Tom Hanks thanks alma mater, Hayward's Chabot College

Greg Allen/Invision/APTom Hanks attends the 37th Annual Kennedy Center Honors in 2014. In a New York Times opinion piece

Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks made his alma mater, Hayward's Chabot College, very proud Wednesday.

Hanks looked backed gratefully at the school in a piece for The New York Times that praised President Barack Obama's recent proposal to make community college “as free and universal as high school.”

The Concord native graduated from Oakland's Skyline High School in 1974 with mixed grades and little money. For Hanks and other students, “Chabot was our Columbia, Annapolis, even our Sorbonne,” he wrote.

His tenure as a Chabot student had some ups (a drama class scored him student tickets to the American Conservatory Theater and the Berkeley Repertory Theatre) and downs (“I nearly failed zoology, killing my fruit flies by neglect”).

“I'm guessing the new Congress will squawk at the $60 billion price tag, but I hope the idea sticks,” Hanks wrote, noting that veterans, single parents, jobless workers and youths “need lower obstacles between now and the next chapter of their lives.”

Special DVD set for 'Interview'

Sony Pictures Entertainment's “The Interview,” the comedy at the center of the studio's hacking woes, is set for release on DVD and Blu-ray on Feb. 17, the studio said.

The controversial film has been available online for weeks, but the home release includes a collectible “Freedom Edition” Blu-ray disc that boasts 90 minutes of bonus features. Those include deleted scenes, a gag reel and behind-the-scenes featurettes with the cast and crew.

Bonus features include a Discovery Channel special with stars James Franco and Seth Rogen, and audio commentary from Rogen and co-director Evan Goldberg.

The movie depicts a fictional assassination attempt on North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un. U.S. officials have said the rogue state is behind a cyberattack on Sony Pictures that led to the leaking of troves of private documents and emails to the Web.


Essence magazine is honoring seven members of the “Orange is the New Black” cast, including Uzo Aduba and Laverne Cox, at its upcoming Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon. … Pop star Taylor Swift sent $1,989 to a fan struggling with student loans. … An adult website has offered Justin Bieber $2 million to film a scene with porn performer Johnny Rapid. “I'll do most of the work,” Rapid promised.


Electronic musician Skrillex is 27. … Rapper Pitbull is 34. … Singer Lisa Lisa of Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam is 48. … Actor-director Mario Van Peebles (“New Jack City”) is 58. … Actress Andrea Martin (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding”) is 68. — Staff, wire report

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