Tom Hanks: Love and Laughs

A star-studded group of nearly 1,000 celebrants — including Steven Spielberg, Kate Capshaw, Sally Field, Ed Burns, Heather Graham, Geena Davis, Ron Howard, Nora Ephron and Jonathan Demme — packed the ballroom of New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Thursday night to pay tribute to Tom Hanks (and raise money for the American Museum of the Moving Image). Hanks himself spoke lovingly of his four children (“my life’s greatest achievements”) and his wife, actress Rita Wilson (“the lady who happens to be . . . my best friend and lover”), while “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail” writer-director Nora Ephron took a completely different tack:

  • “By now we’re all sick of hearing about the amazing recovery at the Betty Ford Clinic, the notorious heroin overdose, the high speed car chase, the accident on the (Pacific Coast Highway) that you miraculously walked away from and, of course, charges of plagiarism that turned out to be absolutely false,” Ephron joked. “Surviving all of those things has brought Rita and Tom even closer, and it’s made us possible to be charitable to Tom’s biggest flaws: being rude to strangers, punching photographers (and) the unwillingness to sign autographs in the middle of sporting events . . . So he thinks he invented the space program, so what? Robert Young thought he was a doctor and no one cared.”
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