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Tom Hanks: Unofficial ambassador of the Academy Awards

February 9, 2011 |  2:30 pm

Hanks Move over James Franco, Tom Hanks is really the hardest working man in Hollywood. Not only did he just finish up post-production on his film "Larry Crowne," which he's starring in and producing too, but he seems to have become the official ambassador of all things Oscar. First, Hanks headlined the Oscar luncheon with his video instructing nominees to keep their speeches short and memorable. And just yesterday he was announced as one of the presenters at the Feb. 27 event. That's all in addition to his promotional duties for "Toy Story 3," which is itching for a best picture win despite the odds stacked against it.

But it doesn't end there. Hanks has also been a key advisor to this year's Oscar producers Don Mischer and Bruce Cohen. The 54-year-old actor who serves on the academy's board of governors sat down with the duo over the summer to share his opinion of what makes an Oscar night work.

Said Cohen during a chat prior to the nominee luncheon Monday: "The one thing he said to us really early stuck: What Oscars has that the others don't is it's a pure celebration of movies. The Oscars, in his opinion, and we agreed, should be a celebration of what's wonderful in film. You don't want to be making fun of movies, you want to be reminding people why we love movies. That struck a chord with us while we've planned the show."

As such, when Oscar night comes and you see a night free of cynicism, you can thank Tom Hanks for keeping everyone giddy about why they love the Academy Awards.

-- Nicole Sperling

Photo: Tom Hanks at the 66th Academy Awards in 1994. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / The Los Angeles Times

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