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Tom Hanks Said He ‘Couldn’t Be a Worse Father’ – He Was Afraid He ‘Cursed’ His Own Children amid Divorce

Titi Dokubo
Feb 07, 2022
09:40 P.M.
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Tom Hanks tried to protect his kids when they were growing up. He ensured they were not thrust into the public eye as much as he could help it. He knew when they should and should not be in public.

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As his older kids grew up and decided to be actors, he watched them on stage and told them they could do it if they had the perseverance.

He gave them a leg up for their first role, where they got a line. This role helped them get their screen actors guild cards. Once they had their cards, he didn't give them any more assistance.

Chet Hanks, Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks, and Truman Hanks at the ceremony honoring Rita Wilson with Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on March 29, 2019, in Hollywood [left], Tom Hanks at The National Board Of Review Annual Awards Gala on January 9, 2018, in New York [right] | Photo: Getty Images

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He knew he couldn't continue to give them jobs, and his son Colin was grateful his father didn't hand him down things. Colin said his father's actions made him "grounded," and he learned not to take things for granted.

Tom did not discount how impossible it is to get the first job that gave his kids their screen actors guild card. However, he made sure they wanted to do it, and he's glad he could help in that way.

Samantha Bryant, Colin Hanks, Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Ann Hanks, Chet Hanks, and Truman Theodore Hanks at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 05, 2020, in Beverly Hills | Photo: Getty Images

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A DIFFERENT KIND OF FATHER TO HIS KIDS

Tom Hanks is a proud father of four adult children after becoming a father for the first time at 21. However, when he had his first child, he struggled to get his career off the ground.

His first two kids were born when he was younger and just starting his career, so they have a much better idea of how things were because money was tight when they were growing up.

Tom's older kids remember when their dad tried to "make the rent."  However, his last two kids were born after establishing his career, and he raised them differently.

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After his divorce from his first wife, Samantha Lewes, with whom he shared two kids, Tom felt devastated. He said,

"I couldn't be a worse father, and I couldn't be a worse human being. [...] I remember all those feelings as though I had cursed innocent beings with my failings."

He admitted that he made mistakes with his kids, didn't explain things to them, and was sometimes not there for them because he was preoccupied with other things happening in the adult world.

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He wasn't the perfect parent as he blurred the lines between working and being a father, but he eventually got the hang of being a supportive father.

He believes that a parent's job is to guarantee a carefree life for their children as much as possible. Parents should not burden kids with the world's care until they are old enough to handle them.

His second wife, Rita Wilson, had deep roots and came from an old-world family structure where people wanted to spend time together. He had never experienced such family structures.

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When they got married, she gave him a "kind of solid dose of a normalcy that had been completely absent." Before he met her, it was all about work and moving.

He always thought that having an established family and just being a guy in the neighborhood would happen, but it never happened until he met Wilson.

When it happened, it made so much sense and ended up freeing him to ponder other aspects of what he did for a living. It made him a completely different person.

Tom Hanks at the BAFTA Brits To Watch event on July 9, 2011, in Los Angeles | Photo: Getty Images

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ABOUT TOM'S KIDS

Tom had Colin and Elizabeth with his first wife in 1977 and 1982, respectively. Tom and his second wife had Chet and Truman, born 1990 and 1995, respectively.

Colin, a spitting image of his father, followed in his dad's footsteps and has become a successful actor. He made his movie debut in 1996 in "That Thing You Do."

He is known for his roles in "Orange County," as Jack Bailey in "The Good Guys," Alex Whitman in "Roswell," "Fargo," among others.

Colin Hanks and his wife Samantha Bryant at the Library Foundation of Los Angeles' Young Literati's 11th Annual Toast on April 06, 2019, in Los Angeles | Photo: Getty Images

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Colin is also grateful for his father's advice, as it has helped him get along in life. While his father married early, Colin married a New York publicist, Samantha Bryant, at 32.

He is happily married and has two daughters, Olivia Jane, born in 2011, and Charlotte, born in 2013. He says he hopes his daughters don't choose acting in the future.

Samantha Bryant, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, and Colin Hanks at the 2012 Arts For Humanity Gala on October 17, 2012, in New York | Photo: Getty Images

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Tom's only daughter, Elizabeth, born in 1982, became a writer after getting her English degree. She had also worked as a journalist and has made appearances in some of her father's movies when she was young.

Tom's third son, Chet, took a different route into the entertainment world as he launched his music career in April 2021 and released his debut single "White Summer Boy."

Samantha Bryant, Colin Hanks, Elizabeth Ann Hanks, and Rita Wilson attending the Broadway Opening Night Performance of "Lucky Guy" in New York City on April 1, 2013 | Photo: Getty Images

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In the same month, his ex-girlfriend Kiana Parker filed a civil lawsuit against him alleging assault, battery, and infliction of emotional distress.

He had also been in the spotlight for his addiction to alcohol and drugs. However, the birth of his daughter Michaiah, with Tiffany Miles, in April 2016 has helped keep him clean.

Chet Hanks and Rita Wilson at The 2020 InStyle And Warner Bros. 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards Post-Party on January 05, 2020, in Beverly Hills | Photo: Getty Images

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He credits his daughter as saving his life as her birth motivated him to make the drastic change. Chet knew that if he didn't get sober for his daughter, he would end up dead or be in jail.

While Chet currently focuses on his music, he has also acted in seven episodes of "Shameless," starred in "Empire," and two episodes of "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Chet Hanks, Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks, and Truman Hanks at the ceremony honoring Rita Wilson with Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on March 29, 2019, in Hollywood | Photo: Getty Images

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Tom's youngest son Truman, who bore a striking resemblance to his dad when he was younger, decided to stay out of the spotlight.

He studied at Stanford University and has a career in film but stays behind the camera. According to his IMDb profile, he has had various camera and electrical departments jobs on many major motion pictures.

He worked on the "The Cloverfield Paradox," "Wrath of Man," "Black Widow," was a production assistant on "Charlie's Angels," and was the cinematographer for "The Ice Queen Society."

Truman Hanks at "Larry Crowne" premiere in Berlin on June 09, 2011 | Photo: Getty Images

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THE INTIMATE CONNECTION BETWEEN TOM AND HIS WIFE

Tom and Wilson married a year after his divorce from Lewes. They had met in 1985 on the set of "Volunteers." She became not just his wife but his lover.

He said their relationship goes beyond words like wife, girlfriend, or mother. He constructed many things in "Philadelphia" because of his relationship with his wife.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson during the filming of "Volunteers" | Photo: Getty Images

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He said how his character felt about his lover is how he connects with his wife. Without his connection with his wife, he may not have been able to interpret Forrest's feelings in "Forrest Gump."

Tom revealed that his wife teaches him what love is every day. He also said that he and his wife are not glamorous targets for Hollywood's exploitation of celebrity couples.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson at the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 19, 2020, in Los Angeles | Photo: Getty Images

His wife had always been his best friend from the beginning of their relationship. They fight less and laugh more, and their marriage has improved with time.

However, he acknowledged that their relationship might not have worked if she had been the first person he had ever dated. Their maturity and willingness to have an intimate connection have helped their union.

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