Hanks has more than 250 typewriters in his personal collection, some dating back to the '30s.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on November 2, 2022. It has since been updated.
Tom Hanks has many talents. He has a spectacular range as an actor, having starred in cult classic rom-com as well as more serious fare such as dramas and thrillers. He's known not only for his acting and directing but also for his overall nice, affable personality. Very few people know about his not-so-guilty pleasure: typewriters. Hanks has more than 250 typewriters in his personal collection, some dating back to the '30s. According to Express UK, he once admitted that he typically takes at least two with him on the road, stating, "I use them like cuff links!"
Comedian Chris Hardwick, the host and founder of the podcast "Nerdist," "typed" his way into Hanks' heart in 2012. Hardwick knew of the actor's love of old typewriters and decided to use it to his advantage, according to Vanity Fair. Hardwick presented Hanks with a 1934 Smith Corona typewriter along with a printed invitation asking Hanks to “please accept this typewriter-o-gram as a formal invitation to be a guest on my wildly-popular-with-the-kids Nerdist Podcast.”
Hanks' response to the "diabolical genius" podcast host was incredible.
"Dear Chris, Ashley, and all the diabolical geniuses at Nerdist Industries," he wrote adding, "Just who do you think you are to try to bribe into an appearance on your 'thing' with this gift of the most fantastic Corona Silent typewriter made in 1934?" He continued the note typing on his new 1934 Smith Corona, "You are out of your minds if you think... that I... wow, this thing has great action...and this deep crimson color... Wait! I'm not so shallow as to... and it types nearly silently..." Now clearly swayed in his decision by the typewriter, he wrote, "OH, OKAY! I will have my people contact yours and work out some kind of interview process," concluding with a "Damn you all to hell!"
Tom Hanks appeared on the podcast later. The Emmy-winning, television producer spoke candidly about his favorite reality series, including Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch," during an appearance on the podcast. “I must say the guilty pleasure I have is Storage Wars. Oh my God, I love Storage Wars.”
Hanks shares an adorable relationship with fans through typewriters. Once an 8-year-old Australian child named Corona De Vries wrote to Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson wishing them a swift recovery from the novel coronavirus. He also told them that he understands how it feels to feel bad because he is frequently bullied for his name. Hanks replied to his young friend's letter with a message and a very unique gift — a vintage "Corona" brand typewriter, used by the actor while he was in Australia filming Baz Luhrmann's impending Elvis Presley biopic. The message read: "I thought this typewriter would suit you. I had taken it to the Gold Coast, and now, it is back - with you. Ask a grown-up how it works. And use it to write me back."
.@tomhanks has written a heart-felt letter to a young Helensvale boy named Corona. The 8-year-old was being bullied at school and decided to write to the Hollywood superstar and his wife @RitaWilson, after they were diagnosed with Coronavirus. https://t.co/6l2nzFJNn5 #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/H02WF2dRCx— 7NEWS Gold Coast (@7NewsGoldCoast) April 23, 2020
Another fan once offered Hanks his deceased father's typewriter he “smuggled” out of Germany when he immigrated to the US as a WWII refugee, per their tweet. Hanks responded with a beautiful typewritten letter, saying, "I wonder just why was it that a typewriter could be deemed subversive in 1951." He continued to state that though he would be honored to have it, he thought the "family typewriter" is "far too valuable for the likes of me." After suggesting that he is planning to cut down on collecting "these grand typing boxes," Hanks suggested his fan, Maria, keep it "in the family, maybe with this letter attached to it, or in the box, or somehow separated and honored." He continued, "In my office, it would be a treasured object of art and history, but merely on a shelf and looked at." The actor concluded with a beautiful message, "A typewriter not in XXXX or with no personal connection is a story, a tragic one, in and of itself."
I was shocked to receive this personal reply from Tom when I offered him my deceased father’s typewriter for Tom’s typewriter collection. My dad had “smuggled” it out of Germany when he immigrated to the US as a WWII refugee. I will treasure Tom’s letter forever. pic.twitter.com/UFj6mQsCcs— Maria Z (@zwackmom) January 7, 2020