The Most Iconic Tom Hanks’ Roles

The Most Iconic Tom Hanks’ Roles

Tom Hanks has been starring in movies and TV shows for over 30 years, and it’s really not easy to pick some of his most iconic roles. There are also movies where he played multiple different roles, like Cloud Atlas, each of them splendidly executed, even if he was on screen for just a few seconds for some of them. Still, we believe there are some roles that immediately come to mind when someone mentions Tom Hanks, and that the main guideline for the creation of this list.  

Cast Away

Cast Away is an amazing survival drama about a FedEx employee stranded on a deserted island, as a result of plane crash. Not only did Tom Hanks bring that role to life but his performance also gave birth to another iconic character called Wilson. Tom almost single-handedly carried this movie, and he won a Best Actor award for Motion Picture Drama during 58th Golden Globe Awards. Also, Tom lost 55 pounds for this role, in a very short time frame, which speaks volumes about his sheer dedication to this profession. 

Forrest Gump

When someone mentions Forrest Gump the first things that come to mind are probably – “Run Forrest run!”, “Life is like a box of chocolates.”, and Tom Hanks. Once again a truly astonishing and touching story, exceptionally realized thanks to Tom’s performance. Surely you have seen Forrest Gump multiple times by now, and it’s one of those movies that you are not bored of watching whenever it is aired on TV. In fact, Tom was so confident in the success of this movie that he did not go with the advanced payment but wanted to be paid in percentage of revenue.

Dick Thomas Johnson from Tokyo, Japan / CC BY (

Saving Private Ryan

Saving Private Ryan is an all-time classic, and once again Tom received so much praise for his performance. It is a story centered around the invasion of Normandy that happened during the Second World War. The movie got multiple Academy Awards like Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Director as well as Best Film and sound Editing rewards.

Toy Story

Maybe a slight deviation from initially established rules since this is not a live-action movie, but Woody from Toy Story is really an iconic character and he is voiced by Tom Hanks. Toy Story has many sequels and people still enjoy watching the adventures of their beloved toy group. Even though these are more of a Family fun type of movies the ending to Toy Story 4 was truly touching and if you have followed these films right from the start there is no way you didn’t cry or at least felt like crying.

Apollo 13

Finally, a docudrama about aborted moon-landing, that received multiple rewards, cannot be left out. Tom’s performance was so great and inspiring that NASA even named an asteroid after him, and not many celebrities can have that honer, let’s be honest.