Tom Hanks is one of the most wholesome people in Hollywood. That’s why he landed the role as Mister Rogers on “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” for which he earned a Golden Globes nomination.
So, you’ll be happy to know that Tom Hanks’ family is just as warm and loving as you’d hope. Hanks is a dad and grandpa, and he’s been married to his wife, actress Rita Wilson, for 31 years. He had two kids with his first wife, Samantha Lewes. The oldest, Colin Hanks, is also an actor. He also has a daughter, Elizabeth Hanks. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson also have two children, Chester “Chet” Hanks and Truman Theodore.
Tom Hanks pointed out his family while accepting the Cecil B. Demille Award at the Golden Globes, and teared up as he talked about his wife and children:
Here’s what you need to know about Tom Hanks’ kids and family:
1. Tom Hanks Had a Crush on Wife Rita Wilson When He Saw Her on ‘The Brady Bunch’
Tom Hanks had a soft spot for his now-wife, Rita Wilson, years before they ever met. Wilson made her acting debut as a cheerleader, Pat Conway, on “The Brady Bunch” in the 1970s. At that time, Hanks was 16 years old and had no idea he would later meet her on a TV set.
“I was actually at a friend of mine’s house when it aired and I remember thinking ‘that girl’s cute,” Hanks told PEOPLE.
They met on the set of “Bosom Buddies” in 1981. They reconnected in 1985 on the set of “Volunteers,” a comedy in which they starred with John Candy. The couple was married in 1988, and they have been married for more than three decades. They have two sons, Chester “Chet” Hanks and Truman Theodore.
Hanks and Wilson added in their interview with PEOPLE that they only fight when they are driving.
“That is hilarious. She’s actually telling you the truth right now,” Hanks said. “I am driving, what I always say is, ‘Just don’t you worry your pretty little head. All you have to do is sit there and ride and I will decide how to get there,’ ” he said, making them both burst out in laughter.
2. Tom Hanks’ Older Children Remember When He Was ‘Just a Guy Trying to Make the Rent
Tom Hanks noted in an interview with PEOPLE in November 2019 the striking difference between the lives of his older and younger children. His older children were born before he was famous, and his younger children were born after he became a household name.
“We have this gestalt understanding because [Colin and Elizabeth] remember when their dad was just a guy trying to, you know, make the rent,” Hanks said. “My other kids, they were born after I had established a beachhead in every way. And so their lives were just different.”
His older children, Colin Hanks, 41, and Elizabeth Hanks, 37, were born from his first marriage to Samantha Lewes. His younger children, Chet Hanks, 29, and Truman Hanks, 23, were born to his wife, Rita Wilson.
Now 63, Hanks became a father to Colin Hanks at age 21.
“My son [Colin Hanks] was born when I was very young. As well as my daughter [Elizabeth Hanks],” he told PEOPLE.
3. Tom Hanks’ Wife, Rita Wilson, Was Diagnosed With Breast Cancer in 2015
Tom Hanks’ wife, Rita Wilson, had a battle with breast cancer that started in March 2015. At that time, she took a medical leave of absence from the Broadway show, “Fish in the Dark,” and announced she had received the frightening diagnosis. She had a double mastectomy and underwent reconstructive surgery. But she made it clear she had support from her husband.
“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,” she said in a statement at the time that was released to PEOPLE. “I hope this will encourage others to get a second opinion and to trust their instincts if something doesn’t ‘feel’ right.”
She told The New York Times her husband made the time “normal” and “intimate.”
“You never know how your spouse is going to react in a situation like this,” she told the newspaper. “I was so amazed, so blown away by the care my husband gave me. It was such a normal, intimate time.”
4. Tom Hanks’ First Wife, Samantha Lewes, Was His College Sweetheart
Tom Hanks’ first wife, Samantha Lewes, was his college sweetheart. He said in a radio interview with BBC Radio’s Desert Island Discs in 2016 that he got married young, partially driven by loneliness as an aspiring actor.
“I had kids very young. My son Colin was born when I was 21 and my daughter Elizabeth was born four and a half years later,” he said. “By then I thought I was rolling along with the natural order of things.”
He said he would only get small acting gigs at the time, which he would use to piece together enough money to pay the bills. Still, he struggled financially at times. Although he became a father young, he said he did not feel that he was giving up anything by having children at a young age, and considers it the best decision he ever made.
“I didn’t smoke pot. I didn’t do drugs, I was not a party boy. I didn’t drink too much, I went to bed at 10 minutes after 10 p.m.,” he said. “The rules were in place. I’m not a cheater. I like to play by the rules. But later on, you’re 27, 28, you’ve learned what to say ‘yes’ to with more judiciousness.”
Sadly, Lewes died at age 49 from breast cancer on March 12, 2002. Hanks was “devastated” when he learned Lewes’ cancer was spreading, a friend told the New York Post at the time.
“Tom was absolutely devastated by the news. He and Susan separated a long time ago. They’ve had their ups and downs like any divorced couple but they have remained friends,” the friend said.
5. Tom Hanks Has 3 Granddaughters Under Age 10
Tom Hanks probably has a full house around the holidays. He has three grandchildren, all girls. Chet Hanks is father to Michaiah, who was born in 2016. Her mom is Tiffany Miles.
Chet Hanks shared an adorable video on Instagram with his 3-year-old daughter, Michaiah, on April 12, 2019. He held her up above his head.
“You have one chance to scare me. If you don’t, you will get a raspberry,” he tells the little girl.
She’s wearing a pretty pink dress as he sets her back on his lap, pretending to be suddenly distracted. She squeals, and he screams, prompting a round of giggles.
He picks her up again to blow a raspberry on her neck or cheek.
“Again!” she shouts, after “scaring” him twice.
“Again?” he asks. “OK. You have one chance to scare me…”
“Literally done this 60 times now,” he captioned the video.
Tom Hanks son, Colin Hanks, has two daughters. Olivia was born in 2011 and Charlotte was born in 2013. He shared a sweet post on Instagram for his wife on Mother’s Day, 2018.
“I already know that I’m the luckiest guy I know cause she’s my partner in crime, my better half, the mother of our two incredible daughters. I’ve made it my duty to make sure that they know how lucky they are having her as a mother. Of course, they already know it cause THAT’S how good of a mother she is. I love you Red. Happy Mothers Day,” he wrote.
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