America’s dad, Tom Hanks, is an acclaimed actor best known for delivering some of the greatest film performances of all time. Beloved by critics and audiences alike, Hanks’ films are no stranger to large box office pulls and industry recognition. He’s consistently fantastic in every role he plays, so it should come as no surprise that he’s been nominated for a handful of his iconic performances and even won a couple of Academy Awards over the course of his career.
Let’s take a look at just how many times Hanks has been nominated for an Oscar as well as how many times he’s won.
Hanks’ first Oscar nomination was for Best Actor in 1989 for Big, directed by Penny Marshall. The film centers around a boy named Josh Baskin, who makes a wish to be older and is transformed into an adult overnight. Hanks played the adult version of Josh, who was as scared about his wish being granted as he was enthusiastic, and ends up working at a toy factory in New York City. The film is a brilliant comedy, and even though Hanks was excellent in the role, Dustin Hoffman won the Oscar that year for his stellar performance in Rain Man.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Hanks’ first and only nomination for Best Supporting Actor was for the 2020 biopic A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, in which he played the role of Fred Rogers, the beloved children’s television host. The film was directed by Marielle Heller and starred Matthew Rhys as a reporter tasked with writing a story on Mr. Rogers. Hanks’ portrayal was unsurprisingly wonderful but didn’t manage to nab him an Academy Award, as Brad Pitt won for his role in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood that year.
Saving Private Ryan
Even though Hanks has collaborated with director Steven Spielberg five times, his only nomination for one of Spielberg’s films was for 1999’s Saving Private Ryan. The film starred Hanks as a U.S. Army Ranger Captain named John H. Miller, who led his team through the Invasion of Normandy during World War II. The war epic was lauded by critics for being one of the greatest war films ever made. Unfortunately for Hanks, he lost the Academy Award to Roberto Benigni, who won for Life is Beautiful.
2001’s Cast Away would mark Hanks’ second nomination for a film directed by Robert Zemeckis. Hanks played a FedEx employee named Chuck Noland who became stranded on an island for years with a volleyball aptly named Wilson as his only confidant. The film was a success, with Hanks as the clear standout as the only actor to appear on screen for a large portion of the film, but unfortunately, he didn’t win the Oscar that year, as the Academy Award for Best Actor was given to Russell Crowe for Gladiator.
Hanks had a good streak in the ’90s, ultimately picking up both of his Best Actor wins one year after the other. The first was in 1994 when he won Best Actor for his role in Philadelphia. Philadelphia was directed by Jonathan Demme and told the story of a lawyer named Andrew Beckett who believed he was wrongfully fired from his law firm for having an AIDS diagnosis. Denzel Washington starred as Joe Miller, the lawyer that Beckett hired to represent him. The film featured an excellent layered performance from Hanks, which is why he took home the statue that year.
Hanks’ next win was for the role that is arguably his most famous: Forrest Gump. He won the Oscar for Best Actor in 1995 for his portrayal of Forrest, a role that many consider to be a career-best. The Robert Zemeckis-directed film told the story of a compassionate man with a low IQ who navigates his way through life and a variety of historic events. The dramedy is most likely the first role that people think of when they think of Hanks, as he truly transformed in the film and fully inhabited his character, making the Oscar he won a well-deserved one.
Hanks has managed to take home a golden statue twice in his career, but in all he was nominated for six Academy Awards ⏤ five for Best Actor and once for Best Supporting Actor. This number might grow soon, however, as Hanks is poised to feature prominently in two films slated for release in 2022. One of those films is Elvis, the biopic directed by Baz Luhrmann in which Hanks will play Elvis Presley’s controversial manager, Colonel Tom Parker. The other film is directed by one of his frequent collaborators, Robert Zemeckis ⏤ a live-action adaptation of Pinocchio in which Hanks will play the title character’s maker and surrogate father, Geppetto.
Will Hanks win an Oscar for one or both of these roles? Only time will tell. For now, you can watch the 94th Annual Academy Awards when they air on Sunday, March 27, 2022. If we’re lucky, maybe we’ll catch a glimpse of Hanks in the crowd.