Tom Hanks Left His First Wife & 2 Kids For Rita Wilson And Married Her Just Months After Divorce

Tom Hanks Left His First Wife & 2 Kids For Rita Wilson And Married Her Just Months After Divorce

Tom Hanks knew he wanted to be with Wilson and did not let his marriage stop him.

Sometimes your relationship may not work out the first time. That might mean you would have to leave it all behind to find the happiness you are searching for. However, it involves breaking the heart of someone who loves you. Tom Hanks had to do such a thing to marry his current wife, Rita Wilson.

Hanks married his college sweetheart, Samantha Lewes in 1978 when he was just 21 years old. By then, the couple already had their first child. However, Hanks was not financially stable and was an aspiring actor looking for opportunities. In 1982, the couple had their second child. Speaking of his first marriage to BBC host Kirsty Young, the actor said, "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. By then I thought I was rolling along with the natural order of things.


But Hanks knew he was not happy in his marriage. Moreover, he believed his decision to get married was motivated by the loneliness he experienced.

Additionally, as a child, Hanks was not lucky enough to call anyone his long-standing family as his father "frequently uprooted his clan," according to People. Though he felt he was far away from being ready to take up the new responsibilities that came with marriage, Hanks loved being a father. 

"I was 23 and my son Colin was already two when I married for the first time, I was not really ready to take on those responsibilities," said the star, according to Brain Sharper.

He stated that fatherhood taught him a different set of values in life. "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. 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," said Hanks, according to BBC.


In 1984, Hanks met Wilson on the set of the Peace Corps comedy Volunteers. At the time Wilson was engaged but was not in love and Hanks was still married to his first wife. However, Hanks was smitten by her personality. There was something special and both of them knew they were meant to be together.  

"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," said the actor, according to Brain Sharper. 

With unavoidable chemistry with Wilson, Hanks decided to split from his wife Lewes. They divorced in 1987 and the actor did not wait much longer to get together with Wilson. He married Wilson on April 30, 1988.


"It was a complete and utter kind of acceptance of me on her part. It was a love that was unconditional," said Hanks about his union with Wilson.

Wilson revealed that Hanks promised that she did not have to change a part of her to be with him. "You know, you never have to change anything about who you are or what you do to be with me," said Hanks to her, according to People. She also added, "I didn’t know what being in love was until I met Tom."


Everything about their coming together felt right to them and the couple proved they were meant to be over the years. After having completed more than 30 years with Wilson, the actor 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," according to Brain-Sharper.


He added, "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." The couple shares a happy marriage with two sons.