Tom Hanks’s Wife Rita Wilson Made Him Say ‘Uh-Oh’ When They First Met

Tom Hanks’s wife is Rita Wilson, and they’ve been famous together in movies and in real life. They became one of the first public couples to deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19), raising awareness and advocating for safety. 

Tom Hanks's wife, Rita Wilson wearig a red dress while Hanks is in a tux
Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks | GARCIA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

In their separate careers, Hanks and Wilson get asked about each other a lot, too. At the press junket for Sleepless in Seattle, in which they both starred, Hanks reflected on the early days of their relationship.

Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks’s Wife

The first time Wilson met Hanks, she was a guest star on his TV sitcom Bosom Buddies. At the time, Hanks was already married, to Samantha Lewes. They co-starred again in the 1985 movie Volunteers as love interests. After Hanks got divorced in 1987, he started dating Wilson and they married in 1988. The movie was not a hit, but the marriage was and still is.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson's wedding
Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks | Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

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Hanks and his wife have worked together many times, though never again as a romantic pair. Wilson played a P.R. Woman in The Bonfire of the Vanities. In Sleepless in Seattle, Wilson plays Hanks’s sister, who tries to get him to date again after the death of his wife. She also appeared in That Thing You Do! and Larry Crowne, which Hanks directed. Together, they produced My Big Fat Greek Wedding, My Life In Ruins, Mamma Mia and more. 

Did they have a fairy tale meet-cute?

The premise of Sleepless In Seattle is love at first sight, or really first hear. Annie (Meg Ryan) hears Sam (Hanks) on a radio call-in show and she’s smitten. She sees him first when she travels across the country, but chickens out on meeting him. Five years into his marriage by 1993, Hanks related to love at first sight.

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“Love at first sight, that exists,” Hanks said. “I believe that love at first sight exists. I also believe that there’s an awful lot of work to do after that in order just to see how accurate the initial feeling is.”

Tom Hanks’s wife made a startling first impression

Hanks said meeting Wilson gave him big feelings. He couldn’t quite articulate those feelings, but indicated they were irresistible.

“When I first met a certain someone, I knew I was in trouble,” Hanks said. “I just knew. It was just kind of uh oh. Uh oh, something’s going on here. We all want it to happen.”

Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks speak at a podium together
Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks | Michael Kovac/Getty Images

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Despite the fairy tale premise of Sleepless in Seattle, Hanks was clear that his marriage to Wilson evolved after the initial flutters.  

“Then of course the work afterwards becomes more than you can possibly imagine,” Hanks said.