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Tom Hanks' Wife Rita Wilson's past Cancer Victory Amid Her Current Coronavirus Diagnosis — a Look Back

Manuela Cardiga
Mar 26, 2020
08:00 A.M.
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Academy award-winner Tom Hank's wife Rita Wilson faces a new health issue after her 2015 battle against cancer.


Actress Rita Wilson and her husband Tom Hanks have been in the news after having tested positive for the Coronavirus.

This new health challenge follows on the heels of the actress, and film producer's battle against breast cancer in 2015.

Rita, now 63, and Tom, also 63, are well equipped to deal with the challenges of self-isolation

Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson arrive at Valentino's 40th Anniversary Los Angeles event November 17, 2000 | Source: Getty Images



Rita and her husband Tom were in Australia where he had been filming an Elvis biopic when they were diagnosed with the Coronavirus and hospitalized after testing positive on March 12, 2020.

Fortunately, Tom and Rita are now out of the hospital and self-isolated. The actor posted a message on Twitter, explaining their decision to quarantine after recovery:

 “Sheltering in place works like this: You don’t give it to anyone – you don’t get it from anyone. Common sense, no? Going to take a while, but if we take care of each other."

Rita Wilson speaks at a signing event for her new album "Halfway To Home" in 2019 | Source: Getty Images



Looking after each other is something Tom and Rita have been doing for the last 32 years, as the saying goes, for richer and for poorer; in sickness and in health. In 2015, the couple's dedication to their vows was tested when Rita was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson at HBO's Post-Golden Globe Awards Party in 2014 | Source; Getty Images



After a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer, Rita was inspired to go to the doctor, who after several tests, told her she was fine. But Rita's friend encouraged her to get a second opinion, and the diagnosis was that she did indeed have cancer. Rita said:

“I hope this will encourage others to get a second opinion and to trust their instincts if something doesn’t ‘feel’ right.”

Rita Wilson during 60th Annual Tony Awards in New York City | Source: Getty Images



At a loss on how to break the news to her husband, Rita jokingly told him that if anything ever happened to her, she expected him to feel "super sad for a very long time." Rita went on to tell Tom about her diagnosis, and told him:

 "I'd also like a party, a celebration."



One month after her diagnosis, Rita underwent a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction, a grueling experience through which she counted on the unconditional love and support of her movie star husband. Rita revealed:

"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."



It has been 5 years since her bout with cancer, and Rita has been declared cancer-free. The actress, producer, and country singer wrote a hit song,  'Throw Me a Party,' based on her experience with facing mortality. In it she sings:

"So when I'm gone, throw me a party / You should dance as if I was there / Don't be sad or be brokenhearted / Just send your voices up in the air."



Rita, now 63, and Tom, also 63, are well equipped to deal with the challenges of self-isolation. Tom has maintained steady contact with his fans. He posted a tongue-in-cheek image of an antique Corona typewriter, and in the caption, he shared news of their experience.


Tom reveals that he and Rita have been spending their time engaged in household chores, playing Gin Rummy (which Rita always wins) and learning to stretch their supplies by spreading the Vegemite thin on his toast.



In an unprecedented gesture, Rita actually gave her phone number to fans on Twitter, encouraging them to text her with suggestions for her playlist, and telling them she expects them to stay in touch, once the pandemic is over.

Tom and Rita's positivity in the face of adversity has done much to curb an understandable tendency for panic.

Though both contracted Coronavirus, they reported tiredness and what Tom described as "feeling bla"  before recovering. Their ongoing quarantine is a sensible decision since it is as yet unknown if they could still pass on the virus to others.


We at do our best to give you the most updated news regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, but the situation is constantly changing. We encourage readers to refer to the online updates from CDС, WHO, or Local Health Departments to stay updated.Take care!