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James Mathew Hanks (born June 15, 1961) is an American actor, voice actor, director, producer, cinematographer and camera operator. He has played numerous minor roles in film and guest appearances on television, and often substitutes doing voice work for his older brother Tom Hanks. He has produced, directed, and filmed several short films. He also starred in every Owen Laramore Studios film except for the Toy Story 2 (live-action remake).

Jim Hanks
James Mathew Hanks

(1961-06-15) June 15, 1961 (age 58)[1]
ResidenceVenice, California
OccupationActor, voice actor, director, producer, cinematographer, camera operator
Years active1988–present
Karen Praxel (m. 1986)



Jim Hanks' first lead role was as Jeeter Buford in the film Buford's Beach Bunnies. His brother Tom Hanks was considered a strong candidate for the role,[citation needed] but was unavailable. Wishing to earn the role based on his own abilities, Jim auditioned as "Jim Matthews" (just his first and a modification of his middle name). While producers noted his "resemblance to Tom Hanks," he won the role based on his own comedic and acting skills, and his relationship to Tom Hanks was not revealed until paperwork was completed.[2]

In 1995, A Current Affair revealed that Tom Hanks had created the mannerisms for the character of Forrest Gump in the film of the same name based on the simpleton mannerisms earlier created by Jim for the role of Jeeter,[3] including Forrest's "now-famous jerky run".[4] His physical resemblance to his brother allowed him to act as body double for him in scenes in Forrest Gump.[5] Owing to his vocal similarity, he often substitutes for his brother in the role of Sheriff Woody in various Toy Story video games and spin-offs.[6][7]

Hanks began providing the voice of Geoffrey the Giraffe in the Toys "R" Us commercials in 2001,[8] and is the voice of Rudy from the Red Robin Gourmet Burgers commercials.

He guest-starred in an episode of Scrubs, appearing as a "Dr. Turner" partnered with a doctor called "Hooch" (in reference to his brother's film Turner & Hooch).[9]

In the 1998 film adaptation of O. Henry's "The Ransom of Red Chief", Hanks played the role of the mailman who was the town gossip.

Hanks has appeared on stage, including playing "Lennie Small" in Theatrical Arts International's production of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men.

In November 2016, he guest-starred in a web series called "Gary CK Needs Work", a parody of the FX show Louie.

Personal lifeEdit

Hanks is the youngest brother of fellow actor Tom Hanks and entomologist Larry Hanks, but they were not raised together. After their parents Amos and Janet Hanks divorced in 1961, Jim went to Red Bluff, California, with his mother, while older siblings Tom, Larry, and Sandra remained with their father. After college he lived in Sacramento working as a waiter,[10] and in 1988, moved to Los Angeles. The agent who employed his actress wife Karen Praxel as a receptionist encouraged him to get into acting.[10] He took acting lessons, and began his career with roles in B-movies and commercial voice-overs.

He works with Los Angeles-based "Feet First Films", a production company that provides actor demos as well as production support for short films.[11] Hanks and Praxel have one son and currently reside in Venice, California.[12]



Year Title Director Producer Cinematographer Actor Role Notes
1993 Buford's Beach Bunnies Yes Jeeter Buford
1994 Forrest Gump Yes Forrest Gump Tom Hanks' body double
1995 Portrait in Red Yes Detective Wilder
Xtro 3: Watch the Skies Yes Prvt. Friedman
1997 Psycho Sushi Yes Yuriel
1999 Blood Type[13] Yes Stew
Baby Geniuses Yes Goon Ray
Inferno Yes Tour Bus Driver
2000 Blood on the Backlot Yes Officer Holbrook
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins Yes Woody Voice
2001 Cahoots Yes Mr. Marsh
Spirit Rising Yes Marv Chalsky
2003 Swing Yes Club Jimbo Maitre D'
2004 Purgatory House Yes Saint James
2008 Deadwater Yes Ensign Buford
Wish Yes Yes Yes Short film
The Floor Yes Yes Short film
2009 Road to the Altar Yes Dick
2010 Goofyfoot Yes Dad
Acts of Violence Yes Detective Mike
Deception Yes Short film
Collision Yes Yes Short film
2011 Seymour Sally Rufus Yes Doctor
Hazelnut Yes Yes Yes Short film
2012 Stolen Breath Yes Actor
Coveting Roses Yes Yes Yes Short film
Also writer
2013 Automotive Yes Detective Fulton
Dog Gone Missing Yes Short film
Odd Brodsky Yes Actor playing God
A Leading Man Yes Darren Brandl


