So you’re one of Hollywood’s most popular and long-lasting power couples. You’ve been to more awards shows and premieres than you can count. You’re producing, you’re acting, you’re directing — you’re everywhere. What do you do when you get a rare night off, that unicorn that is “date night”?
“It’s just really, really nice to stay home and watch a great movie,” Rita Wilson told People in early 2020. Her husband, Tom Hanks (aka “America’s Dad”), jokingly added, “Here’s where I know a night like that is gonna be great: When she says, ‘Honey, can you whip me up a little martini?’ And then I know that’s gonna be a nice night.”
Hanks and Wilson, who celebrated 33 years of marriage in 2021, have long been one of Tinseltown’s most beloved and down-to-earth twosomes. In celebration of their third decade of marriage, here’s a peek inside their often glamorous but still very real partnership — everything from Academy Awards and blockbuster productions to navigating a blended family and confronting cancer and Covid-19.
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson met on an '80s sitcom
It wasn’t back-to-back Oscars right out of the gate for Tom Hanks. The actor, writer, director, and producer studied theater at California State University in Sacramento in the mid-1970s and then toured with the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival in Ohio. His big break came with a co-starring role in the 1984 ABC sitcom “Bosom Buddies,” about two advertising execs who decide to dress up in drag to save money and live in a female-only apartment building.
Though the show lasted for only two seasons, it’s become a bit of a cult classic in recent years and has the distinction of being the real-life meet-cute location for Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, who guested on the series. The two also co-starred in the 1985 film “Volunteers.” For Hanks, though he was married at the time, he knew there was something special about Wilson right from the start. “Rita and I just looked at each other and — kaboing — that was that,” he told GQ (via Good Housekeeping).
Wilson shared with Kelly Clarkson that it’s her husband’s storytelling skills that initially drew her to him: “We just got along instantly. … First of all, I love a good storyteller. So anybody who could tell a good story, I’m down with that. … He makes me laugh all the time. He’s a really good storyteller.”
Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks married in 1988
Sparks flew fast when Tom Hanks met Rita Wilson on the set of his sitcom “Bosom Buddies” in the mid-1980s, but the couple didn’t marry until 1988, after Hanks’ divorce from his first wife, Samantha Lewes, was finalized. Hanks had met Lewes, an actor, writer, and producer, in college. They had son Colin Hanks in 1977 and married in 1978. Daughter Elizabeth Hanks arrived in 1982.
In 2013, Tom Hanks told Britain’s Express that his first marriage ended because he wasn’t ready for it. With divorced parents himself, Hanks said, “I was looking for something I had not found as a kid. . . . I was just too young and insecure for marriage. I was 23, and my son Colin was already two when I married for the first time. I was not really ready to take on those responsibilities.”
On April 30, 1988, Tom and Wilson made their union official in L.A., and one of Wilson’s wedding-day dresses was a pretty amazing short strapless white dress with a head-to-toe tulle veil. At the time of the wedding, Tom also joined the Greek Orthodox Church, in a nod to Wilson’s Greek heritage.
Tom shared a hilarious photo in 2018 of himself and Wilson posing with cardboard cutouts of their wedding-day selves, taken at their star-studded 30th wedding anniversary party. He also posted a sweet caption to mark the day: “30 years on April 30. ’88 To ’18. Magic numbers. Hanx and @RitaWilson.”
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have worked together many times
In the years since “Bosom Buddies,” Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have frequently appeared onscreen together. Wilson memorably played the role of Suzy, a close friend of Hanks’ lead character and “An Affair to Remember” aficionado, in Nora Ephron’s classic 1993 rom-com, “Sleepless in Seattle.”
Wilson spoke to Entertainment Weekly about how thrilled she still is to have been a part of the movie and the freedom that Ephron gave her to put her own spin on the character’s standout scene: “I remember watching the movie, ‘An Affair to Remember,’ a couple of times before shooting, and I noticed that Cary Grant goes into the room and he sees [Deborah Kerr] on the couch, and then he looks at her and she looks at him, so I just went in and I did that bit, ‘He looks at her, and they just know.’ … When somebody tells something about a movie, they always want to go into more detail than you want to know, so I thought that would’ve been a funny sort of thing. … The story is just great. People really want to see a good love story.”
