How Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson Have Made Their 30-Year Marriage Work

A marriage that’s lasted for over 30 years is hard to find, especially in Hollywood. But Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are making it work.

Since the eighties, this couple has been loving, laughing, and enjoying life together with a love story that’s better than any movie. So what their secret? The answer isn’t as difficult as you might think.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson | Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

How did Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks meet?

Hanks saw his future wife for the first time during her acting debut on The Brady Bunch. He was only 16, and she was on his television as cheerleader Pat Conway.

“I remember thinking ‘that girl’s cute,'” Hanks told reporters at the premiere of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, which Wilson and Hanks produced together. But they didn’t meet in person until the early ’80s. 

It was on the set of Volunteers that the couple finally had a chance to get to know one another- and there were instant sparks. Hanks described to GQ the way his heart felt when he looked at her. “Kaboing- that was that,” he said, as reported by People

Hanks was married to Samantha Lewes at the time, but their marriage had already started to disintegrate. Once they finally separated, Hanks pursued a relationship with Wilson, and they were married in 1988.

“We got married for all the right reasons,” he told Entertainment Tonight. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t have to work on it. 

What’s the secret to Wilson and Hanks’ 31-year marriage?

When Hanks sat down with Oprah in 2001, he described how he made a conscious decision to work on the relationship with everything he had to make it successful.

“Our relationship isn’t magic,” he said. Instead, the couple has a strong commitment to each other, and a trust that they’ll be able to get through anything together. 

The biggest thing that keeps Wilson and Hanks together after over three decades is that they really enjoy spending time together. It’s not a chore for this couple. They actually like each other, and it shows. 

When asked about their marriage by US Weekly, Wilson said, “We got married, we committed to each other, we love each other and we work hard at our relationship… Not only do we love each other, we really like each other, and we like being together, and we support each other and we keep the communication channels open. That’s always important.”

Hanks and Wilson support each other through all of life’s ups and downs

Hanks showed his support during a speech made to celebrate Wilson’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He complimented her acting ability, as well as her singing and producing talents. Wilson happily pointed out that Hanks star was only a short distance from hers. 

But that wasn’t the only time that Hanks has come out to support his wife. In 2015, Wilson was diagnosed with breast cancer. They caught it early, so she was able to undergo treatment without chemotherapy, but Hanks was there for her every step of the way.

“You never know how your spouse is going to react in a situation like this,” Wilson said in an interview with The New York Times. “I was so amazed, so blown away by the care my husband gave me. It was such a normal, intimate time.”

Wilson and Hanks are able to keep their relationship strong because they support each other every step of the way, through the good times, and the hard times. Sometimes their support even includes foot rubs. Wilson told People, “he always gives me back and foot rubs. He’s just cool.”