The nicest guy in Hollywood made Forrest Gump one of the most memorable characters in cinema history, brought Woody to life in
, and is the only actor sweet enough to pull off wooing America's Sweetheart Meg Ryan (three times). The world's enthusiasm for Tom Hanks' reassuring Everyman demeanor hasn't slowed down—he's still the most bankable star at the box office. Hanks scored Academy Awards for his groundbreaking roles in
, but unlike a few of his colleagues, values his role outside of work even more. He's a staunch advocate for environmentalism, same-sex marriage, and alternative fuels, yet manages his personal life with equanimity. After Mormon Church members pushed through Proposition 8, a bill defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, Hanks called them "un-American," but later apologized by in a
saying, "Everyone has a right to vote their conscience; nothing could be more American."