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Tom Hanks honors early career in Cleveland during emotional Golden Globes speech: Watch

The legendary actor spent three years working in Northeast Ohio.
Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — As Tom Hanks accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award at Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards, he took a moment to pay tribute to his first “professional job," which was decades ago right here in Northeast Ohio.

“A thousand years ago in 1977 when I was an intern in the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival in my first professional job, we all got yelled at by Dan Sullivan, the director,” an emotional Hanks said. “We had partied a little bit too much the night before. We were showing up for rehearsals and he screamed at us. He said, ‘Hey, look! You guys! You actors! You know what your job is? You have got to show up on time and you have to know the text and you have to have a head full of ideas. Otherwise, I can’t do my job.’ That was the greatest lesson a young actor could possibly ever get.”

Watch the moment he references his time in Cleveland:

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Hanks spent three years working in Northeast Ohio.

His speech continued, echoing the ideals he learned from Sullivan.

“First of all, the head full of ideas: Bring anything. Try anything. Knowing the text: It’s not just your lines. It’s the whole thing. It’s the red dot. It’s the theme of the movie. You might not be right in what the opinion that you bring to it, but you’ve got to come at it with some direction. Showing up on time: It’s one of the greatest liberating acts you can give yourself in a movie. That means those people with radios in the ears don’t need to knock on your door and say they’re ready for you. You’re actually already ready, and you have the liberty and you have the freedom of being there early enough to settle down because when the time comes you have to hit the marks and you have to go there.”

Last year, Hanks wrote a first-person essay for AARP in which he credits his time in Cleveland for shaping his career.

Throughout his speech, Hanks was overcome with emotion – especially in a heartfelt moment in which he honored his family.

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