The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today that the award-winning producing team, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman will receive the Producers Guild's 2011 Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television. The award will be presented to Hanks and Goetzman at the 22nd Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Saturday, January 22nd at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.
"Tom and Gary are extraordinarily talented producers who have changed the television landscape with extremely unique, award-winning programming," said Paula Wagner, Chair of the 2011 Producers Guild Awards. "They consistently deliver intelligent, thoughtful entertainment that has made a tremendous worldwide impact on the industry; we look forward to honoring their remarkable achievements."
"We're flattered to be in the company of so many great filmmakers who have received this award from the Producers Guild," said Hanks. "We'd be honored to receive anything with Norman Lear's name on it but this is truly fantastic." said Goetzman.
The 2010 recipient of the Norman Lear Award was Mark Burnett. Previous recipients include Dick Wolf, Jerry Bruckheimer, John Wells, Lorne Michaels, Bud Yorkin, Carsey-Werner-Mandabach, David L. Wolper, Don Hewitt, Garry K. Marshall, Aaron Spelling, Steven Bochco, David E. Kelley, and, of course, Norman Lear.
Hanks and Goetzman formed Playtone Productions in 1998 and for more than a decade have continued to produce a long list of award-winning projects-most recently, "The Pacific," an epic ten-part World War II miniseries, which aired on HBO, and received the Emmy for Best Miniseries.
Born and raised in Oakland, CA, Hanks became interested in acting during high school. He attended Chabot College in Hayward, California, and California State University in Sacramento. At the invitation of Artistic Director Vincent Dowling he made his professional debut portraying Grumio in "The Taming of the Shrew" at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival in Cleveland, Ohio. He performed in that company for three seasons. Moving to New York City in 1978, he performed with the Riverside Shakespeare Company until getting a big break when he was teamed with Peter Scolari in the ABC television comedy series "Bosom Buddies." This led to starring roles in Ron Howard's SPLASH, BACHELOR PARTY, VOLUNTEERS, THE MONEY PIT, and NOTHING IN COMMON. In 1988, the Los Angeles Film Critics recognized his performances in both BIG and PUNCHLINE, giving Hanks their Best Actor Award. Roles followed in films such as A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN and SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE.
Hanks holds the distinction of being the first actor in 50 years to be awarded back-to-back Best Actor Academy Awards®--in 1993 as the AIDS-stricken lawyer in PHILADELPHIA and the following year in the title role of FORREST GUMP. He also won Golden Globes for both of these performances, along with his work in BIG and CAST AWAY.
In 1995 Hanks voiced the character Woody in the critically acclaimed hit Toy Story, the first Disney/Pixar film to be made, as well as the first feature film in history to be made entirely with CGI. He later returned as Woody in the sequel Toy Story 2 and then eleven years after the original, in Toy Story 3 in 2010 which is currently the highest grossing animated feature film of all time, bringing in over a billion dollars worldwide.
In 1996, Hanks made his feature film writing and directing debut with That Thing You Do! The film's title song not only reached the Top 10 in many contemporary music charts but was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Original Song. After re-teaming with Ron Howard in Apollo 13, Hanks served as an executive producer, writer, director and actor for HBO's "From the Earth to the Moon"-an Emmy-winning 12-hour dramatic film anthology that explored the entire Apollo space program.
In 1998, Hanks starred in Steven Spielberg's war drama Saving Private Ryan for which he received his fourth Oscar® nomination. The following year he starred in The Green Mile, which was written and directed by Frank Darabont and is based on the six-part serialized novel by Stephen King.
In 2000, Hanks reunited with director Robert Zemeckis and screenwriter William Broyles Jr. in Cast Away for which he received yet another Oscar® nomination. The same year, he served again with Steven Spielberg, as executive producer, writer, and director for another epic HBO miniseries, "Band of Brothers," based on Stephen Ambrose's book. The miniseries aired in the fall of 2001 to wide-scale critical acclaim, leading to an Emmy Award and Golden Globe for the Best Miniseries in 2002.
In 2002, Hanks starred in Road to Perdition opposite Paul Newman and Jude Law under Sam Mendes' direction. It was followed by Spielberg's stylish caper Catch Me If You Can opposite Leonardo DeCaprio, which was based on the true-life exploits of international confidence man Frank Abagnale Jr. Hanks teamed for a third time with Spielberg in The Terminal opposite Catherine Zeta Jones and followed it with the Coen brothers' dark comedy The Ladykillers. In November 2004, Hanks starred in the film adaptation of the Caldecott Medal-winning children's book The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, which reunited him once again with director Robert Zemeckis.
In 2006, Hanks played Robert Langdon in the film adaptation of Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code, helmed by Ron Howard and also starring Audrey Tautou, Paul Bettany, Ian McKellen and Jean Reno. He later reprised his role in Angels & Demons, also directed by Howard. In 2007, Hanks starred opposite Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman in Charlie Wilson's War, directed by Mike Nichols. In 2008 Hanks, with Playtone, executive produced the critically acclaimed HBO mini series "John Adams" staring Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney and Tom Wilkinson. The series went on to win an Emmy for Outstanding Miniseries and a Golden Globe for Best Mini-Series. In 2009 he was honored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center with the Chaplin Award.
Producing credits for Gary Goetzman include Where The Wild Things Are, Mamma Mia!-The Movie, Charlie Wilson's War, The Polar Express, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, The Ant Bully, Beloved, That Thing You Do!, The Silence of the Lambs (winner of five Academy Awards®, including Best Picture), Philadelphia, Devil in a Blue Dress, Beloved, Miami Blues, The Great Buck Howard, Starter for 10, Modern Girls, Amos & Andrew, the 3-D IMAX film Magnificent Desolation, the Emmy winning HBO special event "The 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concert," the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated HBO series "Big Love," the Emmy and Golden Globe winning miniseries, "John Adams," the Emmy and Golden Globe winning miniseries "Band of Brothers," and the Emmy winning HBO miniseries event "The Pacific." He also produced the Talking Heads' concert film Stop Making Sense, Neil Young's long form video "The Complex Sessions" and music videos for Bruce Springsteen and David Byrne.
Hanks and Goetzman's next producing project to release is the film Larry Crowne, which Hanks co-wrote, directed and stars in opposite Julia Roberts.
About the Producers Guild of America
The Producers Guild of America is the non-profit trade group that represents, protects and promotes the interests of all members of the producing team in film, television and new media. The PGA has over 4,500 members who work together to protect and improve their careers, the industry and community by providing members with health benefits, employment opportunities, the creation of fair and impartial standards for the awarding of producing credits, as well as other education and advocacy efforts such as promoting sustainable production practices. Visit www.producersguild.org and www.pgagreen.org for more information.