Tom Hanks emotional as he collects Cecil B. DeMille Award

Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks jokingly blamed his cold medication for making him so emotional as he was honoured with the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday.

Charlize Theron, who scored her Hollywood break when Hanks cast her in his 1996 feature film directorial debut, That Thing You Do!, helped to fete the acting icon for his lasting impact on the world of entertainment at the Los Angeles ceremony. And as he collected the prize at The Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, the star apologised if he appeared "a little jittery", explaining he had been battling a heavy cold.

He then expressed his gratitude for the love and support of his family, including wife Rita Wilson and son Colin Hanks, who were seated at a table right at the front.

Looking out at them from the stage, the 63-year-old choked back tears as he gushed: "A man is blessed with a family sitting down front like that: a wife who is fantastic in every way, who has taught me what love is; five kids who are braver, and stronger, and wiser than their old man is, and a loving group of people who have put (up) with me being away months and months and months at a time.

"Of course, otherwise I wouldn't be standing here if they didn't have to put up with that, so I can't tell you how much your love means to me..."

Hanks went on to pay tribute to the long list of peers and co-stars who had influenced his work over the years.

"You're a dope if you don't steal from everybody you've ever worked with, and I have stolen from the likes of the people that only need one name, like Meryl (Streep), like Denzel (Washington), like Antonio (Banderas), like Meg (Ryan), like Julia (Roberts), like Sally Field, even though that's two names, it's still one!" he laughed.

He also namechecked Holland Taylor, Robin Wright, and Charlize herself, who covered her face in disbelief as Hanks gave her a shout out as "one of those one-word names" he had been referring to moments earlier.

Fighting back tears again towards the end of his speech, Hanks insisted his reaction to the top award had been exaggerated by his medication.

"It's the cold that is making this happen," he quipped. "I swear to God I'm not nearly this emotional at home!"

The Cecil B. DeMille Award, named in honour of its first recipient, has previously been awarded to the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington, and 2019's winner, Jeff Bridges.

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