Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are a rare Hollywood couple married for over 30 years - here's a timeline of their relationship

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Talia Lakritz
·10 min read
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tom hanks rita wilson
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have been married for over 30 years. Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images, Daniele Venturelli/WireImage/Getty Images
  • Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson met on the set of the sitcom "Bosom Buddies" in 1981.

  • They married in 1988 and had two children together, Chet and Truman.

  • Hanks supported Wilson during her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Hollywood isn't known for long-lasting marriages, but Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have stood the test of time.

Married in 1988, the couple has seen each other through prestigious career achievements - among the latest, there's speculation Hanks could receive an Academy Award nomination for best actor for his role in "News of the World."

They have also helped each other through difficult periods of illness, such as Wilson's breast cancer diagnosis. A year ago, they also both contracted COVID-19 while in Australia. In March 2021, Wilson marked the year since they fell sick with a heartfelt Instagram post, saying she felt "grateful" for their health.

Here's a timeline of their relationship.

1981: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson met on the set of the sitcom "Bosom Buddies."

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Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks in the 1980s. Lester Cohen/WireImage/Getty Images

Wilson appeared on an episode of the ABC sitcom "Bosom Buddies," which Hanks starred in for two seasons. At the time, he was married to his college sweetheart, Samantha Lewes, with whom he had two children.

1985: Hanks and Wilson starred together in the movie "Volunteers."

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Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson on the set of "Volunteers" in 1984. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

"When we first looked at each other there was definitely a kind of like, 'Hey, this is the place!' I felt that, anyway," Hanks told Entertainment Tonight in 2015. "I think the end result is that we got married for all the right reasons."

December 1986: The couple made their red carpet debut at the premiere of "Three Amigos."

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Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks attend the "Three Amigos" premiere in 1986. Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Hanks and Lewes finalized their divorce in 1987, but they were separated before he and Wilson started dating.

March 1987: They attended their first Oscars together as a couple.

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Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson at the Oscars in 1987. Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

It would be the first of many award shows they would attend together.

April 1988: Hanks and Wilson wed at Rex's in Los Angeles, California.

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Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks on their wedding day in 1988. Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Hanks told Oprah Winfrey in 2001 that the success of their 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,'" he 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."

January 1989: They attended their first Golden Globes together as a married couple, where Hanks called Wilson a "Greek babe" in his acceptance speech.

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Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson at the 1989 Golden Globe Awards. Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Hanks won the award for best actor in a musical or comedy for his role in "Big."

"Thank you, babe, for marrying me," he said. "You made my year already, but thank you, Hollywood Foreign Press."

August 1990: Their son Chester "Chet" Marlon Hanks was born.

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Tom Hanks, Wilson, and their son Chet Hanks in 2010. Jeff Kravitz/Contributor/Getty Images

Chet is a rapper and performer, though he also followed in his parents' footsteps as an actor. He has starred in TV shows such as "Shameless," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," and "Empire." His film roles include "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and "Greyhound," in which he acted alongside his father.

June 1992: Hanks was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with Wilson by his side at the ceremony.

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Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson with guests at the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

His star is located at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard.

June 1993: Hanks and Wilson played siblings in the Nora Ephron movie "Sleepless in Seattle."

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Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson in "Sleepless in Seattle." The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

Hanks wrote in a memorial for Ephron that Wilson had introduced him to her work.

"As wives are wont to do, mine announced one evening in 1992 that we were going to a movie," he wrote. That movie was Ephron's directorial debut "This Is My Life."

1994: Hanks won best actor at the Oscars for "Philadelphia" and thanked Wilson in his acceptance speech.

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Tom Hanks at the 1994 Oscars. Steve Starr/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

He began his speech by saying, "I could not be standing here without that undying love that was just sung about by, not Bruce [Springsteen], but Neil Young. And I have that in a lover that is so close to fine, we should all be able to experience such heaven right here on earth."

March 1995: Hanks thanked Wilson again when he became the first actor to win two best actor Oscars back-to-back. The second was for "Forrest Gump."

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Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks at the Oscars in 1995. Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

"I'm empowered to stand here thanks to the ensemble of actors, men and women who I shared the screen with, who in ways that they will never understand made me a better actor," he said. "And I am standing here because the woman I share my life with has taught me and demonstrates for me every day just what love is."

December 1995: Their youngest child, Truman Theodore Hanks, was born.

