Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are one of Hollywood’s — and FIRST editors’ — most loved couples, and today, they’re celebrating their 32nd wedding anniversary. Considering that the couple both just recovered from the coronavirus (COVID-19), this year’s celebration is especially close to our hearts.
“This year, experiencing COVID-19 together was life-changing,” a source close to the couple told Entertainment Tonight. “They had to ride the wave of an illness that could have killed one or both of them. Being apart from their children during the experience made them reflect on everything they have in life, especially each other. It has made them truly appreciate their love for one another and the life they have built.”
We’re all practicing safe social distancing right now and so are Hanks and Wilson, even for their big day. “Tom and Rita are social distancing at home for their anniversary,” the source revealed. “Their plan is to enjoy their favorite wine and create a lovely dinner together. They both love to cook.” How sweet!
The actors’ marriage is an inspiration to couples everywhere. They first met on the set of Bosom Buddies as costars in the early 80s, in Tom’s words, “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.” The couple went on to have two kids together and have been in it for the long haul ever since.
As for what makes their marriage work, Hanks says it’s a combination of things. “The success of our relationship was a matter of timing, maturity, and our willingness to have an intimate connection,” he said in an interview with Oprah back in 2001. “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. In real life, our connection is as concrete as me sitting here. Not that marriage doesn’t come close to being hell in a hand-basket sometimes. But we both know that no matter what, we’ll be with each other — and we’ll get through it.”
Hanks and Wilson have also supported each other in their careers with enduring love and enthusiasm. In fact, when Hanks won two oscars back to back in the ’90s, he gave all the credit to Wilson. “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 [his leading character in Forrest Gump] was going through,” he told Oprah, explaining why he dedicated his acceptance speech to his wife. “I said that I have a woman who teaches me what love is everyday. Maybe that sentiment is possible to fake, but for me it’s really true.” That year, their second son, Truman, was born.
The couple has also weathered some storms together. On top of beating Covid-19 just this year, in 2015, another diagnosis shook their family to the core. “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,” Wilson revealed to People.
After her recovery, she lovingly reflected on how Tom’s support helped carry her through one of the most intense moments of her life. In an interview with the New York Times, she said “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 … who knew it would make you even closer?”
Hanks and Wilson were two of the first celebrities to reveal they tested positive for the coronavirus last month. Thankfully, the couple has recovered and returned to their home in Los Angeles.
Hanks recently made an appearance on NPR’s podcast Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! and revealed that he and his wife will be donating blood plasma to help covid-19 research and to help develop a vaccine. He and Wilson both shared photos on Instagram about the process.
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson give us some hope and warm, fuzzy feelings in a time where the world seems otherwise dark. Their relationship shows just how powerful love can be.
Cheers to 32 more years — and then some.