Tom Hanks Reveals An Unexpected Detail About His Marriage

Unfortunate Circumstances

In 1981, Hanks met actress Rita Wilson on the set of TV comedy Bosom Buddies, and their interaction sparked an undeniable chemistry. However, as Hanks was married to college sweetheart, Samantha Lewes, but the connection with Wilson was just too great to ignore.

A Second Meeting

Although nothing happened in 1981, four years later Hanks and Wilson were reunited on the set of Volunteers, but this time, they were too attracted to each other to ignore it. The signs were all there, leading Hanks to admit “Rita and I just looked at each other and — kaboing — that was that, I asked Rita if it was the real thing for her, and it just couldn’t be denied.” Tom made a decision there and then about his current marriage to Lewes.


Switching Wives

In 1987, Hanks split from Samantha, and although many believed it was purely so that he could begin a relationship with Wilson, he promised that it was much more than that. He noted, “I was 23 and my son Colin was already 2 when I married for the first time, I was not really ready to take on those responsibilities.” Nonetheless, Hanks began dating Rita and the two looked incredibly happy together, making their first public appearance together at the 1987 premiere of Dragnet.


Wedding Bells

It didn’t take Hanks and Wilson very long to take the plunge and get married, and on April 30th, 1988, the couple tied the knot. However, Hanks admitted “The success of our relationship was a matter of timing, maturity, and our willingness to have an intimate connection, When I married Rita, I thought, This is going to require some change on my part. 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.”


Lightbulb Moment

Tom knew that he did the right thing with Rita and explained, “When we first looked at each other there was definitely a kind of, ‘Hey, this is the place!’ I felt that anyway. I think the end result is that we got married for all the right reasons.” Considering he ended his first marriage for Wilson, it was reassuring for the actor that he knew that in his heart and head it was right to be with her.


Converting For Rita

Prior to marrying Rita,  Tom converted to the Greek Orthodox Church, the religion of Wilson and her family. Marrying within the religion was very important to Rita, and Tom embraced every part of his new faith. He said,  “I must say that when I go to church—and I do go to church—I ponder the mystery. I meditate on the ‘why?’ of ‘why people are as they are’ and ‘why bad things happen to good people,’ and ‘why good things happen to bad people.'”


Strong Marriage

After becoming man and wife, Hanks spoke candidly to Oprah and admitted about his marriage, “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.” It seemed that Tom Hanks was confident and determined to do everything in his power to make this relationship last.


Life Ain’t So Bad

Despite many couples admitting that marriages take hard work, Hanks shut down down all claims of this, saying “They say it must be hard work. No it’s not, every now and again you know, you gotta get over some stuff but life is one damn thing after another, and it’s actually more pleasant to be able to go home with someone you like to spend time with in order to get with it.” Hanks and Wilson seemed to be a match made in heaven.


Expanding The Family

It was obvious, and Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson were madly in love, so when they announced that they were expecting a child, it didn’t come as a surprise. In 1990, the couple welcomed their first child together, a son named Chester. Although Tom already had two children from his previous marriage, it was a first for Rita and the couple’s first together. They were finally able to call themselves a family, but it didn’t mean their careers were going to take a back seat.


Back To The Big Screen

In 1993, Tom and Rita shared the screen together once again as co-stars. However, this time they acted like best friends in the romantic-comedy Sleepless in Seattle. The film role was a pivotal moment in Hank’s career and quickly became loved by the masses. The director of the film, Nora Ephron, hailed the work of Hanks in the movie and added that he had cemented his place as the boy next door who everybody seemed to resonate with and love.


Partners In Life And Work

In 2002, Tom and Rita co-produced My Big Fat Greek Wedding, as the play resonated with her due to her own Greek heritage. When Tom was asked what their secret was for making it work, he said “I wish there was a secret, you know,” he added, “We just like each other. You start there.” Nonetheless, he did honestly dish out one important piece of advice and said, “No one should get married before they’re 30.”


Broken Background

Hanks grew up in a broken home, his parents got divorced when he was just four years old, and his father took the eldest three children including Tom, while his youngest brother remained with his mother. He didn’t have much stability, and by the age of 10, he had lived in 10 different houses. His difficult childhood meant that he wanted to have a strong, united family of his own. That is what Tom eventually built with Rita, and was something he cherished.


Family Man

Tom opened up about family and said, “Honestly, I married into a classic old-world family structure in which people like to spend time with each other and construct their lives so they can. That hadn’t been part of my existence up till then.” He added that, “In the 13 years Rita and I have been married, I’ve discovered there’s no substitute for that. There’s such an advantage to being involved in the day-to-day details of each other’s lives.”


