Who Was Tom Hanks’ First Wife Before Rita Wilson?

Since the 1980s, Tom Hanks has headlined some of Hollywood’s biggest and most beloved movies. And much of that time, he’s been married to Rita Wilson. In fact, their marriage is among the most rock-solid in the business. But a young Hanks was married once before. Read on to find out the details behind the Forrest Gump and Toy Story star’s first marriage.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson arrive at the 92nd Oscars in 2020
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson arrive at the 92nd Oscars in 2020 | ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Tom Hanks has been married to actor/singer Rita Wilson since 1988

Hanks and Wilson first met when the former was starring on 1980s sitcom Bosom Buddies. Wilson — an actor and singer in her own right — appeared in a 1981 episode of the show, which co-starred Peter Scolari. And then again, she and Hanks crossed paths when they both appeared in the 1985 comedy Volunteers. In a bit of life imitating art, the stars are romantically linked in the film.

He and Wilson got married in 1988. Ever since, they’ve been going strong. The couple appears to still be happy after all these years. Moreover, their partnership has allowed them to continue working together in Hollywood. Wilson appeared in several other movies with Hanks, including the two he’s directed, and the couple produces movies such as My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

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The actor was married to Samantha Lewes from 1978 to 1987

While Hanks has found wedded bliss with Wilson, his first marriage didn’t last. From 1978 to 1987, Hanks was married to actor Samantha Lewes. According to her IMDb profile, Lewes’ only major credits were a 1981 episode of Bosom Buddies and a 1984 TV movie called Mr. Success. When they got together, Hanks and Lewes were both looking for their respective big breaks.

Although his marriage to Lewes ended, Hanks’ career certainly flourished after the fact. Just a year after his divorce was final, the actor landed his first Academy Award nomination for the 1988 mega-hit Big. And, of course, the 1990s saw him become one of the biggest stars in the world. Sadly, however, Lewes died in 2002 after a battle with bone cancer.

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Tom Hanks has 2 sons who followed him into the entertainment industry

Hanks might be known to fans these days as “America’s dad.” But across his two marriages, the actor has become an actual father several times over. He and Lewes had both son Colin and daughter Elizabeth. And Hanks and Wilson have two sons, Chet and Truman. Of course, two of Hanks’ sons have followed his footsteps into the entertainment industry over the years.

Colin Hanks made his film debut in his father’s movie, That Thing You Do! But since then, he’s appeared in movies such as Orange County, Peter Jackson’s King Kong remake, and both of the recent Jumanji films. Meanwhile, Chet Hanks is perhaps best known as a rapper. Easily the most divisive Hanks, Chet released the song “White Boy Summer” in 2021.