Great Characters Wiki

Homer Parrish is a major protagonist of the 1946 William Wyler film The Best Years of our Lives. He was a sailor in World War II who ended up losing both of his hands in a sinking ship. He ended up getting a pair of hooks where his hands used to be.

He was portrayed by Harold Russell, who had also lost his hands in a war-related incident.

Why He Rocks

  1. Hiring a real-life veteran to play the role rather than an actor was a very smart move and made the audience feel Homer's pain even more.
  2. He's the nicest veteran in the main trio and is very optimistic about his issues.
  3. He's very talented and resourceful with his hook hands, and hopes to be treated like a regular man, and not be given special treatment just because he's disabled.
  4. Even before the war stared, he was still very fit and athletic to the point where he become a football superstar in his high school years.
  5. His subplot of being unable to handle his family and girlfriend's reaction to his hook-hands due to insecurity and lack of self-confidence, is very interesting and sad at the same time.
  6. His and Wilma's love and loyalty for each other is very sweet.
  7. Despite being very friendly, he's shown to be able to stand up for himself when the time calls for it. This shown when a group of children make fun of his hands and Homer busted through a window to yell at the kids (before he immediately apologized for it), and when a rude customer insulted the Americans and blamed them for everything bad that happened to him and he wasted no time losing it and getting into a fight with him.


  • Harold Russell won two Academy Awards for his performance, one was an Honorary award for giving people hope for after World War II and other one was Best Supporting Actor during the 1946 Academy Awards.