Support System

At the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, Rita wasn’t just Tom’s date, she was also his biggest fan and supporter. Wilson documented every moment of their time together on her own camera at the film festival where Hanks was promoting, The Ladykillers. The couple couldn’t have looked happier and in love if they tried. So many Hollywood couples had been plagued by divorce, but it didn’t look like Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson were ever going to split from one another.


Unconditional Love

When it came to discussing his relationship, Hanks wasn’t afraid to tell the truth and instead of sugarcoating his feelings, he candidly expressed about Rita, “That woman has loved me skinny, she’s loved me fat. She’s loved me bald, she’s loved me hairy. That woman, I know, loves me. So, I’m a lucky man.” It is rare to find their kind of love nowadays, let alone in Hollywood, were more marriages end in divorce than anywhere else.


True To Himself

In an interview, Rita gushed about a special moment with Tom and recalled, “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. 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.”


Difficult Diagnosis

In 2015, Rita was starring in the Broadway play Fish in the Dark , and she was forced to explain she was taking medical leave from the play. She explained “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. I am recovering and most importantly, expected to make a full recovery.” Wilson explained that her “excellent doctors” were responsible for the recovery.


Tom Stays Strong

In this difficult moment in both Rita and Tom’s lives, Wilson couldn’t help but praise her husband and how he reacted to everything. She said, “You never know how your spouse is going to react in a situation like this.” She continued, “I was so amazed, so blown away by the care my husband gave me … who knew it would make you even closer?” When Rita was finally given the all clear, she returned to the play and went on a promotional film tour with Tom.


Rita Inspires

When Tom was later asked about his wife’s health, he replied, “Her health is fantastic. She took on not only the crisis but also the issues of women’s cancers in a way that I thought was extremely brave and beautiful. I’m glad we’re not in high school, because I wouldn’t have the courage to talk to her in the hallway.” It was clear that Hanks was inspired by his wife’s strength and motivation to help others when battling cancer herself.


Thanks For Hanks

After going through a difficult cancer battle, Wilson admitted she has a different outlook on life, saying “Once you’ve had cancer, every day is a gift, I literally wake up every morning and say, thank you, God. What a gorgeous day.” Wilson reiterated the fact that she would not have been able to be as strong if it wasn’t for her husband, Tom. For his unwavering support and love throughout her treatment, Wilson decided to pen a song for Hanks, titled “Every Day.”


Switching The Support

Wilson is usually the one supporting Hanks at his movie premiers and any red carpet events, but in 201 the tables were turned as Tom sat front and center to support Rita at her concert. Wilson gave an emotional concert to open her residency at Café Carlyle, where in between songs she spoke of her cancer battle and 28-year marriage to Hanks. When singing about her husband, Rita could not help but wipe away tears as Tom gazed adoringly at her.


The First Sighting

Tom and Rita are always the look of love on red carpets and at the premiere of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, Hanks admitted that first saw his wife when she had a guest appearance as a cheerleader on hit 70s sitcom The Brady Bunch. He admitted “I was actually at a friend of mine’s house when it aired and I remember thinking ‘that girl’s cute.'” However, it wasn’t until 1985 that Hanks actually got to date his crush.


Dream Team

When Hank and Wilson embarked on producing the two My Big Fat Greek Wedding movies, they never expected the film to get such a huge following. The $5 million budget overturned a whopping $369 million at the box office and even managed an Academy Award nomination. Wilson noted “We could not believe it was inching its way up and inching its way into awareness and people loving it and it felt like complete, crazy good fortune.” It seemed the couple’s success extended outside of their marriage.

hanks-greek wedding

Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates

In 1994, Tom Hanks appeared in Forrest Gump, and his performance won him a Golden Globe, an Academy Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor. However, Hanks told Oprah that “I view my wife as my lover, and we have a bond that goes beyond words like wife or girlfriend or mother. Without my connection with Rita, I don’t know how I would’ve been able to connect with what Forrest was going through.”


Best Friends And Life Partners

1995 wasn’t just a great year for Tom’s career as he and Rita welcomed their second son. Hanks has regularly stated that Wilson is his “best friend,” but he went further than that and said, “In addition to being my lover. And it has been that way from the very beginning,” he added. “We laugh just as much now at two in the morning as we always have. And we fight less and less.” They appeared as a strong family unit.


Divorce Rumors

It is not unusual for tabloids to go after high-profile Hollywood couples, claiming that they are on the verge of divorce, through anonymous sources and opinions. Despite their strong marriage and overt adoration for one another, Tom and Rita have also been plagued by these rumors. However, when it came to addressing the negative comments about their relationship, Tom insisted that “At a certain point you have to call them out on their lies. Our marriage is really sacred to us.”


