Actor Tom Hanks opens up about spouse Rita's battle with cancer and one of the happiest marriages in Hollywood

Celebrity couple: Hanks, pictured with Rita in Los Angeles in 2009, reiterates firmly that she is now doing fine
Earlier this year, actress Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks’s wife of 27 years, mother of their children Chester and Truman, and stepmother to Tom’s elder two, Colin and Elizabeth, announced she’d had a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery following a scare with breast cancer.
She is now sure she has beaten the disease, saying she feels ‘blessed’ to have had the love and support of her family and friends throughout the difficult time.
The important thing, Hanks reiterates firmly, is that Rita is now doing fine.
‘What has been so amazing about it is how powerfully it plays out in a relatively short period of time,’ he says, wincing as he recalls the sequence of events.
Hanks is smiling and as genial as ever, casual in a dark blue corduroy jacket over a blue shirt and jeans, a baseball cap jammed jauntily on his head. But he is looking all of his 59 years and the lines between his eyes speak a year’s worth of worry.
‘We all know by now what hell that sort of health crisis is,’ he says. ‘It just comes along out of the blue and everything else stops because the only thing to do is to drop everything else and pay attention to myriad stuff that needs to be attended to.
‘Rita found out last December. That meant Christmas and New Year was a completely different version of how it had been on any year before, and now here we are a year later and she seems to be out of it.
‘Rita and I are lucky because we can afford the best healthcare in the world, we knew that blessing right off, but while it was happening, all I could do was bow down before the courage of my wife.’
Then his face darkens. ‘One thing I have noticed through this,’ he says, heavily, ‘is that there are people out there in the world who, when they find out you have a certain illness, particularly cancer, they will immediately try to make money off you.
‘They do this by pushing some procedures that might have a degree of science to them that might make them accurate, and some others that are complete quackery.

Like anything from saying, “Go to some clinic in Bolivia and they’ll cure you”, or “Just go on a diet of peach stones” or something crazy. These people are just trying to make money from the illness and they only add to the difficulty of what is already going on because they are dealing in false hopes. It is astounding the amount of that that goes on. They’re predators.’
Hanks nods, cheering up a little. ‘But God bless my wife — and her courage. We’re very lucky.’
He and Rita, also 59, are known to be one of the happiest couples in Hollywood. His first marriage, to the late actress Samantha Lewes, was reportedly acrimonious: Tom was 21 and barely making a living when their son Colin was born and it has been reported that life in the first Hanks home was not always calm.
‘People say that relationships are difficult,’ he once said to me, drily, ‘but the way I see it is; if they’re that difficult, then maybe you’re in the wrong relationship!