Rita Wilson is a multi-faceted American entertainer who has made a mark in both the film and music industries as an actress, producer, singer, and songwriter. She is popular for her roles in various films and television series some of which are It’s Complicated (2009), Now and Then (1995), Jingle All the Way (1996), The Story of Us (1999), Runaway Bride (1999), The Good Wife, and Girls.
She has also acted on Broadway and has equally produced several films such as the 2002 film, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. In addition to her acting career, Rita’s music career has also been very active since 2012 with four albums to her credit.
Though a celebrity in her own right, Rita Wilson is also popular for being the wife of actor Tom Hanks. The duo first met on the set of the series Bosom Buddies which ran from 1980–1982 and in 1985, they came together again on the set of Volunteers but nothing happened because Tom was married at the time.
However, Tom Hanks and his then-wife, Samantha Lewes divorced in 1987 and the following year, Rita tied the knot with him.
Rita Wilson’s age and life before fame
Born on the 26th of October 1956, in Hollywood, California, as Margarita Ibrahimoff, Rita Wilson is the daughter of Dorothea (mother) and Halilov Ibrahimoff (father). Her mother was Greek while her father was Pomak (Bulgarian Muslim). Rita’s father relocated from Bulgaria to the United States of America in 1949. There, he got married to her mother and then converted from Islam to Orthodox Christianity.
Following his conversion, he dropped his former name and took up the name Allan Wilson in 1960. Consequently, Rita Wilson, who grew up in her birthplace, was also raised in the Greek Orthodox faith.
Her Acting Career
Rita Wilson kicked off her acting career in 1972 with a guest appearance as Pat Conway in the episode “Greg’s Triangle,” on The Brady Bunch. She also made two appearances as Nurse Lacey on M*A*S*H in 1982 in addition to featuring in the sitcoms Three’s Company and Bosom Buddies.
Rita was also seen in the NBC sitcom, Frasier, which ran from September 16, 1993, to May 13, 2004, portraying the character of Hester Rose Crane, Frasier Crane’s deceased mother. She made guest appearances in many other series, including Tales from the Crypt, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Bosom Buddies, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Body of Proof. The actress also had a recurring role on The Good Wife, where she portrayed the character of Viola Walsh and also appeared in five episodes of Girls in 2013.
Apart from television series, Rita Wilson has also featured in many movies such as the 2009 and 2011 romantic comedy films, It’s Complicated and Larry Crowne which featured her now-husband Tom Hanks. She also acted in the teen musical drama film, Raise Your Voice (2004) as well as the 1996 Christmas family comedy movie, Jingle All the Way.
Her other films include Now and Then (1995), Sleepless in Seattle (1995), Mixed Nuts (1994), Barbarians at the Gate (1993), The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), Volunteers (1985), among many others. On TV, the actress played the role of Susan Borman in the 12-part 1998 HBO television miniseries, From the Earth to the Moon.
As a producer, Rita Wilson has he highest-grossing independent romantic comedy of all time, My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), below her belt. While she was developing the film alongside actress-playwright Nia Vardalos, Rita produced two stage productions of the play. The 2016 sequel to the film titled My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 was co-produced by Rita Wilson who also featured in a supporting role as Anna.
Rita Wilson was also the producer of the 2008 jukebox musical romantic comedy film, Mamma Mia! and its sequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again which was released in 2018.
Many years after acting on the big screen, Rita took her acting skills to the theater, debuting on the Broadway in 2006 as Roxie Hart in the revival of the musical, Chicago. Afterward, she continued acting in films and series only to return to the Broadway in 2015, playing the role of Brenda in Larry David’s play, Fish in the Dark. Off-Broadway, the talented actress appeared in a lot of plays, including Love, Loss and What I Wore and Dinner with Friends.
In 2016, the Greek Postal Service ELTA honored Rita Wilson, alongside five other people, with a stamp.
As a result of her interest in singing, Rita recorded and released her debut solo album, AM/FM, on May 8, 2012, through the label Decca Records. On December 4, 2014, she performed for the then American President, Barrack Obama and his wife, Michelle, at the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Washington, DC, and also co-hosted the event.
Also in 2014, she released her second album, Rita Wilson. With the help of co-writer, Kara Dioguardi, Rita started writing her own songs in 2016 with the first being “Grateful”, which she sang with Kara and Jason Reeves.
On the 28 of September 2018, Rita’s third album titled Bigger Picture was released. The multi-talented entertainer followed it up the next year with her fourth album, Halfway to Home, released on March 29, 2019.
Rita Wilson’s marriage to Tom Hanks has produced two sons named Chester Marlon “Chet” Hanks and Truman Theodore Hanks. She is the stepmother of Tom’s two children, Colin Hanks, and Elizabeth Hanks, both of whom were born in 1977 and 1982 respectively by his first wife, American actress Samantha Lewes.
Her son, Chester, is an actor and rapper while her stepson, Colin is also an actor. Rita is a grandmother with one grandchild from Chester and two step-grandchildren – Olivia (born 2011) and Charlotte (born 2013)- form Colin.
Having been active in the entertainment industry for more than four decades, it is no surprise that Rita Wilson has garnered a whopping $20 million net worth thanks to her prolific and successful acting and music careers.