Married Tiffs

Although Hank and Rita are very much in love with each other, they are like many other couples and have their occasional tiff. Rita exclaimed they happen when it comes to driving directions, leading Tom echoing her statement, adding, “Usually when driving. That is hilarious. She’s actually telling you the truth right now. 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.'”


Keys To Happiness

In every marriage, people make up their own rules and have different ways of dealing with problems and keeping the spark alive. When asked what keeps his and Rita’s marriage a happy one, Tom replied that “We learned the secret of happiness with each other a long time ago and that’s always telling the truth.” In the 29 years that the couple have been together, they always look happy and in love, so it is clearly a recipe that works.


Making It Last

Tom admitted that he had experienced peoples skepticism over Hollywood marriages, saying “People say, ‘Jeez, it must be hard to stay married in show business.’ I think it’s hard to stay married anywhere, but if you marry the right person, it might work out.” He added that “I will say that right from the get-go, I thought there was something crazy great about her, I met her and I thought ‘Oh lord’ … there’s something cookin’ here.”


Gushing Over Tom

In 2016, Tom and Rita attended the Chanel x Museum of Modern Art film benefit honoring Hanks. Rita was blown away by the tributes to her husband, leading her to insist, “He’s amazing. It’s fantastic and it’s celebratory and I have to say I think his films all over the years have meant a lot to a lot of people. I think there’s something to be said about the choices of the films that he’s done and as a collective thing it’s pretty nice and pretty impressive.”


Hitting Back At Rumors

After the National Enquirer and Star magazine published false stories about Hanks and Wilson being on the brink of divorce, the couple hit back and demanded an apology. They said “In the past, we laughed off their cover stories of our soon-to-be acrimonious divorce because those stories were so far from true they were laughable. But our marriage is the foundation of our family, is sacred to us and we couldn’t allow such nonsense as we are about to celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary”

hanks-rita tom

A Sweet Anniversary

On the couples 29th anniversary, Rita posted a sweet and intimate picture of her and Tom to her Instagram, with the caption, “29 years of marriage! Thank you, God, for bringing me this man.” It is rare to see a couple happy and so in love after almost three decades together, and the feeling on their special day was reciprocated by Hanks. He added that Rita “makes me laugh harder now than she did in 1986.” It turns out that humor is an important part of their union.


Troubled Son

Tom and Rita’s son Chester has had his fair share of trouble, but Chester brought his parents into lawsuit after a car crash in 2015. Chester rear-ended someone with a car he co-owned with his Tom and Rita, leading court documents to say “negligently permitted Chester to operate their vehicle and thus, in addition to Chester, are responsible for physical and emotional injuries.” While Tom and Rita have been known to defend their son, it was the first time that the couple were brought into his issues.


Cool Grandparents

In 2017. Hanks and Wilson opened up on their new role as grandparents. Rita asserted, “We’re the cool grandparents,” while Tom added “When you have grandkids, if you’re with one of them — or all three of them – look, there’s no book, no radio, no TV, you’re going to be entertained by them every moment that you’re there. Sit back and watch the show!” Despite Hanks and Wilson being an A-list couple, the most important thing to them was family.


Work Together, Play Together

In 2018 it was announced that Tom Hanks was going to make his Los Angeles stage debut as Sir John Falstaff in the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles’ new production of Henry IV. But Tom was not about to take to the stage without Rita as his wife was also confirmed to be joining the cast. Wilson last appeared as Celia in a production of As You Like It, back in 1989, but this is the first time in over 23 years that Tom and Rita would act together.


Intimidating Wife

Despite being an iconic Hollywood actor, when it comes to his marriage, Hanks is a very humble man. He said, “I still can’t believe my wife goes out with me. If we were in high school, and I was just funny, I’d never have the courage to talk to her.” He added, “I told her long ago, ‘if you and I were at the same high school I wouldn’t have had the courage to speak to you.’ Too vivacious, too beautiful, too popular – everything – too upbeat, too positive.”


Secret To Happiness

When asked about his secret to a 30-year marriage, Tom replied, “My secret to a happy marriage is just being married to the right woman. I got lucky with the wonderful Rita Wilson. I’m the luckiest man alive.” Having been married once previously, Tom clearly knows what he is talking about when it comes to a happy marriage. The couple will soon celebrate 30-years together and are amongst the few Hollywood couples who can claim so.


The Little-Known Story Of Tom Jones

Tom Jones is well-known for his deep, sultry voice. But there’s a lot that even fans don’t know about him…

Married Young

Tom Jones married at the young age of 16 to his high school sweetheart, Melinda “Linda” Trenchard on March 2, 1957. His firstborn, Mark Woodward, was born one month after they married. They remained together for nearly 60 years, despite his many well-publicized infidelities. But what did Linda believe?

