• Jim Hanks is the younger brother of Tom Hanks, born in Shasta County, California in 1961.
• Jim attended college and worked as a waiter before pursuing a career in acting.
• Jim has starred in films, TV shows, and done voice acting.
• Jim is married to actress Karen E Praxel and has one son, Gage Hanks.
• Jim has an estimated net worth of over $2 million.

Known for movies

Short Info

Date Of BirthJune 15, 1961
SpouseKaren Praxel
FactBrother-in-law of actress Rita Wilson. Former brother-in-law of Samantha Lewes.

Tom Hanks is one of Hollywood’s most famous actors, but not many are aware of the fact that Tom has two brothers, one of whom is an actor like himself. Jim Hanks, who has been living in the shadow of his older brother’s fame, looks like a carbon copy of Tom, and has actually appeared as a body double and voice substitute for his brother in numerous productions. Besides being an actor, Jim is also a recognised producer, director and cinematographer. Here follows every untold truth we could dig up on the younger sibling of Tom Hanks, who is often called Jimmy.

Early life and family

James Matthew Hanks, best known as Jim or Jimmy, was born on 15 June 1961, eight years after his oldest brother Larry, and five years later than Tom. His father Amos Mefford Hanks worked as a cook, and his mother, hospital employee Janet Marylyn Hanks, relocated many times during the years that their children were born, which meant that they were born in different places, Tom was born in Concord, California, and Jim in Shasta County of California. Their mother is of Portuguese descent, and father has English ancestry. In 1960 shortly before Jim was born, Amos and Janet divorced.

Amos had taken the oldest siblings with him, including Sandra, Larry and Tom.

Of course Jim stayed with his mother, who later moved to Red Bluff, California. Amos passed away in 1992, but not before marrying Frances Wong, a San Francisco native of Chinese ancestry, who had three children. Although few secrets are kept about Tom’s childhood, it is not the same for his brother Jimmy, as nothing else is known about his early life, apparently a well-kept secret.

Educational background

Little information can be found on Jim’s educational background; it’s not known where he attended high school, but it’s stated that he graduated from college, but it’s not known from  where, nor in what he majored.

Jim Hanks

After college, Jim moved to Sacramento, where he worked as a waiter. His wife’s employer, an agent, encouraged Jim to take-up a career in acting, which led to Jim taking acting classes, and to pursue a career in show business.


Jim’s acting career began in 1993 when he made his debut in the film “Buford’s Beach Bunnies” as the lead character Jeeter Buford. In an attempt to gain the role by his own abilities, and not being recognised as Tom’s brother, he initially auditioned as Jim Matthews.

his true identity was revealed only by the time the final paperwork was completed. Although the producers noted his resemblance to Tom, Jim gained the role due to his performance.

In 1994, Jim starred in the film “Forrest Gump”, acting as a running double for his brother. Following this, Jim mostly starred in minor roles and B-grade films throughout the nineties, including in “Xtro 3: Watch The Skies”, “Baby Geniuses” and “Inferno”. He also starred in the 1999 film “Blood Type” as Stew, a role for which he was rewarded with the Angel Film Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Other than starring in motion pictures, Jim also appeared in several episodes of television shows, including “Homefront”, “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman”, “Sabrina The Teenage Witch”, “JAG”, and his latest appearances in “Scrubs” and “Dexter”.

Jim also did plenty of voice acting throughout his career, some of which was for the famous Tom Hanks character Sheriff Woody in “Toy Story” spin-offs. Other voice credits include the 1988 soap opera “Sunset Beach”, also “Robot Chicken”, and “Milo Murphy’s Law”.

Jim also did many voices for video games that depicted famous Disney films, including “The Polar Express” and the “Disney Infinity” video game series.

Jim has worked as a cinematographer on several films too, and produced and directed several short films, including “Wish”, “The Floor” and “Hazelnut”, to name a few. He’s also directed episodes of a few television series, which include the TV film “I Married Who?”.

Hobbies, favourite things and interesting facts

Jim first worked as an infomercial actor while trying to make his mark in Hollywood – in fact his appearance in a Volvo ad had people suspecting that Tom Hanks might have fallen on hard times!

However, if there is any doubt about Jim’s acting talent, it should be noted that Forrest Gump’s mannerisms and famous way of running are derived from the characteristic behaviour of Jim’s first casting role Jeeter. For this reason, Jim was asked to play most of the scenes in “Forrest Gump” that involved Gump running.


Jim is married to actress Karen E Praxel, who starred in the Tom Hanks directorial debut film “That Thing You Do!”. They took their vows long before either one of them had any success in Hollywood, on 26 May 1986, and have seemingly lived happily together since. They have one child together, a son by the name Gage Hanks.

Physical characteristics

  • Date of Birth: 15 June 1961
  • Hair colour: Brown, Bald
  • Eye colour: Light Blue
  • Height:  5ft 8in (1.76m)
  • Weight: 165lbs (75kgs)
  • Shoe Size: 8 (US)
  • Star Sign: Gemini
  • Nationality: American
  • Ethnicity: Caucasian

Net worth

Due to all the work Jim has done in Hollywood, he has able to rake in an estimated net worth of over $2 million, as of mid-2020.

