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Tom Hanks: Roles He Missed That Other Actors Made Famous

By    |   Tuesday, 12 Jan 2016 08:04 PM

Tom Hanks has won our hearts over and over again during his film career, whether he was getting "Big," feeling "Sleepless in Seattle," running through "Forrest Gump," or being "Cast Away."

Hanks, whose name is instantly recognizable in households across America, is a major box-office draw and was the youngest actor to receive the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Awards at age 46.

Despite a long string of hits, Hanks didn't take and didn't get every part for which he was considered. Here are some of the roles he either passed on, or was passed up for, that other actors made famous.

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1. "Field of Dreams" (1989)
Hanks turned down the role of baseball diamond builder Ray Kinsella, and the role was famously played by Kevin Costner instead.

2. "Groundhog Day" (1993)
Although Hanks was under consideration for the weatherman who finds himself repeatedly reliving Groundhog Day, the role was eventually given to Bill Murray. "'Audiences would have been sitting there waiting for me to become nice, because I always play nice,'" Director Harold Ramis told The Hollywood Reporter Hanks had said to him. "'But Bill’s such a miserable S.O.B. on- and offscreen, you didn’t know what was going to happen.'"

3. "Hook" (1991)
According to Splitsider, Tom Hanks was director Steven Spielberg's first choice to play adult Peter Pan, but Robin Williams won the job instead. "Williams was the true reason 'Hook' was such a delicious adventure," wrote Anna Klassen for Bustle. "The duality of Williams as Peter Pan, the boy he once was, and Peter Banning, the business man he had become, allowed each and every one of us to become Peter Pan alongside a man who had no other choice than to believe.

4. "Nixon" (1995)
Director Oliver Stone chose Anthony Hopkins to play the title role in this presidential film even though the studio reportedly wanted Hanks or Jack Nicholson. "The isolation of Tony is what struck me. The loneliness. I felt that was the quality that always marked Nixon. He played repression perfectly in Remains of the Day, and there was a lot of Nixon in that, too," Stone told The Daily Beast in 1995.

5. "Risky Business" (1983)
Hanks reportedly auditioned to play Joel, but Tom Cruise go the part instead. It was the first leading role for the actor who would become one of Hollywood's biggest stars.

6. "When Harry Met Sally" (1989)
Director Rob Reiner told The Daily Beast he considered Hanks, Albert Brooks, Richard Dreyfuss, and Michael Keaton for the role of Harry, but said Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan "hit it off right away."

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7. "Jerry Maguire" (1996)
"The part of Jerry Maguire was written for Tom Hanks," according to "Casting Might-Have-Beens." "Writer-director Cameron Crowe felt that because it had taken so long to finish the script, Hanks had aged too much for the part. This was fine with Hanks who had problems with the script anyway." Cruise once again got the part (starring with a then-relatively unknown Renee Zellweger) and was nominated for an Academy Award.

8. "Big" (1988)
In an odd dance of indecision by all parties, Hanks originally refused the role of the boy who wished "to be big," but he wound up playing the part anyway and it would propel him into superstardom.

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Tom Hanks has won our hearts over and over again during his film career, whether he was getting "Big," feeling "Sleepless in Seattle," running through "Forrest Gump," or being "Cast Away," but he didn't take and didn't get every part for which he was considered.
tom hanks, roles, missed, actors, famous
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Tuesday, 12 Jan 2016 08:04 PM
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