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Golden Globes 2020: Tom Hanks tears up during emotional Golden Globes speech

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson arrive at the 77th Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton.
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

For the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., it seems any day is a beautiful day to celebrate Tom Hanks. And really, can you blame them?

In 1989, Hanks received his first Golden Globe award for the hit comedy “Big,” and in the three decades since the man who has often been called the Mayor of Hollywood — an actor blessed with an equal facility for comedy and drama and a genial charisma reminiscent of golden-age stars like Jimmy Stewart — has notched three more wins, for 1993’s “Philadelphia,” 1994’s “Forrest Gump” and 2001’s “Cast Away.”

Nominated this year for a whopping 10th time for playing Mister Rogers in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” Hanks was honored with the lifetime-achievement Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes Sunday night.

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Accepting the award, Hanks displayed the everyman humility that has made him one of the industry’s most beloved actors, fighting back tears multiple times — an upwelling of emotion that he blamed on a cold he was battling.

“You’re a dope if you don’t steal from everybody you’ve ever worked with and I’ve stolen from the likes of the people that only need one name,” he said, name-checking actors like Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington and Meg Ryan with which he has shared the screen.

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In years past, the presentation of the DeMille Award has delivered some of the show’s most memorable moments. Last year, Jeff Bridges gave a suitably spaced-out, Lebowski-esque acceptance speech, proclaiming, “We’re all alive, right here, right now. This is happening! We’re alive!” The year before that, Oprah Winfrey brought the house down with a rousing oration that left many hoping she would run for president.

Other recent recipients include Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington, George Clooney, Woody Allen, Jodie Foster, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and Warren Beatty.

In addition to his four wins, Hanks has earned Globes nominations for “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Charlie Wilson’s War,” “Captain Phillips” and “The Post.” He is one of only two actors, along with Spencer Tracy, who has won Academy Awards in consecutive years, taking home the Oscar in 1994 for “Philadelphia” and in 1995 for “Forrest Gump.” He also earned Oscar nods for “Big,” “Saving Private Ryan” and “Cast Away.”

Accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award, Hanks reflected on the long road that has taken him from a young breakout on the goofy early-’80s cross-dressing sitcom “Bosom Buddies” to a star whose films have collectively grossed more than $5.5 billion domestically.

“How many people in this room have a clip package that includes ‘The Love Boat’?” he cracked.

Follow along for live updates and behind-the-scenes happenings from the team of L.A. Times journalists inside and outside the event.

Closing his speech, his voice choked with emotion, Hanks referenced the industry lingo “check the gate,” the phrase that directors use when a shot is finished: “I have checked the gate,” Hanks said. “The gate is good.”

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