I’ve been thinking alot about actors lately. You can’t read the news without reading the latest about what actors and actresses are up to in their personal lives. Lately with the Tom Cruise saga with Katie Holmes, Brooke Shields, and South Park or Russell Crowe’s antics, it seems to become harder and harder to be sucked into a movie and accept the character rather than the actor portraying the character. I think the greatest actor at becoming a character to the point that we don’t see him on the big screen, but rather his character, is Tom Hanks. I’ve been a huge fan of Tom Hanks since 1987’s Dragnet. Yes, I remember his films before that; Splash, The Money Pit, Bachelor Party, and Nothing in Common, but Dragnet is where it started for me. After Pep Streebeck, Hanks went on to play a few of my favorite characters in succession. In 1988 he played Josh Baskin and in 1989 he played Ray Peterson. Hanks then went through a rough patch that might have killed many actors’ careers, Joe Versus the Volcano, Turner & Hooch, and Bonfire of the Vanities. Then came more of the Hanksian magical characters, Jimmy “There’s No Crying in Baseball” Dugan. Sleepless in Seattle showed up shortly after and then the string began…Philadelphia’s Andrew Beckett, Forrest Gump, Jim Lovell, heck even Woody. Captain John Miller, a school teacher who became a hero on D-Day. Then a few of my favorites, prison guard Paul Edgecomb, Fed-Ex employee Chuck Noland, mob goon Michael Sullivan, the FBI’s Carl Hanratty, and Krakozhian traveller Victor Navorski. Tom Hanks is in an elite class of actors that have the chops to trick the audience into believing they are who they are portraying on the screen for 2 hours. I’m thinking Hanks is due for another ‘burbs type movie, though.