10. Bonfire of the Vanities
Hanks nailed the coveted role of Sherman McCoy in the 1990 film adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s bestselling novel. In a rare unlikeable role, Hanks perfectly encapsulated all the emotions and dilemmas of a stricken millionaire.
The epitome of adorable, Hanks bumbles his way through adulthood as a little boy trapped in a man’s body. Charming, entertaining and heartwarming – Hanks is at his very best in this 1988 film.
Splash was one of the big hitters of 1984 and well and truly propelled Hanks on his way to superstardom. He played love-luckless Allen Bauer in the film that saw him fall for a beautiful mermaid, played by Darryl Hannah in her biggest role.
7. Jim Lovell in ‘Apollo 13’
Taking his every man charm straight to space, Hanks was electric as the lead of a fantastic ensemble cast in this riveting 1995 space docudrama.
6. Captain Miller in ‘Saving Private Ryan’
As a man thrown into the horrors of war and desperate to return to his family, Hanks personified middle American manhood. Captain Miller was relatable in his journey as a ordinary guy in a terrible situation just trying to do the right thing.
Hanks’ portrayal of a widower whose son is desperate for him to find love was sugary sweet and, along with the flawless Meg Ryan as his love interest, single handedly revived rom-coms on the silver screen.
Who can forget that cheery cowboy? With his friendly, all-American voice, Hanks was the perfect choice to play the franchise’s hero (alongside Buzz Lightyear) who taught generations of children right from wrong.
3. Andrew Beckett in ‘Philadelphia’
In the first Hollywood blockbuster to tackle homosexuality, homophobia and HIV/AIDs, Hank’s performance as the dying lawyer, Andrew Beckett, was mesmerising and well deserving of the Best Actor Academy Award he won for the 1993 film.
2. Chuck Nolan in “Cast Away”
Somehow with a volleyball, a raft and Tom Hanks’ beard, one of the most heartwrenching moments in cinematic history was born. When Hanks farewelled his beloved Wilson, it was not uncommon for audiences to catch themselves sobbing over an inanimate object. Kudos to Hanks for somehow making a nearly two hour-long film with one main character completely enthralling.
Never has there been a character as unfailingly sweet and loveable as Forrest Gump. In a plot that was delightfully far-fetched, Hanks was a beacon of realness; you simply couldn’t doubt his portrayal of the eternally optimistic do-gooder. Plus, his running style alone is completely memorable.