Tom Hanks Gets Emotional Remembering Late Peter Scolari: 'We Were Molecularly Connected'

Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari starred in the 1980s sitcom Bosom Buddies together and had remained friends ever since

Tom Hanks is reflecting on his friendship with Peter Scolari.

The Finch actor appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Tuesday, at one point opening up about his friendship with the late Scolari, whom he costarred with in the beloved sitcom Bosom Buddies, which ran for two seasons from 1980 to 1982 on NBC. In it, they played two single men who disguised themselves as women to obtain housing at a women-only building, the only apartment they could afford.

The real-life friends remained close over the years, with Scolari appearing in Hanks' 1996 directorial debut That Thing You Do!, as well as his 1998 HBO limited series From the Earth to the Moon and 2004's The Polar Express.

Last month, Scolari died of cancer following a two-year illness. He was 66.

"Peter — God bless him, I'll miss him every day — he had the body of a gymnast, I mean like a professional Cirque du Soleil gymnast. He could do, like, the iron triangle and stuff like that; he was a juggler," Hanks recalled to Kimmel. "I don't know how many people truly do change your lives when you cross paths with them, but he and I met, we picked up the scripts, we started screwing around, and I actually thought, 'Oh, this is it. This is how this works. This is like a hand inside a glove.' "

"For two years at Paramount Studios, on unlucky stage 25, we cut it up," he added. "... We were molecularly connected in a way that we started speaking the same language."

After re-watching a clip from Bosom Buddies, Hanks said, while getting emotional, "Peter has a lovely family, his wife Tracy [Shayne], he's got absolutely great kids. We lost him to the emperor of all maladies, so thanks for letting us show that."

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Tom Hanks, Peter Scolari
Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari in 2013. Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

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After Bosom Buddies, Scolari went on to join the CBS sitcom Newhart in its second season in 1984, starring as Michael Harris through its eighth and final season in 1990. His performance earned him three consecutive Emmy nominations for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series from 1987 to 1989.

The native New Yorker later appeared in Lena Dunham's hit HBO series Girls as her character Hannah Horvath's father Tad, who comes out as gay while married to her mother Loreen (Becky Ann Baker). The role earned Scolari an Emmy win in 2016 for outstanding guest actor in a comedy series.

Dunham, 35, paid tribute to her onscreen dad on Instagram. "The shyest extrovert, the most dramatic comedian, the most humble icon. You had lived enough life to know that a TV show was just a TV show, but also to appreciate just what it meant to be allowed to play pretend for a living- and you never let us forget that this job was a privilege," she wrote.

"Becky Ann and I loved every second of playing your family and I couldn't have been raised up by a better TV 'papa.' Thank you, Scolari, for every chat between set ups, every hug onscreen and off and every 'Oh, Jeez.' We will miss you so much," Dunham concluded.

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