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Entertainment & Arts

Tom Hanks to bullied 8-year-old named Corona: ‘You got a friend in me’

Tom Hanks poses with Woody at the premiere of "Toy Story 4"
Tom Hanks recently responded to some fan mail from a young boy named Corona.
(Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images)

When the road looked rough ahead for an 8-year-old named Corona, Tom Hanks said, “You got a friend in me.”

Tormented by bullies who used the coronavirus crisis as a cruel excuse to mock him, an Australian boy recently wrote a fan letter to Hanks upon learning he and Rita Wilson had tested positive for COVID-19.

“Dear Mr. and Mrs. Hanks,” read the boy’s letter, obtained by Australia’s Nine News. “My name is Corona. … I heard on the news you and your wife have caught the coronavirus. Are you OK?”

Soon after, the young Gold Coast resident received a special delivery from none other than his “Toy Story” hero.

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“Dear Friend Corona,” came the Oscar winner’s typewritten reply. “Your letter made my wife and I feel so wonderful! Thank you for being such a good friend — friends make their friends feel good when they are down.”

The surprise package from Hanks also included a typewriter the “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” actor took with him to Australia — where he and Wilson were quarantined for weeks after contracting the respiratory illness.

“Even though I was no longer sick, getting your letter made me feel even better,” Hanks’ note continued. “You know, you are the only person I’ve ever known to have the name Corona — like the ring around the sun, a crown. I thought this typewriter would suit you. ... Ask a grown up how it works. And use it to write me back.”

Needless to say, Corona was pleased to hear back from his new pen pal — and no longer feeling down about his name. (“It says my name in it — oh my God!” he exclaimed after reading Hanks’ message.)

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The heartfelt letter came all the way from Los Angeles — where Hanks and Wilson have returned upon making a full recovery.

“P.S.,” Hanks scribbled in at the bottom of the note. “You got a friend in ME,” a reference to Randy Newman’s theme song for the “Toy Story” films.


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