13 People Share How It Was to Meet Tom Hanks and We Can’t Decide Which Story Is the Best One

6 months ago

When we meet an icon, and it happens to be the one and only Tom Hanks, the narrative takes on an extra layer of warmth and wonder. In this collection of captivating anecdotes, 13 people generously recount their personal rendezvous with the legendary actor, leaving us in delightful suspense as we navigate through a maze of heartwarming, amusing, and awe-inspiring stories.

  • “My one Tom Hanks story. I was out West skiing. Ended up on the road connecting 2 areas. Snowing like hell. Had a flat tire. Get out and start doing the usual. SUV pulls over, and the guy gets out. Near white-out now. Both of us are freezing. We get it done. At the end, introduce ourselves. Tom Hanks.” stuartpstevens / Twitter
  • “My one Tom Hanks story. Worked at the Sherman Oaks Galleria Mall in the early 80s. Busy day at the jewelry store where I worked. In strolls Tom Hanks. Bought a necklace for his then-girlfriend, Rita (recalling pearls). One of the nicest customers I had the pleasure to serve.” CaliGali21 / Twitter
  • “Mine: 20(?) yrs ago. Small-dollar fundraiser for local education group. To my shock, I’m seated at a table with Tom Hanks. Starstruck. Awkwardly chit-chat. Then, the table gets up to go to the buffet. We come back, and Tom Hanks has *tiny* little portions on his plate. Excited to have a good joke, I say, ‘FYI, I think it’s all-you-can-eat.’ Everyone laughs.
    Tom Hanks then explains he’s on break from a film where he plays a shipwrecked guy and has to lose an enormous amount of weight. He shares his tips and talks about how it’s going. Me: But how do you handle feeling hungry every day? Him: (smiling/joking) ‘I try not to talk about it *all the time!*’ Me: Let’s talk about local education funding policy. Him: Great idea! (entire table in hysterics).” mkindc / Twitter
  • “My Tom Hanks story: I was in the audience at the taping for Newhart, which had to be prior to 1985. He was sitting a couple of rows in front of us. Clearly there to support his friend who acted with him in Bosom Buddies, he laughed uproariously at all the jokes, esp. Peter Scolari’s.” LauraCampCA / Twitter
  • “My one story isn’t where I met him, but I grew up in Evansville, IN, where they filmed A League of Their Own. The city didn’t get a lot of national press, and the town was so sour that the credits just thanked S. IN. On the American Comedy Awards, he thanked Evansville.” woodsie22 / Twitter
  • “My Tom Hanks story: I was a young P.A. working on The Money Pit and walking up the LONG woodsy driveway to the real house used for exteriors, his Teamster-driven car arrived. He paused it and asked if I needed a lift to the house. I gladly rode in the rear seat.” FilmFestivalBob / Twitter
  • “My Tom Hanks story is my sister’s: she was a little kid on the Saving Private Ryan set and got lost. He found her + tried to lure her back to set by asking if she’d like to go for a run with him, but she said she wouldn’t go with a stranger. He waited with her so she was safe.” KayDee28 / Twitter
  • “I got one. Relatives were visiting LA from the southeast. Took them on a tour of celebrity homes. We’re pulled over on Mulholland, so people could take a pic of the Hollywood sign when someone pulls up, rolls down the window, and says, ’Seen any movie stars today?’ Tom Hanks.” Coastal__Eddy / Twitter
  • “Dad was on a firefighting detail in the west (no fire, just resining) and was taking an early morning walk into the low mountains with a couple of his coworkers. A man in sweatpants appears walking a majestic giant white dog, travel coffee mug in hand. I bet I don’t have to tell you who it was. (Tom Hanks) He took the time to profusely shake everyone’s hand and chat with all these firefighters, even though I’m sure he’d hoped he wouldn’t run into anyone up there.” elnaalbano / Twitter
  • “I was in a restaurant with only one other table of people, a pair of boys in baseball uniforms, and a guy. The waitress asked why I ate alone, as I often did. ‘I write songs this way.’ I went to pay the bill. Already paid. ’No need to be a starving artist — TH’” CathesComicz / Twitter
  • “On our honeymoon 26 years ago on St Barths, we were seated next to Tom Hanks and his wife. My wife desperately wanted an autograph, but I talked her out of it since they were on vacation, too. We got up to leave, and the restaurant owner was supposed to arrange a ride for us.
    Just then, Tom and his wife get up and hug the restaurant owner, and the owner asks if Tom can give this nice newlywed couple a ride back to their hotel. He smiles, says, ‘Of course,’ and introduces himself, ‘Hi, Tom, big movie star.’ We had a great, fun ride back. They could not have been nicer.” LedetWinston / Twitter
  • “I met him skiing out west, too. We were two tables over from his family in the cafeteria. He & my dad got hot chocolate for their kids together. Later, I was in line behind a woman who lived near him & he made it a point to take a run with her son because his dad couldn’t ski anymore.” kelljc / Twitter
  • “Met Tom Hanks in Berlin. I was just starting out as a journalist and was very nervous. Early morning, small interview room. My hands were shaking like crazy. He noticed, said nothing, just stood up and said, ‘Let’s have a cup of tea first.’ And we did. And the interview was amazing. Great guy.” maraTonka / Twitter

In this world of shared experiences, we are reminded that the magic of meeting a beloved figure like Tom Hanks lies not just in the celebrity encounter itself, but in the lasting impact these moments have on the storytellers.


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