Tom Hanks Has a New Friend (not named Wilson)

We all know Tom Hanks’ body of work. He’s done a lot of great movies (and I even remember him in an episode of “Happy Days”, fighting the Fonz; and on “Taxi”, getting stoned with Christopher Lloyd and staring at a lava lamp).

I knew of his love of typewriters because he was in the documentary “California Typewriter” three years ago (it’s an interesting documentary on a dying machine, now that computers are what we use). When Hanks released a book of short stories, I was lucky enough to snag a signed copy with a pre-order. Anyway, he put a picture of a typewriter on the cover.

We also know Hanks is a class guy. We’ve seen him in interviews, and he’s always friendly. I once met a tall basketball player that had a coach live next door to Hanks. A few of the players did something in rather bad judgement, involving  Hanks’ kids (I won’t share the story here); but the way Hanks handled it, was just amazing. The guy telling me the story at a party, said he still thinks about that and how wonderful it was that they didn’t get in trouble with their parents, and how he merely explained to them why what they did was wrong. Even with one player breaking down crying, Hanks tried to comfort this guy, who was clearly in the wrong.

Anyway, we all heard that Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson got the coronavirus while in Australia filming a movie. Here’s a wonderful story you may not have heard, though.

An 8-year-old boy named Corona De Vries from Gold Coast in Queensland state, wrote a letter to the star. He said, “I heard on the news you and your wife had caught the coronavirus. Are you OK?”

He went on to explain that he loved his name “Corona” but people at school have been calling him “Coronavirus” and that it makes him “sad and angry”.

Hanks wrote back, saying, “Your letter made my wife and I feel so wonderful!” 

This was typed, guessed it (or maybe you didn’t, if you’re under 30) -- on a Corona typewriter. 

Hanks’ response continued, “You know, you are the only person I’ve ever known to have the name Corona -- like the ring around the sun, a crown.”

He ended by saying, “I thought this typewriter would suit you. Ask a grown up how it works and use it to write me back.”

The typewriter was enclosed in the package with the letter.

There was also a lovely P.S. 

On that, Hanks typed “You got a friend in ME!”

Views: 257

Tags: California Typewriter, Christopher Lloyd, Corona, Happy Days, Rita Wilson, Taxi, Tom Hanks, Uncommon Type

Comment by BC on April 26, 2020 at 8:46pm

He seems to be a nice guy, even if he has gotten very political in recent years.

Comment by Josh Board on April 26, 2020 at 9:10pm

No, he hasn't gotten that political. You know what he said that I thought was brilliant? Trump had been in office for almost a year, and everyone in Hollywood was dissing him. A reporter asked him on the red carpet, about voting Trump out in 3 years. Hanks smiled and said, "I hope I can vote for him again." (or something like that). The shocked reporter wanted clarification and he said, "Look, he's the President of our country. So I'm hoping he does such a great job, that I'll want to vote him in for a second term. Why would I want him to do a bad job as President." At that point, I think the reporter LITERALLY did a mic drop.

Comment by BC on April 26, 2020 at 9:38pm

He did say that he hope he does a great job, but he certainly won't vote for him (nor did he last time). He does fundraisers for Dem candidates and other political events at his house. Those are always big events. He also just co-hosted an event with Michelle Obama on voter registration on Monday. He's a lot more political than people realize.

Comment by Jason Strecker on April 28, 2020 at 2:19pm

From what I've read over the last few years a person has to luck into meeting Tom, outside of a book signing, to get a good experience because it seems he thrives on those odd meets rather than groups of fans with their photos to sign. But in terms of the history of this website, in the early 2000s Tom was normally listed on the top 10 best in person autograph signers from the original Autograph Magazine. I do like how he goes above and beyond, especially in this case, but for the fans meeting him I wish he were still as good as the old magazine had described.

Comment by Josh Board on April 28, 2020 at 5:04pm

Hey Jason, you could probably find this on the internet, but...a buddy of mine showed me something from a bar/restaurant. A group of college guys were drinking, and one passed out at the table. So Hanks went over, and took photos of the passed out guy next to him. They even propped the guy up, and Hanks put his arm around him. He also used the guys phone, so he'd see the photos later. So, one of the rare times of meeting an A-lister, and not remembering it!!!!

Comment by Josh Board on April 28, 2020 at 5:06pm

Comment by Josh Board on April 28, 2020 at 5:09pm

Comment by Joe W. on April 28, 2020 at 5:12pm

That is way too funny, Josh!

Comment by Jason Strecker on April 29, 2020 at 5:50am

I'm not sure how I feel about Tom anymore. I just feel like he's an "attention" guy and has been for maybe the last 10-15 years which seems so odd because he is such a big talent. The "autograph" reports (not the random meets that he somehow gets posted on social media) always seem pretty depressing in terms not just turning someone down but also doing it in a nasty way.

I'm sure once the college kid sobered up in this situation he would be ecstatic with the photo but I think again it's Tom just trying to get some attention rather than be a nice, cool guy to the fans. If he were such a nice guy then check on the boy and try and help him wake up and sober up, see if he has a pulse. But I guess he was in a hurry to get somewhere where he would accidently on purpose crash a wedding and have it be posted on social media to show how awesome he is.

Luckily Tom Cruise, who was always listed like either #1 or 2 in the old magazine, is still his old self pre-virus at least, giving autographs and photo ops. I will say it's pretty great that he reached out to the boy named Corona but I would hope that if the boy and his family met him in an autograph situation that Tom would be as cool and friendly as he portrays himself in the random social media encounters.

Comment by Josh Board on April 29, 2020 at 8:38am

I don't know, Jason. I think that's a bit harsh. One thing you have to remember with these guys is, EVERYDAY, when they go somewhere, SOMEONE wants an autograph or selfie. I know that, because...when I interviewed Mandy Patinkin once, he looked nothing like he did in The Princess Bride. A woman came up to our table and said to him, "Can you say it for me?" And he said "Hello. My Name is Inigo Montoya..." (and he finished the line). She ran away screaming. I said, "How did she even know who you were?" He said, "I get that about 4 or 5 times a day." A DAY!!!! When I was talking to Paul McCartney's guitarist, he told me stories of everyone wanting something from him, including a limo driver who had that window partition go down, and handed Sir Paul a tape of his nephews band, so he could listen to it. So...I don't doubt that Hanks may have, at one time or another, snapped at someone or didn't seem that friendly when he turned someone down, but...when people pay airports and restaurants to inform them of when famous people arrive, you sometimes don't want to be nice when you're bugged by an ebay dealer with 20 different 8x10s.  John Mayer said the very same thing. He said if he's approached by someone in the airport with all his CDs or a bunch of 8x10s, it p***** him off because it's not some fan. It's somebody that was told he was going to be there by airport employees, so he doesn't sign. If it's a fan after a show that happens to have a CD or album, he'll gladly sign.


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