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Celebrity Families

Inside Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson's amazing 30-year love story

We know everything about Tom Hanks' incredible acting career, but very little about his marriage to wife Rita Wilson. Get ready to swoon when you read how they talk about each other!

By Rebecca Sullivan
A happy marriage in Hollywood is hard to come by, let alone one that's been rock solid for 30 years.
But that's exactly what two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson have managed to pull off.
This husband-and-wife acting duo have stuck by each others side through the good times and the bad.
From starring in blockbuster movies and walking the red carpet at awards shows, to supporting one another through health scares and raising a modern blended family, Rita and Tom's decades-long love story is one for the ages.
The way they talk about each other is truly romantic.
"Sometimes I look at that lady in the morning looking all tousled and warm from bed in her sweats and her hair all piled up on her head … smokin' hot," Tom Hanks said of his wife on the Sooo Many White Guys podcast.
He even treats his wife to unprompted foot massages - the dream!
"Sometimes we're just sitting on the couch talking or something like that ... I don't even have to ask for them," Rita told People in 2016.
"He always gives me back and foot rubs. He's just cool."
But while Tom's professional successes are well documented, we don't know as much about his incredible relationship with Rita.
We're fixing that right now, taking you behind the curtain inside their beautiful love story.

Rita first met Tom when he was married to someone else

Tom Hanks and his first wife Samantha Lewes. (Image: REX)
Tom and Rita first met in 1981, when she starred in an episode of the US sitcom Bosom Buddies, in which Tom played the lead role.
But Tom was already married to his first wife Samantha Lewes.
They tied the knot in 1978 and when Tom was just 21, Samantha gave birth to the couple's son Colin Hanks. In 1982 they had a daughter, Elizabeth Hanks.
So when Tom and Rita first crossed paths, forming a romance wasn't really on the agenda.

But then they starred in a movie together

Rita and Tom in a promotional photoshoot for Volunteers. (Image: Getty)
They played a couple in the 1985 movie - and sparks were definitely flying. (Image: Getty)
Just four years later in 1985, Tom and Rita were reunited on the set of the comedy film Volunteers.
"When we first looked at each other there was definitely a kind of like, 'Hey, this is the place!' I felt that, anyway," Tom told Entertainment Tonight in 2015.
"I think the end result is that we got married for all the right reasons."
Despite the fact that he was married at the time, the connection between Tom and Rita was too powerful to deny and finalised his divorce from Samantha in 1987.

They were married just a year later

Rita and Tom on their wedding day. *(Image: Getty)
Tom looks so handsome! (Image: Getty)
Yep, Tom and Rita married in 1988, just a year after Tom split from his first wife.
"The success of our relationship was a matter of timing, maturity, and our willingness to have an intimate connection," he told Oprah Winfrey during an interview for O magazine.
But despite their whirlwind romance, their marriage wasn't always smooth-sailing in the beginning.
"When I married Rita, I thought, 'This is going to require some change on my part'," Tom said.
"I won't deny that providence was part of us finding each other, but our relationship isn't magic—the way it's shown in movies.
"In real life, our connection is as concrete as me sitting here. Not that marriage doesn't come close to being hell in a handbasket sometimes. But we both know that no matter what, we'll be with each other—and we'll get through it."
Tom is a big fan of singing Rita's praises in interviews, but it was this anecdote from Rita's 2012 chat with Piers Morgan that really made us swoon.
"I'll never forget, we were standing on the corner of 57th and 5th in New York, or 58th and 5th. We were holding hands, and we were waiting for the traffic light to change," she said.
"And he looked at me and he said, 'You know, I just want you to know, that you never have to change anything about who you are in order to be with me.'
"Literally, a wave of ... if love is a feeling, or a cellular thing that happens to your body, it went through me, and that's pretty much who he is, and how he's been," she said.
So romantic!

