Colin Hanks
Birth Date:
November 24, 1977
Birth Place:
Sacramento, California, USA
6' 1½
Famous for:
His role as Alex Whitman on the WB sci-fi series Roswell (1999-present)
Sacramento Country Day School, Sacramento, California, USA
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Orange Country


“I collect watches because I’m always late, and I need to know exactly how late I’m going to be - in order to come up with a good excuse.” Colin Hanks

American actor Colin Hanks is known by many as the eldest son of internationally famous film star Tom Hanks. His name and superstar ancestry promised him a career unlike most other talented young up and comers.

After working with his dad in Ron Howard’s Apollo 13 (1995, served as a production assistant) and That Thing You Do! (1996), directed by Hanks, the tall and lanky young player finally made a name for himself as Alex Whitman in the sci-fi series “Roswell“(1999-2001). As a movie actor, the recipient of Young Hollywood’s One to Watch (2002), Colin, is maybe best know for his starring role opposite Jack Black in the successful teen movie Orange County (2002). He is also memorable for playing supporting roles in the teen flicks Whatever It Takes (2000 and Get Over It (2001), as well as in Peter Jackson’s King Kong (2005).

Colin’s admirers should not miss his impressive performance in the forthcoming projects such as Tenacious D in ‘The Pick of Destiny’ (2006), The Great Buck Howard (2007), Careless (2007), George Gallo’s Homeland Security (2007) and Barry Munday (2007).

Off camera, 6’ 1½” tall, dark-haired Colin put his sight on music. He currently plays bass guitar for the hip hop band The Underlords. As for his romantic life, one of People Magazine’s “25 Hottest Bachelors” in 2003, Colin has been linked to actresses Busy Phillips, whom he met at Loyola Marymount College, (dated from 1997 until 2001) and Rachel Leigh Cook (rumored to be dating as of October 2002).

Hanks’ Oldest Son

Childhood and Family:

Colin Lewes Dillingham was born on November 24, 1977, in Sacramento, California to Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks and his first wife, the late actress-producer Samantha Lewes (real name: Susan Dillingham), who died of bone cancer on March 13, 2002. He changed his last name to Hanks after his parents married in 1980. He has a younger sister named Elizabeth (born in 1982) and two half-brothers, Chester (born on August 4, 1990) and Truman (born on December 26, 1995) from his father’s second nuptials to actress Rita Wilson (married Colin’s dad in 1988). Colin enrolled at the Chapman University in Orange County, but later transferred to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he studied theater.



Son of two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks, Colin Hanks had an early acting exposure by starring in a number of student movies and participating in dozens of stage productions during his school years. His theatrical performance later led to professional works in stage productions of “Noises Off” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Colin got his first taste of working on a big screen movie when he was recruited as a production assistant for 1995’s Apollo 13, which starred his father and helmed by Ron Howard. After that experience, he decided to pursue a career on his own right, and landed a bit part as a male page in his father’s directing debut, That Thing You Do! (1996). Interestingly, he used a stage name with producers while auditioning and won the part.

In 1999, Colin finally found work outside of his father’s shadow, when he won the regular role of Alex Whitman on The WB’s series “Roswell,” an exceptional fusion of the teen romantic drama and science fiction genres that received moderate ratings and spawned a devoted cult following. His role in “Roswell” made Colin a favorite among young audiences.

During his break from “Roswell,” Colin went on to raise his popularity among young viewers by undertaking supporting roles in the teen-aimed features Whatever It Takes (2000), as the geeky but pleasant Cosmo, teaming up with fellow heartthrobs Shane West and James Franco, and Get Over It (2001), appearing as Felix Woods, practical friend of the brokenhearted Berke (played by Ben Foster). He also had a feature role in the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers” (2001), which directed by his father.

A year after leaving “Roswell,” Colin got his first leading role in the flourishing teen comedy Orange County (2002), opposite Jack Black. Finely playing Shaun Brumder, he was handed a MTV Movie nomination for Breakthrough Male Performance. He continued with a small role in Greg Marcks’s thriller 11:14 in 2003 and a guest role in an episode of “The O.C” in 2004. 2005 saw the young actor costar with Eric Balfour in the crime-thriller RX, and with James Van Der Beeka and Amy Adams in the independent comedy Standing Still, before reuniting with Jack Black for the 2005 remake of King Kong, directed by Peter Jackson. There, he portrayed the assistant of Black’s character, a determined movie director.

Recently starring as Doug Jarvis in the creepy thriller Alone with Her (2006), Colin is will soon portray Drunk Frat Dude in the comedy/music Tenacious D in ‘The Pick of Destiny’ (2006), written by and starring Jack Black. He is also scheduled to costar with his father in The Great Buck Howard (2007), playing a young hopeful magician who becomes the assistant to a well-known illusionist against his father’s wishes, play Wiley Roth, opposite Rachel Blanchard, in the offbeat comedy Careless (2007) and team up with Antonio Banderas, Meg Ryan and Selma Blair in the romantic/comedy Homeland Security (2007) for director-writer George Gallo. Additionally, he is now in negotiation to play Heavy Metal Greg in the Chris D’Arienzo-directed comedy Barry Munday (2007).


  • Young Hollywood: One to Watch – Male, 2002
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