Health: Tom Hanks Becomes the Celebrity Face of Covid-19

The Story:

Tom Hanks, the Hollywood superstar know for the ’80s sitcom “Bosom Buddies,” the movies “Philadelphia” and “Forrest Gump,” his voice-over as Sheriff Woody in the “Toy Story” series, and much much else, tested positive for Covid-19, on March 11, 2020, becoming the first celebrity at his level in that position.


Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson were in Australia for a shooting of an upcoming movie. Australian authorities said that Hanks and Wilson and five others who were tested the same day “contracted the illness outside Australia and traveled to Queensland with the virus.”  They were hospitalized until March 16, and continued the remainder of a two-week quarantine in a nearby hotel room until returning to Los Angeles.

In Pill Form:

The quarantining of Tom Hanks has reminded some people of the death of Rock Hudson in October 1985. Hudson, who had been a central figure in the Hollywood of the ’50s and ’60s, was the first celebrity of his caliber to get or to die of AIDS. That fact and the attendant publicity brought AIDS and the fight against its spread to a new level of public consciousness and political urgency. Though (thankfully!) Hanks’ fate has not been at all as dire as Hudson’s, we may some day be saying that his bout with this new disease has done much the same.

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