2020 Golden Globes Pay Tribute to Greece’s Newest Honorary Citizen

Tom Hanks Golden Globes 2020
Tom Hanks at the 2020 Golden Globes/NBC

Tom Hanks, who recently became Greece’s newest honorary citizen, was the recipient of the prestigious Cecil B. deMille Award at the 2020 Golden Globes. This award is a high honor which recognizes an artist’s lifetime contribution to the world of entertainment.

Previous recipients of the award include Hollywood legends such as Walt Disney, John Wayne, Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Audrey Hepburn, Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep and Oprah Winfrey.

Charlize Theron gave a warm, touching introduction for Hanks, relating a story about how he helped her calm down and gave her a second chance during a nervous early audition Theron had for a film with Hanks. Right before bringing him up on stage, Theron said that Hanks “just makes the world a better place”.

The beloved actor went up on stage to accept the award but immediately explained that he had a cold and was quite nervous. He became quite emotional when thanking his wife, Rita Wilson, and his children. As Hanks said, “a man is blessed when he has a family sitting down in front like that.”

He spent a great deal of time thanking the people who work to help him on every set, and expressed admiration for the many wonderful actors who had come before him. His speech also included practical advice for actors everywhere, including “showing up on time is the greatest gift you can give yourself.”

The 63-year-old actor has been working in Hollywood for 40 years, amazing audiences with unforgettable performances in films including “Big,” “Forrest Gump,” “Saving Private Ryan” and “Cast Away.” He has also produced films, including “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” which he helped bring to the big screen alongside Greek-American wife Rita Wilson.

Hanks’ love for Greece has been well-known for a some time, as he spends most of his summers in the Greek islands with Wilson, and frequently attends services at Agia Sophia Greek Orthodox Church in Los Angeles. On December 27, 2019, he officially became a citizen of Greece after President Prokopios Pavlopoulos signed the official naturalization papers.

In 2019, Hanks appeared in the critically acclaimed film “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”, based on the life of Fred Rogers, and he also returned to voice his famous character Woody in “Toy Story 4”.

During his long and successful career, Hanks has won four Golden Globes and two Academy Awards, winning both a Golden Globe and Oscar for his roles in “Philadelphia” and “Forrest Gump”. This year, he is nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”.

The 77th Golden Globes Ceremony took place January 5, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.