American leading actor Tom Hanks has become one of the most popular stars in contemporary American cinema. Hanks debuted onscreen in the low-budget slasher movie He Knows You're Alone (1979). Shortly afterward he moved to Los Angeles and landed roles in Bosom Buddies, Family Ties, Mazes and Monsters and Splash!. He went on to star in Big (1988), Penny Marshall's A League of Their Own, and the smash hit romantic comedy Sleepless in Seattle (1993).
Hanks earned and Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in Philadelphia, and won again for his leading role in Forrest Gump and Apollo 13. In 1996, Hanks tried his hand at screenwriting, directing, and starring in a feature: That Thing You Do!, along with the TV miniseries From Earth to the Moon which was nominated for a series of Emmys. Hanks then went to star in the award winning Saving Private Ryan,You've Got Mail, Cast Away, The Road to Perdition, and Catch Me If You an. Hanks switched to television for a short while in the acclaimed HBO mini-series Band of Brothers as well as appearing in September 11 television special America: A Tribute to Heroes and the documentary Rescued From the Closet. For the next two years, Hanks was essentially absent from movie screens, but in 2004 he emerged with three new projects: The Lady Killers, The Terminal, and The Polar Express. He went on to star in the post-9/11 drama Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture, and the recent feature film Captain Phillips.