Tom Hanks' Ex-wife Samantha Lewes Was an Actress & Suffered from Bone Cancer before Her Death at 50

Tom Hank's ex-wife, Samantha Lewes, was a prominent actress before her tragic death, following a battle with bone cancer, eighteen years ago. Samantha died at 50.

Tom married Samantha in 1979 after they first met as acting students at Sacramento University. The duo divorced in 1987. In 2001, Lewes was diagnosed with bone cancer.

On learning of his ex-wife's diagnosing, a source revealed Tom's reaction, saying, "Tom was absolutely devastated by the news."

Late actress, Samantha Lewes and husband, Tom Hanks | Photo: Wikipedia

Late actress, Samantha Lewes and husband, Tom Hanks | Photo: Wikipedia

Friends revealed that Hanks made arrangements to ensure that Lewes was treated by the best bone-cancer specialists at UCLA immediately after hearing the news and even paid their fees. 

After several efforts, actress Samantha's doctors determined that her cancer had spread to her lungs and her brain. 

Late actress, Samantha Lewes and husband, Tom Hanks | Photo: Wikipedia

Late actress, Samantha Lewes and husband, Tom Hanks | Photo: Wikipedia

Samantha died on March 12, 2002, in Sacramento, California, after almost a year-long battle with the illness, leaving behind the two kids she had with Tom — Elizabeth and Colin. The couple's divorce had its toll on both of them.

Samantha still has a special place in his heart.

Tom Hanks at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 11th Annual Governors Awards on October 27, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images

Tom Hanks at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 11th Annual Governors Awards on October 27, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images

Hanks disclosed over a decade after his ex-wife's death that he regretted jumping into the marriage not fully prepared and subjecting his kids to the same feelings he had at their age — Tom had a pretty lonely childhood. He said:

"I was 23 and my son Colin was already 2 when I married for the first time. I was not really ready to take on those responsibilities."

(L-R) Samantha Bryant, Colin Hanks, Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Ann Hanks, Chet Hanks, and Truman Theodore Hanks attending the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California in 2020. I Image: Getty Images.

(L-R) Samantha Bryant, Colin Hanks, Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Ann Hanks, Chet Hanks, and Truman Theodore Hanks attending the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California in 2020. I Image: Getty Images.

A year after his divorce, Tom got hitched with Rita Wilson. The pair has gone on to solidify themselves as one of Hollywood's most enduring couples. Rita helped Tom fight through the heartache he nursed over the loss of Samantha. 

Early in the 1980s, Tom and Rita first met as co-stars on the set of ABC sitcom, "Bosom Buddies," in which Rita appeared in one episode.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson at Rita Wilson's Star Ceremony on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame on March 29, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson at Rita Wilson's Star Ceremony on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame on March 29, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images

At the time, Tom and Samantha were still together, but he once revealed that he felt an immediate attraction to Rita.

Although Hanks admitted that his marriage was already broken and that he had been desperate to find a way to rid himself of loneliness, Samantha still has a special place in his heart.

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