Tom Hanks is one of the most famous actors in Hollywood, but few people know that Tom has two brothers, one of whom is an actor like him. Jim Hanks, who lived in the shadow of his older brother’s fame, looks like a carbon copy of Tom and has in fact appeared as his brother’s body double and voice substitute in many productions. Besides being an actor, Jim is also an acclaimed producer, director and cinematographer. Here are all the untold truths we were able to uncover about Tom Hanks’ younger brother, often referred to as Jimmy.
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Early life and family
James Matthew Hanks, better known as Jim or Jimmy, was born on June 15, 1961, eight years after his older brother Larry and five years after Tom. Her father Amos Mefford Hanks worked as a cook and her mother, hospital worker Janet Marylyn Hanks, moved several times during the years their children were born, meaning they were born in different places. Tom was born in Concord, California, and Jim in Shasta County, California. Their mother is of Portuguese descent and their father is of English descent. In 1960, shortly before Jim was born, Amos and Janet divorced.
Amos had taken the older siblings with him, including Sandra, Larry and Tom.
Of course, Jim stayed with his mother, who later moved to Red Bluff, California. Amos died in 1992, but not before he married Frances Wong, a San Francisco native of Chinese ancestry, who had three children. Although few secrets are kept about Tom’s childhood, the same is not true for his brother Jimmy, as nothing else is known about his childhood, apparently a well-kept secret.
Little information can be found on Jim’s educational background; it is unknown where he attended high school, but it is said that he graduated from college, but it is unknown where from, or what he majored in.
After college, Jim moved to Sacramento, where he worked as a waiter. His wife’s employer, an agent, encouraged Jim to pursue a career in acting, which led to Jim taking acting classes and pursuing a career in show business.
Jim’s acting career began in 1993 when he made his debut in the movie “Buford’s Beach Bunnies” as lead character Jeeter Buford. In an attempt to get the part on his own and not be recognized as Tom’s brother, he first auditioned as Jim Matthews.
his true identity was not revealed until the final paperwork was completed. Although the producers noted his resemblance to Tom, Jim got the part because of his performance.
In 1994, Jim starred in the movie “Forrest Gump”, playing the role of running double for his brother. Afterwards, Jim mostly starred in minor roles and B-grade movies throughout the 90s, including ‘Xtro 3: Watch The Skies’, ‘Baby Geniuses’ and ‘Inferno’. He also starred in the 1999 film “Blood Type” as Stew, a role for which he won the Angel Film Award for Best Supporting Actor.
In addition to acting in motion pictures, Jim has also appeared in several episodes of television shows, including ‘Homefront’, ‘Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman’, ‘Sabrina The Teenage Witch’, ‘JAG’ and his last appearances in “Scrubs” and “Dexter”.
Jim has also done a lot of voice acting throughout his career, including some for Tom Hanks’ famous character, Sheriff Woody, in the “Toy Story” spin-offs. Other voice credits include the 1988 soap opera “Sunset Beach”, also “Robot Chicken” and “Milo Murphy’s Law”.
Jim has also done numerous voiceovers for video games depicting famous Disney films, including “The Polar Express” and the “Disney Infinity” video game series.
Jim has also worked as a cinematographer on several films, and has produced and directed several short films, including “Wish”, “The Floor” and “Hazelnut”, to name a few. He also directed episodes of a few television series, including the TV movie “I Married Who?”.
Hobbies, favorite things and interesting facts
Jim initially worked as an infomercial actor while trying to make his mark in Hollywood – in fact, his appearance in a Volvo commercial raised suspicions that Tom Hanks may have fallen on hard times!
Happy 59th birthday to one of Tom Hanks’ brothers, Jim Hanks! The voice of Woody in the Toy Story franchise (not the movies). #JimHanks pic.twitter.com/qmGy3YziGl
— Jake with the Ob (@mnralphie) June 15, 2020
However, if there is any doubt about Jim’s acting talent, it should be noted that Forrest Gump’s mannerisms and famous way of running are derived from behavior characteristic of Jim’s first casting role, Jeeter. Because of this, Jim was asked to act out most of the scenes in “Forrest Gump” involving Gump’s run.
Jim is married to actress Karen E Praxel, who starred in Tom Hanks’ debut film “That Thing You Do!”. They said their vows long before either made it in Hollywood on May 26, 1986, and seem to have been living happily together ever since. They have one child together, a son named Gage Hanks.
- Date of birth: June 15, 1961
- Hair color: Brown, Bald
- Eye color: Light blue
- Height: 5 feet 8 inches (1.76m)
- Weight: 165 lbs (75 kg)
- Shoe size: 8 (USA)
- Astrological sign: Gemini
- American nationality
- Ethnicity: Caucasian
Due to all the work done by Jim in Hollywood, he was able to garner an estimated net worth of over $2 million, as of mid-2020.