Tom Hanks is one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors, but his journey to success was sometimes a struggle.
He was born in 1956 in Concord, California, and his parents divorced when he was five years old. After the divorce, Tom went with his father and his siblings, Sandra and Larry, to Reno, Nevada.
His parents remarried for a short time but divorced again. Because Tom’s father needed to travel often for his job as a chef, he rarely got the chance to make and keep friends in school.
Fortunately, he now looks back on this struggle and sees how it helped him in the long run. He told Rolling Stone, “It made me flexible. It gave me confidence to think I can be in any sort of social situation and know how to gracefully get out of it.”
When he started attending Skyline High School, he felt like he had finally found the place where he could fit in.
He was an athlete, but he joined the Thespian Club after seeing his school’s production of Dracula. He started his theatre career at Skyline as the stage manager of My Fair Lady, and he performed in several of the school’s productions before he graduated.
After high school, he continued to pursue acting and became an intern at the Great Lakes Theater Festival, where he won the Cleveland Critics Circle Award for Best Actor.
He was cast in Big in 1988, and his career has been enormously successful since then.
Tom and his wife, Rita, both attribute their success to God. When he was asked whether he believed in God, he said, “I think you’ll be foolish not to believe in God.”