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Tom Hanks Got Emotional During His Cecil B. DeMille Award Acceptance Speech & Who Can Blame Him?

He blamed his emotions on his cold — but Tom Hanks had every reason in the world to well up during his acceptance of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s uber-prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award on stage at tonight’s 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards. After a glowing introduction from colleague and devoted fan Charlize Theron, Hanks scooped up the statue — and right off the bat led with a joke that underscored the humbleness and humility for which he is well-known and beloved. “Most of the people in this room, I would pay to see them get their cars washed,” he said, as he surveyed the A-list crowd.

Moving into the substance of his acceptance speech, he began by thanking his family — and that’s where his emotions got to him. “A man is blessed with a family sitting down in front like that, a wife who is fantastic in every way, who has taught me what love is,” he said, effusively praising and thanking his children as well as wife Rita Wilson. “I can’t tell you how much your love means to me.”

But the real meat of his speech centered on what he’s learned in the industry — and what advice he’d give others starting out. “Showing up on time is one of the greatest liberating acts you can give yourself in a movie,” he said. “That means those people with radios in the ears don’t need to knock on the door and say they’re ready for you. You’re already ready. You have the freedom to settle down, because when the time comes you have to hit the marks.”

Hanks is certainly worthy of giving professional advice — after all, he’s an eight-time Globe winner and 15-time nominee, and of course the star of such legendary movies as BigForrest GumpSaving Private Ryan and Cast Away. He’s also one of only two actors in history to win back-to-back Best Actor Academy Awards: his first Oscar in 1994 for Philadelphia, and his second the following year for Forrest Gump.

Hanks blamed his tears on his head cold, but honestly, exactly no one blames one of Hollywood’s most generous stars for a genuine display of intense emotion: Chosen by the HFPA Board of Directors, the Cecil B. deMille Award is given annually to a Hollywood icon who has made a lasting impact on the film industry. Hanks joins the company of honorees like Jeff Bridges, Robert De Niro, Audrey Hepburn, Harrison Ford, Jodie Foster, Sophia Loren, Sidney Poitier, Steven Spielberg, Denzel Washington and Robin Williams.

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