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Facts About Tom Hanks We Just Learned That Made Us Say 'Really?'

List RulesVote up the most facts you find most awesome about Tom Hanks.

Tom Hanks has been dubbed "America's Dad" for his lovable nature and wholesome attitude. It helps that he's starred in some of the most memorable and beloved films also, including Cast Away, Forrest Gump, and Toy Story. But whether you love him on-screen and off or not, he's graced your screen and front pages many times over the past 40 or so years. Despite his popularity since his breakout role in Splash, there are still so many more facts about Tom Hanks we haven't learned yet. 

Interesting facts about Tom Hank's life including hobbies, behind-the-scenes secrets, and pre-fame letters are things we didn't know we needed in our lives, but boy are we glad to have learned them. Vote up the facts you find most intriguing about Tom Hanks.

  • Photo: Saving Private Ryan / DreamWorks Pictures
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    He's An Honorary Member Of The U.S. Army Rangers

    The film Saving Private Ryan is highly acclaimed for being one of the most accurate war movies of all time. In the movie, Tom Hanks plays US Army Ranger Captain Miller who leads a team of men through WWII to rescue a young private whose brother was recently lost in a battle. Aside from this role, Hanks has also been an advocate for those who have served in the US Army in other ways including being a spokesman for the WWII Memorial Campaign and working on producing the miniseries Band of Brothers.

    For the work he's done in this field, Hanks was inducted into the US Army's Rangers Hall of Fame as an honorary member in 2006.

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  • Tom Hanks took on the role of Woody in the hit animated flick Toy Story in 1995, and the character would feel very different if he had anyone else's voice - or would he? But the truth is, Hanks is not always the voice of the toy cowboy. Occasionally, Tom's brother Jim takes on the role because their voices are nearly identical. Tom relinquishes control over all things Woody to Jim whenever he's too busy or for the smaller roles, such as those in video games. In an interview with Graham Norton, Tom revealed that actual Woody dolls with the voice are in fact programmed with Jim's voice. The one part of the Woody domain that Tom refuses to share, however, are the films themselves.

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  • A lesser-known fact about the filming of Cast Away is that it was filmed in two different chunks - the first half was filmed before taking a year hiatus and then coming back to film the second half. When Hanks started the role as stranded Chuck Noland, he gained a little extra weight to pull off the middle-aged man look. But when filmed halted for a year, instead of working on another film as most of the crew did, Hanks set himself on a strict diet to not only lose the weight he gained for the role, but to get dangerously thin to pull off looking as though he was actually stranded on a deserted island. In four months, Hanks lost 55 pounds by sticking to a strict diet and exercising at length.

    Hanks claims he was not worried about his health, but has since revealed he has Type 2 diabetes which will keep him from fluctuating his weight dramatically for any future roles. 

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  • Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

    While filming A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood where Tom Hanks portrayed Mister Rogers himself, Hanks found out that he was actually distantly related to the children's show star. Ancestry tests have determined the link between the two American sweethearts, stating they're sixth cousins. The connection comes from their mutual five times great-grandfather. When Hanks revealed the surprise relation he said, "It just all comes together, you see."

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