Actor Who Played Young Forrest Gump Turns Out To Be Real Life Hero

by : Tom Percival on : 18 Feb 2016 13:20
forrest-gump-movie-clip-screenshot-run-forrest-run_largeforrest-gump-movie-clip-screenshot-run-forrest-run_largeParamount Pictures

When you think of the Oscar winning classic Forrest Gump it’s difficult not to picture Tom Hanks, but many forget that another actor played Forrest first…


Michael Conner Humphreys played the young Forrest Gump in the film and it’s his performance of Forrest’s formative years that makes the audience fall in love with the bumbling but well meaning character.

After all, it is him on screen when we first hear the iconic words, ‘Run, Forrest. Run!’ Humphreys was just eight years old when he filmed Forrest Gump, and the film had an influence on his life that no one could have predicted.

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During the filming of the film’s Vietnam war scenes Humphreys was lucky enough to meet members of the Marine Corp, who provided the helicopters.


Getting to meet such brave men made a huge impression on the young man, and rather than continue acting, he went on to join the US Army in 2004 doing an 18 month tour of duty in Iraq. Unsurprisingly, his nickname while on tour was ‘Gump’.

In an interview with Mail Online, he said it was this visit that ‘directly motivated’ him to join the military.

Humphrey’s wasn’t done following in his character’s foot steps though, in 2014 he took part in a ten kilometre charity run and, apparently onlookers cheered him on, chanting, ‘Run, Forrest. Run.’

Not done with being amazing though, he left the army in 2008 to study ‘International Relations’ at the University of North Alabama and in 2011 returned to acting with a role in the small film Pathfinders: In the Company of Strangers.

Tom Percival

More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism. Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV. He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.

Topics: News


Daily Mail
  1. Daily Mail

    He won the world's hearts playing young Forrest Gump but Michael Humphreys' parents were too poor to buy Oscars tickets - and he chose career in uniform, just like character he played