The Big star was the guest of honour at the event hosted by the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity at the New York Public Library in Manhattan.
Hanks was feted for his philanthropy and charitable endeavours, but the Oscar winner remained humble as he spoke to reporters on the red carpet, saying, "If I wasn't an actor who had done pretty good in some movies, I would be here serving the canapes for somebody else getting it tonight. (I feel) very lucky, very blessed."
The actor's wife Rita Wilson accompanied her partner and she was full of praise for his charity work: "I've always been proud of the work that Tom does. He's very discreet, he doesn't make a big deal about it and he's very consistent... I'm in awe of how he handles it."
The Black Swan star, who was born in Israel, jetted to Washington, D.C. to speak at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's 2012 Elie Wiesel National Tribute Dinner, ahead of the national holiday on Thursday (19Apr12).
And the actress showed support for her Jewish faith by stepping up to the podium to honour this year's tribute recipient, Aung San Suu Kyi, praising the non-violent activist's work to rescue Burmese refugees.
The Oscar winner also addressed the need to continue educating younger generations of the genocide in an effort to stomp out hate across the world.
The event was particularly near and dear to Portman's heart - her great-grandparents perished at Auschwitz, one of the largest Nazi concentration camps of World War Two.
Hollywood activist George Clooney has launched a scathing attack on the media, accusing journalists and producers of neglecting their responsibilities to their country.
The Ocean's Eleven star is a vocal opponent of President George W. Bush--and he believes the media has betrayed the public by not reporting the truth about the Bush administration.
And Clooney, who joined Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel last week to address the United Nations Security Council about the problems in Darfur, blames the American public for focusing on reality TV shows instead of real news.
Clooney says, "In the year-and-a-half or two years leading up to the war in Iraq, both in print and in broadcast journalism, the media took a pass on its responsibilities. I don't think there's anyone that would deny it--The New York Times certainly hasn't.
"And if The New York Times and The Washington Post and USA Today are all reneging on their responsibility, then believe me it's going down to the local news level as well.
"This has really been a poor time in journalism. We already had a Congress on the same side as the White House. We needed a Fourth Estate more than ever, to say, 'Let's at least ask questions before we do these things.'
"The media's failings reflect on the rest of us too. It took, what, three months after September 11 before reality shows became big again? There's a responsibility to be upheld."
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Oscar-winning actor Michael Douglas joined dance star Moby to launch a new landmine campaign at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Tuesday.
The Wall Street star, Moby, Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel and singer Angelique Kidjo joined UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan at a fundraising dinner to promote an international drive to rid the world of landmines in 82 countries.
Douglas, a UN Messenger for Peace, presented Annan with an Adopt-A-Minefield's humanitarian award.
Douglas said, "Tens of thousands of lives have been saved and millions more improved as a result of the decision and commitment of this man and the inspiration that he leads.
"The United Nations is the leading international body working to make the problem of land mines a history lesson for our children."
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