07/09/2012 08:10 am ET Updated Jul 09, 2012

Tom Hanks Turns 56!

Happy Birthday, Tom Hanks! The actor, producer, writer and director celebrates his 56th birthday today.

Hanks first gained recognition on the TV sitcom "Bosom Buddies" and became one of the most beloved actors in Hollywood with an amazing run of films in the 80s and 90s -- from "Splash" to "Big," "Sleepless In Seattle" to "You've Got Mail," "Saving Private Ryan" to his Oscar-winning performances in "Philadelphia" and "Forrest Gump."

In more recent years, Hanks segued into writing, producing and directing, making moves behind the scenes in films such as "That Thing You Do!", "Where The Wild Things Are," "Larry Crowne" and HBO's "Game Change." But never fear Tom fans -- the star hasn't strayed too far away from the front of the camera either: he's tapped to play Walt Disney in the upcoming "Saving Mr. Banks," according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Hanks exudes an "every man" likeability that's grounded in his role as a family man off screen. He's been married to Huff/Post50 Editor-at-Large Rita Wilson since 1985 (watch Wilson share when she knew Hanks was the one), and the couple have two children together (Hanks also has two children from a previous marriage).

The Hanks family got even bigger last year -- his son from his first marriage, actor Colin Hanks, and his wife had a baby girl named Olivia Jane in February 2011, making Hanks a grandfather for the first time, People reported.

Hank marveled over how quickly his granddaughter is growing in an interview with Oprah Winfrey:

"When you have your own kids, you might not be aware of how new everything is -- that their little brains are being imprinted for the very first time. But now, if you don't see them for two weeks, which has happened, it's a huge difference from leaving her and then seeing her two weeks later. She's like a completely different human being."

While Hanks role as a family man may be one of his proudest accomplishments, we're pretty big fans of his other work as well. Check out the gallery of some of the star's biggest hits below.