6 Times Tom Hanks Went Out of His Way to Be Kind to Total Strangers

4 minute read

Tom Hanks returns to Saturday Night Live to host the show for the ninth time this week. In honor of this fine occasion, it’s time to remember his well-documented random acts of kindness to total strangers.

Whether it’s helping wherever help is needed, or making someone’s day, month or whole existence, the good news continues to drop out of the sky. That’s just how the Inferno actor’s particular brand of benevolence manifests itself.

Here, take a victory lap through five random acts of kindness of Tom Hanks.

He took selfies with a bride and groom

This year, during a routine workout in the park in 2016, he participated in a wedding photo shoot, kissed the bride’s hand and wished the happy couple well.

He said so many great things in just one minute, including but in no way limited to these four:

1. To the bride: “Hi I’m Tom Hanks! You are very beautiful.”

2. To the happy couple: “Ryan you’re a lucky man, Elizabeth you’ve done well for yourself.” He even helpfully offered his services as an ordained minister “if the guy cancels, just let me know.”

3. To the flower girl and ring bearer who had no idea what all the fuss was about and decided to stay out of it: “This is the wedding in a few years, right?”

4. To everyone: “Way to go!”

He returned a lost item to its owner

Hanks took to his own Twitter account to share a picture of a student’s lost ID card to try to get it back to her in 2015. Perhaps another New Yorker would absentmindedly kick the ID and shrug as it slid down a subway grate, faking a struggle to reach for it in time. Not Hanks.

The Fordham University student got it back with a little signed note from him, and she said she would be paying it forward. This is the Tom Hanks kindness effect in action.

He bought cookies for a cause

In 2015, he randomly upgraded a Girl Scout troop’s sales game. When he was buying four boxes of Girl Scout cookies and some fans asked for a picture with him, his response was: “Only if you buy cookies from these young ladies.” “He was so personable,” one scout told the local news, “so down to earth,” she said.

He met with one of his biggest fans

At this point, you may be thinking, but how could a Hollywood actor live up to other examples he has set? This is how. When Sarah Moretti, who’s one of his biggest fans and has autism, came to his dressing room after his Broadway show Lucky Guy in 2013, it was a special encounter. She presented him with her scrapbook of his news clippings and photos. He marveled at it with a combination of awe and sincere appreciation. Be soothed by the video here:

He sent his fan a ’90s selfie

A fan sent Hanks an letter officially requesting a headshot. In it, she gushed about much she loved the 1996 movie he wrote and directed, That Thing You Do!. So Hanks responded in his Hanksian way with a typewritten note and the most ’90s Polaroid selfie ever, explaining that his headshots aren’t that current. (If you want to see Tom’s face, just look into your heart.) The superfan posted the actor’s personal touch to Reddit.

He went the extra mile for his driver

In 2013 Humans of New York profiled a cab driver who drove the actor while he was performing in the same Nora Ephron play, Lucky Guy. They had a grand time and Hanks even came up with a nickname for the driver, “Mr. Ferrari,” who told his subsequent passengers about how nice Hanks was. The driver then received an invitation from Hanks to see the show.

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