"We both know that no matter what, we'll be with each other and we'll get through it", Hanks said about his marriage with Wilson.
Two Hollywood stars fall in love and remain happily married for 35 years and also have successful careers. Sounds like a movie? No, this is the life of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, who will celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary this year. They also faced adversities, including a battle with cancer, but always stood by each other's side. Their love story began when the Saving Private Ryan star met Rita Wilson, an accomplished actor, singer, and producer in 1981. At the time, Hanks was married to his college sweetheart Samantha Lewes.
According to PEOPLE, it was on the sets of the ABC sitcom, Bossom Buddies, Hanks and Wilson became friends and shared laughter. Wilson also recalled Hanks' humor in a 2020 The Kelly Clarkson Show interview, "First of all, I love a good storyteller," she continued. "So anybody who could tell a good story, I'm down with that. ... I love that. He makes me laugh all the time. He's a great storyteller."
This friendship turned into a romance and they made their relationship public by walking on a red carpet together in 1986. They tied the knot in 1988 and started their own family. In 1990, they welcomed their first child, a son named Chester, also known as "Chet." Their second son, Truman Theodore, was born in December 1995. Their children have followed in the footsteps of their parents and pursued careers in the entertainment industry.
Hanks discussed the reason for his long-lasting marriage with Oprah Winfrey and said, "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." He added, " 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."
Difficulties awaited the couple as Wilson was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. She also revealed that she had undergone a double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery following her cancer diagnosis. Wilson was initially worried about how Hanks would respond to her illness but she was "blown away" by his care and concern for her. Thus, with the support of loved ones and a great medical team, Wilson defeated cancer. She expressed gratitude for the immediate care she received and resumed her Broadway performance. She also shared a touching message to Hanks on their 27th wedding anniversary on Twitter and said that her husband is her "soul mate, the love of my life, my best friend, my heart."
The couple also enjoys spending quality time together, as Wilson told US Magazine, "Not only do we love each other, we really like each other." The couple also took care of each other when they contracted COVID-19. Now, leaving all obstacles behind, the couple will celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary this April.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Stuart C. Wilson