Date: 13th January 2001

Hanks Repays Director For First Break

CAST AWAY star TOM HANKS owes his success to a small-time theatre director - who gave him his first break. And in return, the grateful FORREST GUMP star recently penned the intro for Irish VINCENT DOWLING'S autobiography ASTRIDE THE MOON.

Hanks says, "Vincent is the reason I'm an actor. He gave me my first union job at the GREAT LAKES SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL in Ohio. The foreword to his book is the truest words I've ever put down on paper. "He's a charming guy, and unfortunately I haven't seen him as much as I would have liked over the past 20 years - although we have exchanged notes along the way. "I first met him 20 years ago when I was 24. I probably have more vivid memories of the three years I spent at his theatre than I have of the last three movies I made. That's just the nature of the way it is."

Actor and director Dowling was the former artistic director at the world famous ABBEY THEATRE in Dublin. (RXT/IT/NFA)

Source: WENN