Hanks does have very special memories in the Bay, which he reminds us of every so often:
- He grew up here... all over the place
The actor attended the now-closed John Swett Elementary School, Bret Harte Junior High, and Skyline High School, all in Oakland, as well as the now-closed Woodstock Elementary in Alameda.
Last time Hanks was in the area —at least publicly— he was reminded of his time at Woodstock Elementary by one of his classmates, who still keeps their third- and fourth-grade class pictures.
Hanks is in the third row, the fourth from the left, in both pictures.
Later, in the early 1970s, Hanks took a drama class with Rawley Farnsworth at Skyline High School, and life was never the same. The actor thanked Farnsworth in his Oscar acceptance speech for Philadelphia in 1994. Farnsworth returned the honor in 2002, when his pupil received the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award.
2. He "owes it all" to the local community college
After graduating from Skyline High School in 1974, Hanks attended Chabot College, in Hayward. There, he took classes that still inform his work, such as Oral Interpretation, Drama as Performance, and Studies in Shakespeare. “That place made me what I am today,” he recounted in 2015, in an opinion piece for The New York Times.
After two years at Chabot, he transferred to Cal State Sacramento, where he majored in Theater Arts. He moved to New York City in 1979, and later settled in Southern California.
He never forgot his loyalties, though.
3. He is very sour about the Raiders moving to Las Vegas
Early 2017, the team announced they were leaving Oakland, breaking the hearts of tens of thousands of fans. The actor of Forrest Gump and Big was ready to boycott the league altogether.
“You cannot take the Silver and Black, put them in an air-conditioned dome in the desert, make them play on artificial turf within a stone’s throw of the fountains of Caesar’s Palace, and call them the Raiders,” said the Skyline alum, who is also a fan of the Oakland Athletics.
Growing up, Hanks idolized Raiders' legendary quarterback Ken Stabler, and once recalled using pliers to change the channel on his old TV set, searching for the football game.
Stabler's "throw deep!" became a motto of sorts for Hanks, who referenced it in his acceptance speech at the 2017 People's Choice Awards.
4. He once lived in a houseboat in Alameda
Back in his late teens, Hollywood's favorite everyman lived on a 1,152-square-foot, two-bedroom houseboat docked at Alameda's Barnhill Marina.