful characters that we’ve grown to love and admire. As compelling as he is on the silver screen, he’s equally so behind the camera as a writer, producer and director. We’re honored to include Mr. Hanks with such luminaries as Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Martin Scorsese and Barbra Streisand to name a few.”

The Cecil B. DeMille Award is given annually to an individual who has had a lasting impact on the film industry. Hanks joins fellow Palisades resident Steven Spielberg plus Jeff Bridges, Robert De Niro, Audrey Hepburn, Harrison Ford, Jodie Foster, Sophia Loren, Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington and Robin Williams in receiving the award.

Hanks’ latest movie, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” in which he plays Mr. Rogers, will open on November 22. Additional upcoming projects include the WWII drama “Greyhound,” which he also wrote, the post-apocalyptic “BIOS” and Paul Greengrass’ pre-Civil War drama “News of the World.”

Tom Hanks will be honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award in January. Photo: Lacey Terrell

Hanks, who is married to actress Rita Wilson, has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Public Service Award (1999), the Navy’s highest civilian honor; American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award (2002); Douglas R. Morrow Public Outreach Award (2006); The Chaplin Award (2009); a Kennedy Center Honor (2014); the Presidential Medal of Freedom (YEAR) and the French Legion of Honor (2016).

One quote attributed to Hanks: “As you know, the election between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams was filled with innuendo, lies, a bitter, partisan press and disinformation. How great we’ve come so far since then.”

Sounds like Hanks and Wilson would be the natural choice to replace Janice and Billy Crystal as co-honorary mayors of Pacific Palisades.

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