And then Tom's career skyrocketed - but their love stayed strong

The couple at a film premiere in the 90s. (Image: Getty)
Rita cooling off Tom's sweat as he accepted his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (Image: Getty)
1988 was a massive year for Tom. As well as getting married to Rita, it also marked the release of the comedy film Big, which sent Tom's career skyrocketing.
The next few years of Tom's career were filled with blockbuster film hits, including A League Of Their Own (1992), Philadelphia (1993), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Forrest Gump (1994) and Apollo 13 (1995).
The late 90s were also peppered with box office successes such as Saving Private Ryan (1998), You've Got Mail (1998) and Pixar's Toy Story series (from 1995), where he voiced the character of Woody.
At the same time, Rita's career as an actress was taking off. She worked consistently throughout the late 80s and 90's, starring in hit films including Now and Then, Runaway Bride and My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
While it's easy to imagine how the fame and pressure would put a strain on any relationship, Tom has actually said that his relationship with Rita made him a better actor.
"I view my wife as my lover, and we have a bond that goes beyond words like wife or girlfriend or mother," Tom said during an interview with Oprah in 2001.
"For example, I was able to construct a number of things in Philadelphia because of my relationship with Rita. The way my character felt about his lover is the way I feel about mine.
"The same was true when I played Forrest Gump, who loved Jenny. Without my connection with Rita, I don't know how I would've been able to connect with what Forrest was going through."
So cute!

Now they have a wonderful blended family

As well as his two children from his first marriage, Tom has another two kids with Rita, Truman and Chester.
All four children are regularly photographed out-and-about at media events with their famous parents - they're the ultimate modern family!
Tom and Rita with their son Truman Hanks. (Image: Getty)
Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson and Chester Hanks. (Image: Getty)
Truman Hanks, Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks and Elizabeth Hanks.
Samantha Hanks, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson and Colin Hanks. (Image: Getty)

Tom was right by Rita's side during a health scare

They say every "perfect" relationship is truly tested when the going gets tough.
And Tom's marriage to Rita was tested in 2015 when the then 58-year-old was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a preventative double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.
"With my husband by my side, and with the love and support of family and friends, I underwent a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction for breast cancer after a diagnosis of invasive lobular carcinoma," Rita told People magazine at the time.
"I am recovering and most importantly, expected to make a full recovery. Why? Because I caught this early, have excellent doctors and because I got a second opinion," she said.
"I feel blessed to have a loving, supportive husband, family, friends and doctors and that I am the beneficiary of advances in the field of breast cancer and reconstruction. I am getting better every day and look forward to renewed health."
While it was a difficult choice to go public with her diagnosis, Rita said it was important to share her story so she could help other women going through a similar journey.
"I'm in public because of the nature of what I do," she told The New York Times, "but I don't feel it necessary to let the world know what I'm thinking, where I'm eating. I've always liked being on the periphery of things."
An illness like this could drive a partner away, but she said it made her and Tom "even closer".
"You never know how your spouse is going to react in a situation like this," she said. "I was so amazed, so blown away by the care my husband gave me. It was such a normal, intimate time."
As for Tom? He was in awe of how Rita handled the diagnosis.
"All I can do is bow down before the courage of my wife," he told The Mirror in 2016.
Watch Tom Hanks talk about his relationship with Rita Wilson below*

They're just the ultimate #CoupleGoals

They're still so in love after all these years. (Image; Getty)
These two just keep getting better looking with age. (Image: Getty)
So what's the secret to their incredible 30-year success? Marrying someone you just get along with.
"People say, 'Jeez, it must be hard to stay married in show business,'" Tom told The Mirror in 2016.
"I think it's hard to stay married anywhere, but if you marry the right person, it might work out."
And that old saying about marriage requiring endless work? Not for these two.
"We give each other a natural sense of support for whatever the other wants to pursue," Tom said.
"Our marriage doesn't require vast work. We have been married 28 years and dig each other a lot."

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