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Last Updated: Friday, 3 March 2006, 12:27 GMT
Tom Hanks' Oscar speech masterclass
Tom Hanks is dishing out advice to Oscar nominees on how to make acceptance speeches. Hanks has won twice himself - here are edited versions of his own speeches.


Accepting the award for best actor for Philadelphia in 1994:

Tom Hanks collecting Oscar in 1994
Tom Hanks famously thanked a gay drama teacher in 1994
Here's what I know... I would not be standing here if it weren't for two very important men in my life, two I haven't spoken with in a while but I had the pleasure of just the other evening - Mr Rawley Farnsworth, who was my high school drama teacher, who taught me 'Act well the part, there all the glory lies', and one of my classmates under Mr Farnsworth, Mr John Gilkerson.

I mention their names because they are two of the finest gay Americans, two wonderful men that I had the good fortune to be associated with, to fall under their inspiration at such a young age. I wish my babies could have the same sort of teacher, the same sort of friends.

And there lies my dilemma here tonight. I know my work in this case is magnified by the fact that the streets of heaven are too crowded with angels.

We know their names - they number a thousand for each one of the red ribbons that we wear here tonight. They finally rest in the warm embrace of the gracious creator of us all - a healing embrace that cools their fevers, that clears their skin, and allows their eyes to see the simple, self-evident, common-sense truth that is made manifest by the benevolent creator of us all and was written down on paper by wise men, tolerant men, in the city of Philadelphia 200 years ago.

God bless you all, God have mercy on us all, and God bless America!


Twelve months later, Hanks returned to the podium to pick up the best actor award for Forrest Gump:

Thank you. I'm standing here in lieu of my fellow nominees who are just as deserving, if not more so of this moment.

I'm standing here because of an army of people who over the course of a back-breaking schedule that was set by Bob Zemeckis worked much harder than I did and who had much more at risk if our efforts were not successful.

I'm empowered to stand here thanks to the ensemble of actors, men and women, who I shared the screen with and who in ways they will never understand made me a better actor.

And I am standing here because the woman I share my life with has taught me and demonstrates for me every day just what love is. [Voice breaks as wife Rita Wilson tearfully mouths 'I love you'.]

Man, I feel as though I'm standing on magic legs in a special effects process shot that is too unbelievable to imagine and far too costly to make a reality.

But here is my mark, and there is where I'm supposed to look, and believe me, the power and the pleasure and the emotion of this moment is as constant as the speed of light. It will never be diminished, nor will my appreciation.

And the meaning between two simple words that I can only offer you here: Thank you, God bless you in this room and God bless you all around the world.

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