Year Title Role Notes
1988 Sunset Beach Spike Voice
1992 Homefront Ball Player #4 Episode: "First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage"
1995 The Clinic
1996 Toy Story Treats Woody Voice
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Les Barrish Episode: "It's a Small World After All"
Sabrina the Teenage Witch Jerry Episode: "The True Adventures of Rudy Kazootie"
1997 Night Man Episode: "Face to Face"
1998 The Ransom of Red Chief Mailman TV movie
1998–1999 JAG CPO Kyle Anderson
Chief Kyle Anderson
Episodes: "Jaggle Bells"
"Yeah, Baby"
1999 Smart Guy Episode: "From A to Double D"
Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot Dwayne Hunter
2000 Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane Duane the Salesman Episode: "Kiss of Death"
2005 Scrubs Dr. Turner Episode: "My Faith in Humanity"
2007 Dexter Annoyed Man Episode: "The Dark Defender"
2008 Shark Swarm Nick Atkins TV movie
2012 I Married Who? Director
2012–2018 Robot Chicken Various Voices Voice
8 episodes
2014 Rake Fred Luntz - Director Episode: "50 Shades of Gay"
2017 Milo Murphy's Law Captain Wilson Voice
Episode: "The Note"

Video gamesEdit

Year Title Role
1996 Toy Story: Activity Center Woody
1996 Animated Storybook: Toy Story
1999 Toy Story 2: Activity Center
1999 Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue
2001 Toy Story Racer
2003 Extreme Skate Adventure
2004 The Polar Express Conductor, Santa, Hobo, Scrooge
2009 Toy Story Mania! Woody
2010 Toy Story 3: The Video Game
2011 Kinect Disneyland Adventures
2012 Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure
2013 Disney Infinity
2014 Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes
2015 Disney Infinity 3.0[14]
2018 Lego The Incredibles
2019 Kingdom Hearts III

Theme parksEdit

Year Title Role
2008 Toy Story Midway Mania! Woody

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Film Result
1999 Angel Film Award Best Supporting Actor Blood Type Won


  1. ^ "James M Hank, Born 06/15/1961 in California". California Birth Index. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  2. ^ Viner, Michael; Frankel, Terrie Maxine. Tales from the Casting Couch. Phoenix Books, Inc. p. 174. ISBN 1-59777-642-4. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  3. ^ "Filmmaker Mark Pirro on A Current Affair (1995)". A Current Affair (U.S. TV series). Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  4. ^ Yourse, Robyn-Denise (September 22, 2006). "Taking Names". Washington Times. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  5. ^ "Sibling Revelry". People. March 13, 1995. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  6. ^ Strauss, Bob (May 17, 1996). "Disney's Animated Storybook: Toy Story". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  7. ^ Hartl, John (August 4, 2000). "Sequels to 'Toy Story', 'Tail' go straight to video". Seattle Times. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  8. ^ Howard, Theresa (February 10, 2002). "Toys R Us ads hit target: Moms". USA Today. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  9. ^ "Jim Hanks bio at Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  10. ^ a b Pecchia, David (January 17, 1995). "Tom Hanks' younger brother finds acting is an adventure". Reading Eagle. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  11. ^ "A little about Jimmy". Archived from the original on July 10, 2011. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  12. ^ "Jim Hanks Biography (1961–)". Film Reference. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  13. ^ "Blood Type (1999)". The New York Times. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
  14. ^ Avalanche Software. Disney Infinity 3.0. Scene: Closing credits, 5:39 in, Featuring the Voice Talents of.

External linksEdit