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Tom Hanks Has Been Married to Rita Wilson for 31 Years - Here's the Inspiring Story behind Their Relationship

Pedro Marrero
Jan 10, 2020
12:20 A.M.

The two stars have been husband and wife for more than three decades, but their love story goes way back, with Hollywood playing cupid by facilitating their paths to cross.

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63-year-old actor Tom Hanks and 63-year-old actress Rita Wilson are part of the exclusive group of celebrity couples that have remained together for so long, proving that being a star and having a healthy romantic life is possible.

Years before the two were face to face with each other for the first time, Wilson had caught the attention of a young Hanks, who admits to having been lucky to eventually win her heart, suggesting that “she could’ve done better.”

A TV CRUSH

When Hanks first set eyes on Wilson, the last thing he imagined was that he was going to get to know her very well, but she certainly made a lasting impression on the future star, as the actor shared with People in 2012.

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Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks. I Image: Getty Images.

Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks. I Image: Getty Images.

Hanks recalls having watched Wilson on her debut TV role as cheerleader Pat Conway in “The Brady Bunch” in 1972 at a friend’s house and think, “that girl’s cute.”

FIRST MEETING

Nine years later, Hanks had the chance to meet his TV crush in person when Wilson guest-starred in the series “Bosom Buddies,” on which the actor played the leading role.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. I Image: Getty Images.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. I Image: Getty Images.

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While Hanks clearly remembered the girl from “The Brady Bunch” when he met her in 1981, he was still married to his first wife, actress and producer Samantha Lewes, so their romance had to wait another few years to develop.

CO-STARRING ON THE BIG SCREEN

In 1985, Hanks and Wilson were paired by director Nicholas Meyer to play the main couple in the comedy “Volunteers,” and this time, the feelings between each other started to evolve from mere sympathy to actual attraction.

But the time wasn’t right yet for the two to become involved and they walked out of their first film together as friends.

GOING PUBLIC

By 1986, there was no denying that Hanks and Wilson had become an item, and while Hanks was yet to legally divorce Sewes, they had already separated, and the new couple decided to make their public debut.

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Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks. I Image: Getty Images.

Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks. I Image: Getty Images.

Hanks and Wilson used the “Nothing in Common” premiere’s red carpet as setting to let everyone know that they had fallen in love with each other and were embarking in a serious relationship.

WEDDING

In 1988, a year after Hanks divorce from Sewes was finalized, Hanks and Wilson exchanged vows on April 30, starting a beautiful and committed marriage that only gets stronger with the years and the challenges the two overcome together.

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“When we first looked at each other there was definitely a kind of ‘Hey, this is the place!’ I felt that anyway... I think the end result is that we got married for all the right reasons,” Hanks told ET in 2015.

STARTING A FAMILY

Chester “Chet” Marlon Hanks was born on August 4, 1990, shared by Tom and Rita. Chet has grown to be an actor and rapper, with roles in series like “Shameless” and “Empire.” “The Thirst” and “Do it Better” are among his singles.

Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks. I Image: Getty Images.

Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks. I Image: Getty Images.

Truman Theodore Hanks followed in 1995, and contrary to most of his immediate relatives, he has chosen to lead a more private life outside of show business.

BATTLING CANCER TOGETHER

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In 2015, Rita received a breast cancer diagnosis, and fortunately, she was able to overcome it and is now healthy, but the difficult experience only made her realize once again the kind of husband she had.

Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks. I Image: Getty Images.

Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks. I Image: Getty Images.

"You never know how your spouse is going to react in a situation like this. I was so amazed, so blown away by the care my husband gave me...who knew it would make you even closer?" Rita told The New York Times back then.

A BIG, BLENDED FAMILY

Tom has two older children from his first marriage, namely son Colin, also an actor, and daughter Elizabeth Ann, who also tried acting and more recently have been publishing written works in some important outlets.

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Starting 2020, Tom was granted the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Golden Globes, and his four children and his wife of 31 years were right next to him to proudly accompany him as “Team Hanks.”

“A man is blessed with a family sitting down front like that -- 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,” a visibly emotional Tom said during his acceptance speech, counting his daughter-in-law Samantha Bryant as one of his children.

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