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Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson with their son Truman in 2018. Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

Hanks and Wilson's youngest son has mostly remained out of the Hollywood spotlight. He graduated from Stanford University in 2018 and has worked behind the scenes as an assistant on films such as "Black Widow" and "West Side Story."

August 2002: Hanks and Wilson produced their first movie together, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."

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Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson at the premiere of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" in 2002. Sebastian Artz/Getty Images

Wilson discovered the inspiration for the film in a one-woman show.

"My wife saw an ad back in the day in the LA Times calendar section for a one woman show called 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' and she laughed and said 'I'm going to go see the show,' and she did," he told reporters at the premiere of the 2016 sequel "My Life In Ruins." "She came home and said 'I think that's a movie,' and it was."

The couple also produced both "Mamma Mia!" films.

September 2004: They were pictured during a family outing to an LA Dodgers game.

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Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson with sons Chet and Truman. Chris Polk/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Hanks and Wilson watched the LA Dodgers play the St. Louis Cardinals with their sons Chet and Truman.

November 2009: Wilson lay her head on Hanks' shoulder on the red carpet.

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Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks in 2009. Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Hanks and Wilson were attending the premiere of Disney's "Old Dogs" in Hollywood.

December 2014: Hanks was joined by Wilson when he was recognized at the Kennedy Center Honors.

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Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2014. Kris Connor/Getty Images

Hanks was honored along with Sting, Al Green, ballerina Patricia McBride, and Lily Tomlin.

March 2015: Wilson revealed she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and spoke about Hanks supporting her through her treatment.

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Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson with Tig Notaro (left) at a cancer benefit concert. Image Group LA/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

"Who knew it would make you even closer?" she told the New York Times in 2015. "You never know how your spouse is going to react in a situation like this. I was so amazed, so blown away by the care my husband gave me. It was such a normal, intimate time."

November 2016: Hanks kissed Wilson after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson at the White House in 2016. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In his characters, "Tom says he just saw 'ordinary guys who did the right thing at the right time,'" President Obama said at the ceremony. "Well, it takes one to know one, and 'America's Dad' has stood up to cancer with his beloved wife, Rita. He has championed our veterans, supported space exploration, and the truth is, Tom has always saved his best roles for real life. He is a good man — which is the best title you can have."

April 2018: They celebrated their 30th anniversary.

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Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson in 2018. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images

Wilson and Hanks each marked the occasion with adoring social media posts.

"30 years on April 30. '88 To '18. Magic numbers," Hanks wrote on Twitter.

"April 30,1988-April 30,2018 Thirty on Thirty Golden Anniversary," Wilson wrote on Instagram. "Keeping love alive with @tomhanks."

March 2019: Wilson received her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and called Hanks "the love of my life."

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Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks attends Rita Wilson's Star Ceremony on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 2019. Presley Ann/WireImage/Getty Images

"This town has given me and my family so much," she said in her speech. "This town, my home, has allowed me to do what I love for a living: act, sing, produce movies. This town has allowed me to pursue my dreams in my own backyard. It has led me to the love of my life, Tom Hanks, and has brought me the blessings of our children."

April 2019: Hanks watched Wilson perform at the Stagecoach country music festival.

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Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson at Stagecoach Festival in 2019. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Stagecoach

Wilson has released four studio albums of original country music. Hanks has accompanied her on tour and watched her perform from the wings.

January 2020: Hanks received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Golden Globes. His family joined him on the red carpet.

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Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson with their kids at the 2020 Golden Globes. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

In his speech, Hanks thanked Wilson, "who is fantastic in every way, who has taught me what love is."

"I can't tell you how much your love means to me," he said of his family.

March 2020: Hanks and Wilson announced they had tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the first major celebrities to do so. They later made a full recovery.

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Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson at the 2020 Oscars. Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Hanks and Wilson were some of the first famous figures to test positive for COVID-19 while filming a movie in Australia in March 2020.

March 2021: Wilson marked the year since they contracted COVID-19 with a heartfelt Instagram post, saying she felt "grateful" for their health.

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The couple at the Actors Guild Awards in January 2020, two months before they fell ill with COVID-19. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

In the post, Wilson shared an image of herself and Hanks.

"One year ago today I was playing the Sydney Opera House @sydneyoperahouse , the next day started feeling very tired and achy, two days later hospitalized with Covid 19," she wrote. "I want to take a moment to say how grateful we are for our health, how thankful we are for the medical care we got in Queensland, and that we share in the sorrow of each person who lost a loved one to this virus."

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