He said he loved his name but people at school called him the coronavirus, which made him “sad and angry”.
“Your letter made my wife and I feel so wonderful!” Hanks replied in a letter typed on a Corona typewriter which he had taken to the Gold Coast.
“You know, you are the only person I’ve ever known to have the name Corona – like the ring around the sun, a crown,” the double Oscar winner wrote to the boy.
“I thought this typewriter would suit you,” an image of the letter aired by Channel 7 News showed.
“Ask a grown up how it works. And use it to write me back.”
Hanks handwrote at the end: “P.S. You got a friend in ME!”
Hanks was in pre-production on Baz Luhrmann’s as-yet-untitled Elvis Presley biopic at Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast when he was diagnosed with COVID-19 last month.
“We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches,” he wrote on social media at the time.
“Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too. To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the coronavirus, and were found to be positive.
“Well, now. What to do next? The Medical Officials have protocols that must be followed. We Hanks’ [sic] will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires.”
They have since recovered and returned to the US.
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Reuters with staff reporters