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