Married Young

All The Groupies

Tom Jones has stated that he had relations with up to 250 groupies a year at the height of his fame. His philandering once led Linda to assault him physically. His wife read about one infidelity in a newspaper, after which she punched and kicked Jones out of anger, but he did not fight back; “I took it,” he said. He later said that he felt very guilty about his affairs and infidelities. Despite all this, his wife remained in the picture.

All The Groupies

A Good Friend To Have

Jones snuck his best friend from Venezuela to the States. Dai Perry was his best friend from childhood as they grew up in the same street in Treforest. He also was Jones’ bodyguard in 1974. They were in Venezuela, and a scuffle between Dai and reporters transpired. Tom did everything he could to get him on a plane to Miami before the courts opened in the morning and sent him to jail. Now that’s a good friend! It is reported that whenever they met up, Tom would give him an envelope containing £500 in cash.

A Good Friend To Have

Friends With Elvis

Tom became a famous singer during an incredibly iconic time in the history of music, which means he’s sung with Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, and John Denver, to name a few. Tom grew up admiring many of the stars he eventually sang with, and it was in Vegas where Jones struck up a friendship with Elvis Presley. He and Elvis had jobs in Vegas at the same time and would often stay up late singing gospel songs together.

Friends With Elvis

His Son Became His Manager

His firstborn, Mark Woodward, was born one month after Tom married Melinda at the age of 16 in 1957. When Melinda gave birth to Mark, Jones didn’t go to the maternity hospital with her because he had to work the night shift at a local factory where he was an apprentice glove cutter. Mark eventually became Jones’ Manager, replacing his first Manager Gordon Mills, who discovered him and catapulted him to fame.

His Son Became His Manager

The Real Tom Jones

Thomas John Woodward was renamed Tom Jones by his manager, Gordon Mills, to exploit the popularity of the Academy Award-winning 1963 film by Albert Finney. This was quite common for new stars entering the scene, and it still happens today, though not as often. Many actors and music artists change their names to sound more anglicized, more natural to say or read. Sometimes it is their agents or managers that believe they need a more catchy name or something easily recognizable.

The Real Tom Jones

Knighted By The Queen

Jones, who was appointed as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1999, was knighted at Buckingham Palace by Elizabeth II in 2006 for his services to music. After receiving knighthood, Jones described his experience, “When you first come into show business and get a hit record, it is the start of something. As time goes by it just gets better. This is the best thing I have had. It’s a wonderful feeling, a heady feeling.”

Knighted By The Queen

Tubercolosis Was His Saviour

When he was a young boy of 12, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and he spent two years mostly in bed recovering. Doctors wanted to fly him to Scotland for treatment, but his mother refused, insisting on taking care of him herself. While Tom was in bed recovering from his life-threatening sickness, he listened to tons of music. If he hadn’t been bed-ridden, he most likely would have been sent to work in the mines like his father, and who knows whether or not he would have ended up where he did. Blessings sometimes come in very strange packages.

Tubercolosis Was His Saviour

His Illegitimate Son

One of his affairs resulted in the birth of a child. While on tour in the US, in October 1987, Jones had a brief relationship with model Katherine Berkery, who then discovered that she was pregnant. After a legal battle that included DNA testing, a United States court ruled in 1989 that Jones was the father. Jones denied the court’s findings, until, in 2008, he admitted they were true. He has not shown any interest in meeting his son, Jonathan Berkery.

His Illegitimate Son

Famous Affairs

Among his infidelities, Jones also had affairs with well-known women. These relationships are difficult to confirm, but those that we know of include Mary Wilson of the Supremes, TV host and American author Charlotte Laws, and former beauty queen and Miss World, Marjorie Wallace. In a 2008 interview with Blender magazine, Cassandra Peterson, better known as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, revealed that her first time was with Jones.

Famous Affairs

Hair Dye

To the surprise of his fans, the star finally stopped coloring his trademark thick curly locks in 2009. He told the Radio Times magazine, ”To each his own. It isn’t for me to tell others what to do, but you can’t get to a certain age and have black hair. If some can, bless them.” The singer revealed, ”Every Christmas I’d take two months off and never dye my hair. – I should have let it go five years earlier.”

Hair Dye

His Big Break

His first hit single “It’s Not Unusual” wasn’t originally written for him. Tom’s manager initially wanted the song to go to Sandie Shaw to sing, but she turned it down not knowing just how well it will do, eventually topping the charts and becoming a number one hit. Tom pretty much had to beg his manager for the chance to record this song, and we now know that it was the hit that skyrocketed him to fame.

