Tom Hanks to be honoured for historical roles

Tom Hanks as pilot Chesley Sullenberger in last year’s Sully.
Tom Hanks as pilot Chesley Sullenberger in last year’s Sully. PHOTO: GOLDEN VILLAGE

NEW YORK • History is rarely dull when it is documented in a movie that features top actor Tom Hanks.

The National Archives Foundation is certain of that view.

For his work in films reflecting American history such as Saving Private Ryan (1998), Apollo 13 (1995) and Bridge Of Spies (2015), he will receive this year's Records Of Achievement Award at an Oct 21 event at the National Archives Museum in Washington.

The prize is given to individuals who bring a broad awareness of United States history through their work. Hanks, 61, said history is full of drama. "As a dive into archives of almost any kind is, to me, a swim in the finest of waters, I'm dazzled to be a part of this event.

"Part of my job has always been one not far from that of a lay historian, to understand that I am a part of the documenting of the human condition and the American idea, even in the silliest of stories."

He has appeared in numerous films based on historical events and figures, including the World War II drama Saving Private Ryan and crime thriller Catch Me If You Can (2002), based on the true story of fraudster Frank Abagnale.

Last year, Hanks played the title role in Sully, based on pilot Chesley Sullenberger's 2009 emergency landing of a passenger plane on the Hudson River.

He was also an executive producer and co-writer/director on the 2001 World War II television mini-series Band Of Brothers.

"He's served in World War II (in both the European and Pacific theatres), negotiated for the US in the Cold War, fought in Vietnam, worked in Congress and led the space programme," said Mr David Ferriero, a board member of the National Archives Foundation, of the roles Hanks has played on screen.

A past winner of the award is Steven Spielberg.

He directed Hanks in Saving Private Ryan, Bridge Of Spies and the upcoming movie The Papers, about the media's right to publish leaked information from a secret report of the Vietnam War.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 12, 2017, with the headline 'Tom Hanks to be honoured for historical roles'. Print Edition | Subscribe