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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 10/23/2007

Tom Hanks: His Space

By Liz Kelly

It would seem that sometime last spring, Tom Hanks quietly (as is his wont) jumped on the MySpace train (see his profile here). He joins hordes of celebs who have come before to use the ubiquitous social networking site. One can only assume that witnessing Travis Barker and Shanna Moakler's shoutfest and Courtney Love's stream-of-semi-conciousness screeds, that Hanks said "I need to get me some of that."

And so Hanks -- Oscar winner, Hollywood untouchable -- has populated his page with details that defy his previously low profile. Aside from movie premieres and the occasional late night interview, we don't see much of Hanks off-screen. But, thanks to the magic of MySpace, we can now read about his summer reading ("The Diana Chronicles") and his love of Disney's "Darby O'Gill and the Little People."

And we can watch shaky home movies, like this one in which Hanks talks about his electric car. I'm trying to picture wife Rita Wilson holding the camera, but coming up empty:

My Electric Car - Part 1

Tom's Profile | More Videos

Arguably his best work in years. I have to admit, I miss the funny, touching Tom Hanks of "Big" and "Bosom Buddies." He's one of the greatest actors of our time, but years of "serious roles" have left me cold. The more I explore his MySpace page, though, the more I find myself charmed by Hanks's openness and undeniable good-natured self-awareness. He professes a love of old typewriters and The Go-Gos, lists his personal motto as "Huh? Wha'?" and gladly links out to these spoof videoes. And there's something almost quaint in his basic profile details ("married," "straight," "Cancer," "proud parent"). Like the rest of us, Tom has friends -- though where mine tend to be of the kid-who-had-the-locker-next-to-me-in-high-school variety, Tom's include Leonardo DiCaprio, Lance Bass and Jimmy Buffett. Though, to be fair, these stars share the friend designation with the usual array of MySpace oddities -- someone calling himself "SnakeMann" and the no doubt aptly-named "Lil Dummy."

In MySpace, Hanks -- and other celebs -- have discovered a world where stars share equal footing with the rest of us, doofuses all, crouched in front of computer monitors and sending our personas out into cyberspace. No paparazzi can stalk Hanks down the streets of this world and one's child-like admission that he loves "meteor showers and astronomy" is embraced, no questions asked.

FWIW, I like meteor showers, too. We'll see if he accepts my friend invitation.

By Liz Kelly  | October 23, 2007; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities  
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durn, i couldn't get the durn add friends thing to work on my myspace. it kept asking for my last name or email addy and then wouldn't accept either. durn. i want tom hanks to be my myspace friend. maybe i'll try facebook.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 23, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Here's my problem with Myspace: how in the world do we know that this is actually Tom Hanks? I could totally start a page that said I was Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, right? And who would be able to prove me wrong?

Posted by: Stef | October 23, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Exactky, Ster. I doubt Tom Hanks even knows about this page. That video could come from anywhere. I don't know.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 23, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I heart Tom Hanks

Posted by: Lisa1 | October 23, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Hey Liz, Are you going to give us the dirt on the "confluence of events" that led to the cancellation of Gene's chat today? I'm so bummed!!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 23, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Have you ever linked to your page, Liz? I'd like to be your friend. Look for the guy whose avatar is an animated gif of himself dancing.

Posted by: Bill | October 23, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry -- Gene will be back next week, bigger and badder than ever.

Posted by: Liz | October 23, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Even if it's fake, it's still a good page.

I <3 Tom Hanks even more if it's real.

Posted by: Bored @ home | October 23, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

The only thing that could deter my love for Tom Hanks would be finding out he was a scientologist.

On a side note:
Liz, I think you can add a weekly feature like this to the blog, similar to US' "Celebs are just like us" page, except relevant. For example, this entry could be: "Tom Hanks is just like us! He too created a MySpace page too look at everyone else's profile and pictures and finally uploaded his own information after getting enough crap from "friends" for only having a profile in order to view others'."

Posted by: cee_jay | October 23, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"Don't worry -- Gene will be back next week, bigger and badder than ever."

Has he started taking HGH or something?

Posted by: P. Byrd | October 23, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure that it is on the up and up. I watched two of the videos and they are definitely him.

Posted by: Stuck@Work | October 23, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

For add friends, it usually asks for the person's last name...not yours. Maybe that will help you get some friends 11:10.

A little ashamed I know that :(

Posted by: Sigh | October 23, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Whoah, Tom Hanks totally can't spell!
Should we tell him?

Posted by: ol | October 23, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I met Tom and his wife, Rita, years ago at a NASA Space Shuttle launch viewing. He was doing research for his Apollo 13 movie role and I was a fledgling newspaper reporter, cajoling the NASA PR folks for a chance to speak with the VIPs on hand for the launch.

The countdown went into an extended hold and so the PR reps took a few of us reporters over to meet Tom. He and his wife were just the most genuine and friendly people you'd ever meet - almost like really cool neighbors. They were both really jazzed to be there and Tom was like a little kid, telling us how cool it was to meet some of the astronauts and describing his ride in a capsule simulator.

My 15 minutes speaking with TH was probably the most fun I had with any of the celebrities I interviewed in my newspaper career.

Posted by: niceFLguy | October 23, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse


Off topic...but are you watching the Hills yet???

Can we re-poll on whether you need to be more aware of LC and company?!


A little ashamed I watch the Hills.

Posted by: Adam in DC | October 23, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

thank you sigh! i will try that! (now i feel sort of stupid.)

Posted by: Anonymous | October 23, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

His name isn't Tom Hanks. It's Hank Toms.


Posted by: Pompous Magnus | October 23, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

To all y'all doubters out there, this is definitely Tom's MySpace page -- or so sayeth the MySpace PR flaks who sent me the link.

Posted by: Liz | October 23, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm totally with Liz where I heart Tom Hanks but miss him in comedies. I have to say I'm getting kinda bored with his serious rolls and I think his partnership with Ron Howard has lead him to be mis-cast (Da Vinci Code). But he is a great actor and should throw us a comedic roll soon!

Posted by: sjcpeach | October 23, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

"Road to Perdition" was pretty funny.

Posted by: Pompous Magnus | October 23, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

PM is funny too! Now, pass the rolls (sic)!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 23, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Tom Hanks is almost exactly the same age as I am, so I feel as if I get his cultural outlook. He's not a Baby Boomer, and certainly not a Gen Xer. He's one of us who hit adolescence during the early 1970s. You know, the Brady Bunch Generation.

Posted by: Rex | October 23, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Nuther neat thing about Tom Hanks. He has been married to the same lady for, what, two decades now. That's like 30 decades in celebrity years. Granted, this was his second marriage, but it happens to the best. And his son Colin, from his first marriage ,seems to have grown up to be a pretty straight forward kid. That says a lot.

BTW I loved Colin in Orange County (working with Sissy Spacek's daughter!). You could see his dad's ability to do the ultimate reaction shot show through.

Posted by: Rex | October 23, 2007 8:37 PM | Report abuse

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