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Tom Hanks rocks long hair in must-see school photos

The Hollywood icon has starred in films including Forrest Gump and Big

tom hanks unrecognisable long hair© Photo: Getty Images
Hanna Fillingham
US Managing Editor
December 31, 2020
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Tom Hanks is one of the most popular stars in Hollywood, and has enjoyed an incredible career as both an actor and director.

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The father-of-four showed an interest in performing from a young age, and although he was shy, he would star in productions during his time at school. Tom attended Skyline High School in Oakland, California, and photos from his yearbook have been published on MyHeritage.

The Big actor looks almost unrecognisable with long hair in the pictures, which have been colourised by the site. Tom was also sporty during his school years, and featured on the football and athletics pages in his yearbook.

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After leaving Skyline High School, Tom went on to study theatre at Cabot College in Hayward, California, before transferring to California State University two years later. Tom thrived while on the stage, and opened up about how acting made him feel during an interview with New York magazine in 1986.

tom hanks long hair

Tom Hanks as a schoolboy with long hair

He said: "Acting classes looked like the best place for a guy who liked to make a lot of noise and be rather flamboyant. I spent a lot of time going to plays.

"I wouldn't take dates with me. I'd drive to the theatre, buy myself a ticket, sit in the seat and read the programme, and then get into the play completely. I spent a lot of time like that, seeing Brecht, Tennessee Williams, Ibsen, and all that."

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While Tom enjoyed his time at university, an encounter with Vincent Dowling, head of the Great Lakes Theater Festival in Cleveland, Ohio, changed everything for him. Vincent offered the star a three-year internship that covered every aspect of theatre production.

tom hanks long hair school photo

Tom was keen on acting and sport while at school

This led to Tom leaving university to join Vincent, and as a result, he was named one of the 'Top 10 College Dropouts' by Time magazine in 2010.

Tom landed a lead role in Bosom Buddies in 1980, where his co-stars saw star potential. The co-producer Ian Praiser told Rolling Stone: "The first day I saw him on the set, I thought, 'Too bad he won't be in television for long.' I knew he'd be a movie star in two years."

After landing the lead role in Splash, which became a box office hit, and shows including Dragnet and Nothing in Common, Tom went on to star in Big in 1988, which established him as a big name in the industry, and saw him earn his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

tom hanks school photo

The Big actor went on to drop out of university to undertake a three-year theatre internship

Tom's career has since gone from strength to strength, with other notable film roles including A League of Their Own, Sleeping in Seattle and Philadelphia – for which he won the 1993 Academy Award for Best Actor. Forrest Gump followed, which saw him win his second Academy Award for Best Actor.

He then went on to star as Jim Lovell in the 1995 film Apollo 13, which won two Academy Awards. Tom is also well known for voicing Sheriff Woody in Toy Story, and for starring in and directing Saving Private Ryan, where he teamed up with Steven Spielberg, and earned another Best Actor nomination.

tom hanks rita wilson

Tom with wife Rita Wilson

In more recent years, Tom has starred in films including The Polar Express, The Da Vinci Code and The War, and even had a cameo role as himself in The Simpsons Movie in 2006.

In 2013, he starred in two critically acclaimed films, Captain Phillips and Saving Mr. Banks, and most recently starred in Greyhound, a war film which he also wrote the screenplay for.

Tom is not showing any signs of stopping either, with upcoming films in the works including science-fiction drama Bios, and in Baz Luhrmann's biopic of Elvis Presley, Elvis, where he will play the singer's manager, Tom Parker.

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