Wilson has also appeared in some of Hanks’ directorial efforts, including 1996’s “That Thing You Do!” and 2011’s “Larry Crowne.” In addition to their work in front of the camera, Wilson and Hanks have produced a number of films together, including “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and “Mamma Mia!”
Tom Hanks won 2 Oscars in a row and gave everyone the feels with his emotional tributes to his wife, Rita Wilson
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Tom Hanks starred in a number of both critical and commercial hits at the box office, including “Big” and “A League of Their Own.” But beginning in 1993, his roles over the next handful of years resulted in not only modern film classics but also awards love that hadn’t been seen in half a century.
Hanks won his first Academy Award for Best Actor for 1993’s “Philadelphia,” a groundbreaking portrayal of a gay man fighting against not only AIDS but the inequality facing him. In his moving acceptance speech, Hanks first thanked his wife, Rita Wilson. “I could not be standing here without that undying love that was just sung about by, not Bruce [Springsteen], but Neil Young. And I have that in a lover that is so close to fine, we should all be able to experience such heaven right here on earth,” Hanks said.
The next year, Hanks became the first actor since Spencer Tracy in the 1930s to win a second consecutive Best Actor Oscar, for playing the titular character in 1994’s “Forrest Gump.” As the camera panned to a teary-eyed Wilson in the audience, the equally teary Hanks said, “I am standing here because the woman I share my life with has taught me and demonstrates for me every day just what love is.” Swoon!
Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks are parents to a blended family of creative kids
When his career was just getting started, actor Colin Hanks said his dad gave him the best advice an actor can get: “Show up on time, have your lines memorized, and prepare to work.” Tom had Colin and his sister, Elizabeth Hanks, with his first wife, Samantha Lewes. He and Rita Wilson share sons Chester (Chet) and Truman Hanks.
Accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement at 2020’s Golden Globes, Hanks expressed his love for Wilson and their five children (sweetly including Colin’s wife, Samantha Bryant). “A man is blessed with a family sitting down front like that,” Hanks said. “A wife who is fantastic in every way, who has taught me what love is. Five kids who are braver and stronger and wiser than their old man is. And a loving group of people who have put [up] with me being away months and months and months at a time.”
While Colin is following in his famous father’s footsteps, Elizabeth Hanks is a writer and news editor. Truman Hanks, the youngest, works in film production. Like Colin, Chet Hanks has also acted.
With three grandchildren now, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are reveling in their new roles. In an essay for HuffPost, Wilson wrote, “[My granddaughter] knows when she comes over to Yiayia and Papou’s house, we are going to sing, dance, put on plays, [and] swim.”
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson's have done more than well for themselves
Tom Hanks has reached the highest heights of Hollywood as a performer and filmmaker. But the author of the short story collection “Uncommon Type” and David S. Pumpkins originator, who is refreshingly frank about his success, is still motivated by his craft. “I’m not in this for power, although I have some,” he told People. “I’m not in this for money, although man am I rich. I can go to Greece any time I want, so that’s how comfortable I am, but there’s no substitute for [my love of acting].”
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, have a combined net worth of approximately $400 million. And though he may vacation with the Obamas, Bruce Springsteen, and Oprah, Hanks insists he still gets butterflies before the start of every new job. “I will tell you this, when I was in high school and we would audition, auditions would be done on Friday, and the cast list would be put [out] on Monday, and I could not sleep for the entire weekend, and I still feel that way the weekend before we start shooting,” he said to People. “It’s just the greatest and most exciting and challenging job there is.”
Music is all about "the joy of human connection" for Rita Wilson
From “Sleepless in Seattle” to “Jingle All the Way,” “Runaway Bride,” and “It’s Complicated,” Rita Wilson has acted in many big movies throughout her career. She’s also done guest arcs on shows like “The Good Wife” and “Girls.” More recently, though, Wilson has been flexing her songwriting muscles and focusing on music. Inspired by her time on Broadway, she’s released four albums so far.
“Doing ‘Chicago’ … was what really made me realize how much I love music and that I wanted it in my life creatively,” Wilson said on her website. “If you look at the bigger picture of all the things I do, the thing they have in common is the joy of human connection, and always trying to be real and authentic.”
