It’s a beautiful day for another warm, fuzzy, soul-tickling speech from Tom Hanks.
All signature smile and dashing poise despite battling a nasty cold “the size of Merv Griffin’s Jeopardy royalties,” the 63-year-old Hollywood legend took the stage at Sunday night’s Golden Globes to accept the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award from presenter Charlize Theron, thanking his family before briefly breaking down in tears.
“A man is blessed with a family sitting down front like that,” he told the crowd as his voice cracked. Hanks is married to actress Rita Wilson. They have two children together, Chet and Truman, and Hanks has two children from a previous marriage to Samantha Lewes, Colin and Elizabeth Ann. “[Rita is] a wife who is fantastic in every way, who’s taught me what love is. Five kids who are braver, stronger, and wiser than their old man is, a loving group of people who’ve put up with me being away for months at a time. I can’t tell you how much your love means to me.” (Hanks was referring to his son Colin’s wife, Samantha Bryant, as his fifth child, a rep for the actor confirmed to EW.)
Hanks went on to savor lessons he’s learned from industry legends over the years, remembering instances in films where he’s had to “hit a mark” and “go there” in collaboration with every level of production, from makeup department heads to directors.
“It’s those moments as an actor where everybody I’ve ever worked with has helped me get to that place. Sometimes it’s 3:00 in the morning, sometimes it’s 11 at night, but you just have to somehow put it all together, have faith in what the process is, and go there,” he continued, later adding, “Showing up on time is one of the greatest liberating acts you can give yourself in a movie. That means those people with radios in their ears don’t need to knock on your door and say, ‘They’re ready for you!’ [because] you’re already ready, you have the liberty and freedom of being early enough to settle down because when the time comes, you have to hit the mark and you have to go there.”
Hanks’ speech comes on the heels of his critically lauded, Golden Globe-nominated turn as real-life TV icon Fred Rogers in director Marielle Heller‘s Oscar hopeful A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, which sees Rogers taking on a supporting role as a guiding voice in the life of a troubled journalist (Matthew Rhys) struggling with daddy issues and personal turmoil while in Pittsburgh to profile the children’s show host.
“I’ve baby-sat [many] kids by way of some [of my] movies,” Hanks previously told EW of his impact. “I’ve been to some degree both a challenging menu and sometimes a comfort food to an awful lot of people out there.”
In addition to A Beautiful Day, Hanks has memorably appeared in major films like Philadelphia, Big, Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Cast Away, Captain Phillips, Bridge of Spies, The Post, and four Toy Story animated films. He has won four Golden Globes out of 10 overall nominations for acting only, while also scoring two Oscar statuettes from five overall nods from the Academy. He has also directed several film and television projects, including 2011’s Larry Crowne and 1996’s That Thing You Do!
Past recipients of the Golden Globes’ Cecil B. DeMille Award — bestowed by the HFPA to internationally renowned recipients who’ve made “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment” — include Jeff Bridges, Oprah Winfrey, Morgan Freeman, Meryl Streep, Jodie Foster, Barbra Streisand, Sidney Poitier, and Lucille Ball.