'Big' ... 'Forrest Gump' ... 'Saving Private Ryan' ... how do they stack up against each other?

There are revered American actors ... and then there's Tom Hanks. The five-time Oscar nominee, two-time winner, stands in a league of his own, making a splash with every release.

As Julia Roberts noted recently, "Everybody f***ing likes" him. The actor's films have grossed a combined $4 billion in the U.S. -- not bad for a guy who we first noticed in a wig, makeup and sock breasts on a sitcom called 'Bosom Buddies.' Ever since, Hanks has mastered comedy, drama and everything in between.

Naming his career best is a nearly impossible task; but hey, why not try anyway? We polled users on the 'Angels & Demons' star's top roles, and after more than 250,000 votes, the results are in.


There are revered American actors ... and then there's Tom Hanks. The five-time Oscar nominee, two-time winner, stands in a league of his own, making a splash with every release.

As Julia Roberts noted recently, "Everybody f***ing likes" him. The actor's films have grossed a combined $4 billion in the U.S. -- not bad for a guy who we first noticed in a wig, makeup and sock breasts on a sitcom called 'Bosom Buddies.' Ever since, Hanks has mastered comedy, drama and everything in between.

Naming his career best is a nearly impossible task; but hey, why not try anyway? We polled users on the 'Angels & Demons' star's top roles, and after more than 250,000 votes, the results are in.


Tom Hanks Best Movie Roles

    There are revered American actors ... and then there's Tom Hanks. The five-time Oscar nominee, two-time winner, stands in a league of his own, making a splash with every release.

    As Julia Roberts noted recently, "Everybody f***ing likes" him. The actor's films have grossed a combined $4 billion in the U.S. -- not bad for a guy who we first noticed in a wig, makeup and sock breasts on a sitcom called 'Bosom Buddies.' Ever since, Hanks has mastered comedy, drama and everything in between.

    Naming his career best is a nearly impossible task; but hey, why not try anyway? Click through for our picks for Hanks' 16 best performances, then vote for your favorites below.


    DreamWorks/ Paramount / Everett (2)

    'Apollo 13' (1995)

    This drama, one of Hanks' four collaborations with director Ron Howard ('Splash,' 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'Angels & Demons'), had Oscar bait written all over it. And it followed through on that promise, with nine nominations. But the film also proved a riveting, exciting dramatization of an unforgettable moment in American history, steered by a rougher and tougher version of Hanks, who had no problem manning up as commander Jim Lovell.

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    Universal

    'Bachelor Party' (1984)

    Before he was a five-time Oscar nominee and one of the most bankable stars on the planet, Hanks was an everyman goofball who made low-budget movies like this one, about guys who like booze, strippers and, well, strippers doing stuff with donkeys. There have been many bachelor party movies since, but this is pound-for-raunchy-pound the crudest and funniest to date. No sequel hopes here, huh?

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    Everett Collection

    'Big' (1988)

    'Splash' made Hanks a household name, but Penny Marshall's 'Big' proved he could pull off more than just comedy. In what was arguably (and fittingly) his first truly grown-up film, Hanks brought poignancy, earnestness and impish humor to the role of man-boy Josh Baskin. It earned Hanks his first Oscar nomination, and, more importantly, made kids everywhere want to take piano lessons ... on ginormous play keyboards.

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    Everett Collection

    'Cast Away' (2000)

    Hanks really, really earned his fifth Best Actor Oscar nod. As a FedEx employee marooned on a deserted island, he lost more than 50 pounds and grew a hobo beard. What's even more impressive is that for the 100 minutes of film time spent on the island, Hanks has no musical score to sway emotions and no living actors to feed his performance. And the scene in which he wails "Wilson!" as his beloved volleyball floats away? We're getting choked up now just thinking about it.

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    20th Century Fox

    'Catch Me If You Can' (2002)

    Hanks re-teamed with Steven Spielberg four years after 'Saving Private Ryan' to indulge in a friendly game of cat-and-mouse with one of the next generation's finest actors, Leonardo DiCaprio. Very unlike 'Ryan,' this based-on-a-true-story crime flick boasted a breezy, lighthearted feel, mostly thanks to Hanks' resolute FBI agent Carl Hanratty's sharp quips and surprisingly sympathetic, fond view of his fugitive. Bonus: Hanks plus horn-rimmed glasses equals match made in heaven.

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    DreamWorks

    'Dragnet' (1987)

    We've all borne witness to the horrors and atrocities of TV shows turned movies gone wrong ('Beverly Hillbillies,' 'Dukes of Hazzard,' need we go on?). Bringing Sgt. Joe Friday to the big screen was a dicey proposition, made even more so by re-imagining the story as a buddy cop parody. But Dan Aykroyd (as Friday's nephew of the same name) and Hanks (as rebellious partner Streeback) struck perfectly zany comic chemistry, and made L.A. safe from murderous pagans in the process.

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    Everett Collection

    'Forrest Gump' (1994)

    This story of a slow-witted man who (unwittingly) leaves his footprints all over history is one of the most beloved, moving and oft-quoted films ever made. Whether running through the Washington Monument reflecting pool whilst screaming "Jennnnnny!," comparing life to a box of chocolates or choking back tears at news that he's a daddy, Hanks never fails to portray the things that unite all people regardless of intelligence: the ability to love, to be compassionate and to elicit compassion. And, of course, to win two straight Best Actor Oscars.

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    Paramount

    'The Green Mile' (1999)

    There were no clouds of magic spores emitting from his mouth, but Hanks still delivered an expectedly enchanting performance in this drama that played like an unofficial sequel to 'The Shawshank Redemption' (aside from the prison setting, the movies share writer Stephen King and director Frank Darabont). It's easy to fall in love with Michael Clarke Duncan's gentle giant with mysterious healing powers, but Hanks had the tougher assignment: making you care about the guard holding him prisoner.

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    Warner Bros.

    'A League of Their Own' (1992)

    Here Hanks proved he could make any character lovable, even an irascible, hard-drinking baseball coach who is at first dismissive of his charges -- an all-female team playing in the short-lived ladies' league. Of course, as Hanks played him, Jimmy Dugan is really just a big old softie under his gruff shell and begrudgingly grows to respect his gals; they, of course, return the favor. Heck, even Madonna acquitted herself admirably; maybe Hanks gave her some acting tips?

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    Everett Collection




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