The shelves in Tom Hanks’ home are already overflowing with awards he’s received for a string of unforgettable acting performances in films such as the 1993 gay rights drama Philadelphia and if an award is ever handed out for nicest guy in show business, Hanks would win by a landslide. Still the veteran entertainer, now sporting a head of silver hair (for his role as heroic Captain Sully in an upcoming movie), proved to be as gracious as ever when he accepted Outfest’s Trailblazer Award at the Legacy Awards in Los Angeles last week. Presented by pal and costar Aaron Eckhart, Hanks cracked that it was appropriate the bash was “held in a church because I am now going to preach to the choir.” The 59-year-old actor, a longtime LGBT rights ally, went on to deliver a memorable, often-topical, speech that often had the audience roaring with laughter.
The event was hosted by comic Whitney Cummings, who made a wisecrack earlier in the evening that cast Hanks’ famous role in the 2000 hit Castaway through a queer filter.
“Tom Hanks has made numerous contributions to LGBT cinema over the years,” Cummings shared. “In Castaway, he transitioned into a woman: he starved himself, he screamed a lot and he had an intimate relationship with an inanimate object.”
Filmmaker Lisa Cholodenko, director of acclaimed queer-themed dramas such as The Kids Are All Right and High Art, was also honored with the Visionary award.
Watch Hanks accept his honor below.