General Info

Full NameJim Hanks
Date Of BirthJune 15, 1961
ProfessionFilm producer, Voice Actor, Film director, Cinematographer, Waiter


SpouseKaren Praxel
ParentsJanet Marylyn Frager, Amos Mefford Hanks
SiblingsTom Hanks, Larry Hanks, Sandra Hanks


MoviesBuford's Beach Bunnies, Xtro 3: Watch the Skies, Baby Geniuses, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins, Purgatory House, Deadwater, Acts of Violence, Odd Brodsky, Road to the Altar, Automotive
TV ShowsBig Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot

Social profile links


1Provided the voice for the tie-in "Woody" action figures from Toy Story (1995) voiced in the movie by older brother Tom Hanks.
2Brother-in-law of actress Rita Wilson. Former brother-in-law of Samantha Lewes.
3Appeared with his family on Family Feud (1988) in the late 80s.
4Uncle of Colin Hanks, Chet Hanks, Truman Hanks and Elizabeth Hanks.
5Was his brother Tom's running double in Forrest Gump (1994).
6Jim and his wife, Karen Hanks, have one son and live in Venice, California.
7Because of his resemblance to his more famous brother, Jim Hanks's appearance in a Volvo TV commercial had some fans of Tom Hanks wondering if Tom had fallen on hard financial times.
8Younger brother of Tom Hanks.




Blood Type2017/IIcompletedStew
Abnormal Attraction2016post-productionFrank Stein
The Long Way2016post-productionProfessor Bob
The Dark ZoneannouncedKlash
Milo Murphy's Law2016TV SeriesCaptain Wilson
The Sex Trip2016Matt Flannery
Robot Chicken2012-2016TV SeriesChuck Noland Sheriff Woody Paul Edgecomb ...
Mijo2016ShortVP Trent
Two Minutes to Midnight2016TV Mini-SeriesJoe Levine
Disney Infinity 3.02015Video GameWoody (voice)
After Ever After2015ShortMan
The Other Brother2015ShortJim Hanks
Film Pigs2015TV SeriesSheriff, Himself - Guest Host
Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes2014Video GameWoody (voice)
Rake2014TV SeriesDirector
Odd Brodsky2014Actor playing God
911 Can I Shoot Him2013TV SeriesOfficer (2013)
A Leading Man2013Darren Brandl
Disney Infinity2013Video GameWoody (voice)
Automotive2013Detective Fulton
Kinect Fun Labs: Kinect Rush - A Disney Pixar Adventures: Snapshot2012Video GameWoody (English version, voice)
I Married Who?2012TV MovieDirector
Stolen Breath2012ShortActor
Kinect Disneyland Adventures2011Video GameWoody (voice)
Seymour Sally Rufus2011Doctor
There/Not There2010ShortGunny
Toy Story 32010Video GameWoody (voice)
The Rise and Fall of John Tesoro2010ShortNarrator
Toy Story 3: The Video Game2010Video GameWoody (voice)
Acts of Violence2010Detective Mike
Road to the Altar2009Dick
Toy Story Midway Mania!2008ShortWoody (voice)
Black Ops2008VideoEnsign Buford
Shark Swarm2008TV MovieNick Atkins
Dexter2007TV SeriesAnnoyed Man
Scrubs2005TV SeriesDr. Turner
The Polar Express2004Video GameConductor, Santa, Hobo
Purgatory House2004Saint James
Swing2003/IClub Jimbo Maitre D'
Extreme Skate Adventure2003Video GameWoody (voice)
Spirit Rising2001ShortMarv Chalsky
Toy Story Racer2001Video GameWoody (voice)
Cahoots2001Mr. Marsh
Blood on the Backlot2000ShortOfficer Holbrook
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins2000VideoWoody (voice)
Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane2000TV SeriesDuane the Salesman
Blood Type1999Stew
Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot1999TV SeriesDwayne Hunter (voice)
Desert Heat1999/IITour Bus Driver
JAG1998-1999TV SeriesCPO Kyle Anderson
Baby Geniuses1999Goon Ray
Smart Guy1999TV SeriesDirector
Sunset Beach1998TV SeriesSpike
The Ransom of Red Chief1998TV MovieMailman
Psycho Sushi1997Yuriel
NightMan1997TV Series
Toy Story1996Video GameWoody (voice)
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch1996TV SeriesJerry
Toy Story Activity Center1996Video GameWoody (voice)
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman1996TV SeriesLes Barrish
Toy Story Treats1996TV Series shortWoody
Fatal Passion1995Detective Wilder
Xtro 3: Watch the Skies1995Prvt. Friedman
The Clinic1995TV Series
Falling from the Sky: Flight 1741995TV MovieMechanic (uncredited)
Buford's Beach Bunnies1993Jeeter Buford
Homefront1992TV SeriesBall Player #4


Breaking Curfew2014TV Series director of photography
Bunny and Bee2013-2014TV Series short 4 episodes
Lipstick Jones2013TV Series
Dog Gone Missing2013Short
Coveting Roses2012Short
The Rise and Fall of John Tesoro2010Short director of photography
The Floor2008Short director of photography


Two Minutes to Midnight2016TV Mini-Series producer - 1 episode
Coveting Roses2012Short co-producer
Hazelnut2011Short co-producer
Collision2010/IShort producer
Deception2010/IShort co-producer
Wish2008/IShort producer

Camera Department

Rose Emanuel: Nothing in Your Pocket2012Video short steadicam operator
The Comedy Blips2011TV Series camera operator
The Rise and Fall of John Tesoro2010Short camera operator
Real Men Real Issues2010TV Series camera operator - 1 episode
The Floor2008Short camera operator
Back Field in Motion1995Video camera operator


Coveting Roses2012Short
The Floor2008Short


Coveting Roses2012Short

Assistant Director

Dead Drop2014/IShort assistant director


Larry Crowne2011stunts


Forrest Gump1994running double: Tom Hanks


Coveting Roses2012Short special thanks


I Know That Voice2013DocumentaryHimself
The Making of 'Purgatory House'2005Video documentaryHimself

Archive Footage

Disney Magic Kingdom2016Video GameWoody


Won Awards

2003Angel Film AwardMonaco International Film FestivalBest Supporting ActorBlood Type (1999)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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