Wilson’s artwork decorates many of her albums, and she also frequently includes nods to her husband and family in her songs and music videos. Her son Chet Hanks sang with her on “Heart He Handed Down,” inspired by her father. “I was thinking about how my dad had [a] vision and strength, and maybe that could get passed down to my kid,” Wilson shared on her website. “Now my son is three years sober and doing great — and, to complete the circle, he sang harmony on that song!
How did her husband react when she told him she was going to pursue music? Wilson told Closer Weekly that Tom Hanks said, “Go, go, go!”
Rita Wilson's breast cancer diagnosis reaffirmed her bond with Tom Hanks
In 2015, Rita Wilson was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy. The experience changed the musician, actor, and producer’s perspective on life. “When it first happens, you’re like, ‘What is this?'” she told Health in 2020. “It’s been a few years of feeling back to normal. I think the relationship to my body is that I don’t take it for granted.”
She has also shared that she feels more grounded. “Feeling feminine and sexy isn’t about a bra or a cup size or whether you have breast tissue or breast implants. It’s more internal,” she said in Harper’s Bazaar. “I feel it when I dance and sing and write music. I feel more like me than ever.”
Wilson said that her husband, Tom Hanks, was her rock during this turbulent time. “You never know how your spouse is going to react in a situation like this,” she told The New York Times. “I was so amazed, so blown away by the care my husband gave me. … Who knew it would make you even closer?”
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are officially citizens of Greece
Rita Wilson has always been proud of her Greek heritage, and her fondness for Greece is shared by her husband, Tom Hanks. “Greece is a haven,” Hanks said at the 2020 Golden Globes (via Greek Reporter). “I’ve been around the world. I’ve been to the most beautiful places in the world. None of them tops Greece.”
Wilson and Hanks own property in Antiparos, a Greek island, and the two officially became Greek citizens in 2019. Greece’s prime minister shared the news with a photo of Hanks and Wilson holding their new Greek passports, and Hanks, with his Instagram-signature hand wave, posted, “Starting 2020 as an Honorary citizen of all of Greece! Kronia pola! ( more or less, “happy year!”). Hanx.”
It was Wilson who serendipitously stumbled upon Nia Vardalos’ “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” one-woman show and, with Hanks, brought it to Hollywood. As Hanks said at the premiere of the silver screen adaptation (via The Knot), “My wife saw an ad back in the day in the LA Times calendar section for a one woman show called ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ and she laughed and said ‘I’m going to go see the show,’ and she did.” The two helped it become a movie — and a hit one at that. The 2002 flick is still the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time. Wilson co-starred in the 2016 sequel to the fan favorite, and Vardalos has hinted that a third film is in the works.
Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks were among the first big celebrities to share their Covid-19 diagnosis
When the global coronavirus pandemic reared its head in the spring of 2020, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson were among the first big celebrities to announce that they’d tested positive for the virus. In Australia to film Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic, Hanks posted on social media that he and Wilson had been having some concerning symptoms and decided to get tested.
With the realities of quarantining setting in around the world, and for Hanks and Wilson as well, Wilson made headlines with an Instagram video showing off her at-home rap skills. A year later, took to Instagram to update fans on their experience with Covid-19: “One year ago today I was playing the Sydney Opera House @sydneyoperahouse , the next day started feeling very tired and achy, two days later hospitalized with Covid 19. I want to take a moment to say how grateful we are for our health, how thankful we are for the medical care we got in Queensland, and that we share in the sorrow of each person who lost a loved one to this virus. I’m hopeful for so many being able to get the vaccine. I also do not take for granted that creating music stayed a part of my life.”
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are in it for the long haul
After 33 years of marriage to Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks says the key to a successful partnership is really quite simple. “We just like each other. You start there,” he told People in 2015. He also opened up about their love to Oprah in 2001: “Our relationship isn’t magic — the way it’s shown in movies. … But we both know that no matter what, we’ll be with each other — and we’ll get through it.”
For Wilson, the strength of her bond with Hanks encourages her in many other areas of her life. “There is such value in the depth of your relationships, your friendships, your marriage, your children, all of that,” she said in Harper’s Bazaar. “To me, that’s what makes you feel safe to go out and pursue the things that are more risky.”
Wilson marked their 33rd anniversary in 2021 with a sweet Instagram note to Hanks: “33 years of marriage to my BFF, my lover, my man. Love wins. ❤️” Here’s to 33 more for these two.
Source: Read Full Article