'Thanks for being a good friend': Tom Hanks sends beloved typewriter to bullied Australian boy named Corona

The actor, who recently recovered from Covid-19, personally replied to a letter from the 8-year-old

FILE - In this Jan. 5, 2020 file photo, Tom Hanks arrives at the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. For the first time in its lengthy history, ‘Saturday Night Live’ held an all-quarantine version, which aired Saturday, April 11 with stars delivering taped material primarily from their homes. Coronavirus pioneer Hanks was the guest host, with Chris Martin the musical guest and cameos from Larry David portraying Bernie Sanders and Alec Baldwin as President Donald Trump.  (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
Powered by automated translation

Children at his school may have teased him over his name, but Corona De Vries has a friend in Tom Hanks.

The Oscar-winning actor this week penned a heartfelt note to the 8-year-old Australian boy, after De Vries revealed he was being bullied at school.

The schoolboy, from Queensland's Gold Coast, originally reached out to Hanks after learning the Forrest Gump star had contracted Covid-19.

"I heard on the news you and your wife had caught the coronavirus," De Vries wrote in a letter to the actor, sent on April 6, according to Channel 7 News. "Are you OK? I love my name but at school, people call me the coronavirus. I get very sad and angry when people call me this."

Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, both 63, were diagnosed with Covid-19 while in Australia in March; they have both since made a full recovery.

In response to De Vries's note, the Cast Away star sent back a typed letter, along with a Corona-branded typewriter he had taken with him to Australia.

"Your letter made my wife and I feel so wonderful! Thank you for being such a good friend – friends make friends feel good when they are down," Hanks wrote.

The actor added that De Vries's letter had made him feel better, before complementing his name.

"You know, you are the only person I've ever known to have the name Corona – like the ring around the sun, a crown," Hanks wrote.

"I thought this typewriter would suit you. Ask a grown up how it works. And use it to write me back."

The Academy Award winner also scrawled a hand-written note at the bottom of the letter: "PS You got a friend in me! T."

The postscript refers to the song of the same name, which is the theme tune to Hanks's hit Pixar film, Toy Story.

The actor is known for his love of antique typewriters, revealing to The New York Times last year that he had whittled his collection down to 120 models.

"They're brilliant combinations of art and engineering," Hanks said. "Every time you type something on a typewriter, it is a one-of-a-kind work of art."

The actor is so enamoured with the invention that he even created an app, named Hanx Writer, that lets users create messages in typewriter font.