Tom Hanks saved man's life while filming Saving Private Ryan

Hanks came face-to-face with the man he rescued on the Graham Norton Show

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The Independent Online

After making a guest appearance in a couple’s wedding photo, sending a fan a typewriter after she focused her art project around him and providing a message of hope for the Americans who are fearful of a Donald Trump presidency,  Tom Hanks has apparently also saved a man’s life.

The actor, who has been dubbed "America's Dad" and is alreaady facing growing calls to run for presidency in 2020, appeared on The Graham Norton Show on Friday evening where he came face-to-face with an old colleague.

The reunion happened when Hanks soon realised he recognised audience member Adam Shaw who took the seat in the precarious red chair at the end of the show.

“Have we ever worked together?” the 60-year-old asked.

“I owe tom quite a lot,” Mr Shaw explained to a star-studded sofa which included Hanks, Gemma Arterton, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mo Farrah and Olly Murs. 

Mr Shaw explained he was an extra on the 1998 Steven Spielberg hit Saving Private Ryan along with Hanks.

“On my first day I realised I couldn’t swim and they threw me overboard […] I lied about being able to swim,” he said to Hanks who claimed he remembered the whole thing.

“Tom do you remember the AD [assistant director] showed me the action and they put me in the water with you and I turned to you and said: ‘I’ve no idea what I’m doing’ […] and we both questioned why I was there.”

“Is the end of this story that Tom Hanks saved your life?” Norton asked.

“He did, he really did, he literally saved my life,” the man responded.


“Well it was pretty deep water,” Hanks confirmed.

How much trouble the extra was in was not quite explained but regular viewers of the show might be happy to know that Mr Shaw was allowed to leave the red chair safe and sound after that story.