His Big Break

The Voice Coach

Tom Jones also became a coach on The Voice UK when it first aired in 2012. He mentored Leanne Mitchell. Leanne would go on to win the first season. Tom was joined on the coaching panel by returning star and newbies Jennifer Hudson and Gavin Rossdale. They are all hoping to make their mark on the show by coaching a winner. Tom was dropped from the 2016 season – the last to be shown on the BBC. And he sure wasn’t happy about it.

The Voice Coach

Also A Talented Actor

It would appear that Tom Jones would also become a talented actor and made his first appearance playing the leading role in the 1979 film Pleasure Cove as well as playing himself in Tim Burton’s 1996 film Mars Attacks! He received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy nomination for his role in This is Tom Jones. In 2012, he played a dramatic role in an episode of Playhouse Presents.

Also A Talented Actor

He Bought Dean Martin’s Mansion

In 1974 Jones moved his family due to the resentment of Britain’s high taxes. He bought Dean Martin’s house, the legendary Rat Pack crooner having shelled out $500,000 for the place when he married his third and final wife, Catherine Hawn. When they moved out in June 1976 Martin sold his house to Tom. In 2007 Tom put this Bel Air pad on the market for an eye-watering $6,000,000.

He Bought Dean Martin’s Mansion

Tom’s First Band

In the fateful year of 1963, Tom started a band called Tommy Scott with the Senators and began his career as a singer. The crowds loved the group, but growth was limited due to their non-urban and distant location. Tom loved singing, and by this time he knew that this is what he wanted to do. He was waiting for the band to explode onto the public scene but luckily for him, his voice made quite the impression, and he was eventually discovered.

Tom’s First Band


As a school child, he struggled with dyslexia but enjoyed listening to music, including BBC radio, which featured American blues, country, r&b, and rock—genres which later influenced his musical style. Just after his 12th birthday, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and he spent two years mostly in bed recovering. Doctors wanted to fly him to Scotland for treatment, but his mother refused, insisting on taking care of him herself. While Tom was in bed recovering from his life-threatening sickness, he listened to tons of music since reading was difficult.


Quit School At 16

As Tom Jones had dyslexia, he never enjoyed school or playing sports and was more interested in booze and girls rather than his education, so he decided to quit school at age 16. To earn money for his family, he worked as a builder’s laborer and a door-to-door vacuum salesman.  It is very likely that the legendary singer would’ve become a miner, like his father, if he was never discovered by Gordon mills that one night in a small town in Wales.

Quit School At 16

Some Women Turned Him Down

Even at 78, Tom Jones has been dubbed the most attractive singer alive by Glamour magazine in its May 2019 issue. It seems Tom was incredibly alluring to women as he had so many affairs, even with other famous stars who knew that the legendary singer was married. But Tom didn’t enjoy a 100% seduction rate. Lulu, Sandie Shaw, Dionne Warwick, and Darlene Love all managed to resist his charms.

Some Women Turned Him Down

Women’s Charm

In 1967 Jones struck up a 45-year romance with Las Vegas – launching his performances at The Flamingo and scoring lucrative contracts with Caeser’s Palace, where his reputation as a performer who women like to throw knickers at was sealed. Up until 2011, he played at least one week in Vegas every year. He grew to dislike women throwing their undergarments at him on stage, thinking it deflected attention from his voice.

Women’s Charm

Guilty Conscience

When Tom Jones’ wife passed away from her battle with cancer in 2016, he felt very guilty. She stuck with him through all the affairs and scandals for 60 years. When she died he felt hopeless as he loved her dearly, “Time is a powerful healer. When something happens that’s so devastating; you don’t know how to deal with everything. But you give it time… things sink in, and you realize: ‘This is the way it’s going to be.’”

Guilty Conscience

His Own Show

Starting in 1969 to 1971, Jones had an internationally successful television show titled This Is Tom Jones. The show was worth a reported $9 million to Jones over three years and was broadcasted in the UK and America. He was even nominated in 1969 for a Golden Globe for best actor. Then from 1980 to 1981, he had a second television variety show, Tom Jones, that was produced in Vancouver, Canada and lasted for 24 episodes.

His Own Show

Not A Choir Boy

We would think that Tom must’ve been involved in te choir while he was at school, but the truth is, despite being the best singer, Tom preferred to go solo in his home village of Treforest, Pontypridd, in South Wales. He even pretended to be sick when his friends called round to take him carol singing. When they had gone, he would slip out to perform alone: “I made more money singing by myself,” he said.

Not A Choir Boy