Tom Hanks Ex-wife Samantha Lewes (July 2024)

samantha lewes

Fans love to see Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. They have been together for over thirty decades, almost a lifetime for so many of us! Both of them indeed make a beautiful couple. They set extraordinary standards for relationship goals for everyone around there. But how many of us know about the first wife of Tom Hanks? Samantha Lewes was the first love of his life before Rita Wilson.

But, not to undermine her achievements, she has her own identity apart from being someone’s wife. She was an actor herself and a great mother. The entire Hanks family is often the focus of the media. However, Samantha Lewes, Tom Hank’s first wife, received little to no coverage from the media. So, let us dig deeper into the story of Samantha Lewes!

Who was Samantha Lewes – Tom Hanks’ first wife?

Full Name
Susan Jane Dillingham
Professional Name
Samantha Lewes
Date of Birth
November 29, 1952
Place of Birth
San Diego, California, United States
Date of Death
Death Place
Sacramento, California, United States of America
Age at the time of death
49 years
Zodiac Sign
Marital Status
Former Husband
Tom Hanks (1978-1987)
Net Worth
$10 million

Who was Samantha Lewes

Samantha Lewes was not just Tom Hanks’s wife. She was her own person. Apart from being someone’s ex-wife, she has appeared in many sitcoms. In addition, she is a recognized artist from Hollywood. Although her acting career is not as remarkable as her husband’s, she sure has made her mark.

Samantha is a Californian native. She landed several roles in films. However, she mainly stuck to theatre and some of the movies featuring her ex-husband, Tom Hanks.

Actress Samantha Lewes had two children, Colin Hanks and Elizabeth Hanks, in 1977 and 1989, respectively.

Early Life, Family, and Education

Father’s NameJohn Raymond Dillingham
Mother’s NameHarriet Hall Dillingham
SiblingsDavid Dillingham (Brother)
ChildrenElizabeth Ann Hanks
Colin Hanks
GrandchildrenOlivia Jane Hanks
Charlotte Bryant Hanks

Early Life

The actress was born in California as Susan Jane Dillingham. She was born on November 29, 1952. Her parents were Raymond Dillingham and Harriet Hall Dillingham. She had a very reserved and private childhood, and not many knew about it.

Her mother taught elementary English as a teacher in England. At the same time, her father was a US Marine. He served during the Vietnam War, the Korean War, and World War II. Her father received purple hearts during her 26-year military service.

However, her parents separated, which was very hard for Samantha. She only has her mother raising her single-handedly. Soon after the separation, her mother moved them closer to her brother in Northern California. During her childhood, she spent most of her time in Hawaii, California, Virginia, and Florida.

Educational Background

School Name
Soon will update
University Name
California State University, Sacramento

Samantha Lewes’ Height, Weight, and Body Measurements

Height in m
1.70 m
Height in cm
170 cm
Height in inches
5 Feet 7 Inches
Weight in Kg
60 Kg
Weight in pounds
132 lbs
Body Measurements
Hair Colour
Eye Colour
Skin Type
Very Fair


Many people are of the opinion that the main highlight of her life is that she was Tom Hanks’s first wife. But that is not entirely true. Both of them aspired to be actors from their early college days. Samantha, initially known as Susan, mainly stuck to the theatre. She adapted the name Samantha from her theatre characters. After making a few movie appearances, the name stuck with her.

She did cameo roles in movies like Bosom Buddies (1981) and Mr Success. But she could not make it as big in Hollywood as her ex-husband. But theatre was her forte!


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Samantha Lewes’ Net Worth

Samantha Lewes has always focussed more on her family than her acting career. But still, she has a satisfying professional life. According to the sources, her estimated net worth throughout her whole active career was $10 million.

It says she reached this point only due to her hard work and dedication to her work. On the other hand, the estimated net worth of her former husband, Tom Hanks, is $350 million. That’s a lot higher than her.

Samantha Lewes’ Cause of Death

Lewes’ passing was a quiet tragedy, a reminder of life’s fragility and the indiscriminate nature of illness. The cause of her death was bone cancer, stealthily creeping into her body, detected only after what seemed like a routine visit to the doctor’s office. By the time they found it, the cancer had already spread its tendrils to her lungs and brain, leaving her with precious few months to reckon with her mortality.

Samantha Lewes’ Husband: Tom Hanks

Personal Life

Unfortunately, the date Samantha Lewes and Tom Hanks started dating is unknown. However, speculations say that they started to become official in the early 70s. Both of them went to acting classes at Sacramento State University. This is where they first met each other and had sparks flying everywhere.

Over time, both of them developed a friendship. Slowly, their friendship turned into a romantic relationship. They dated each other for some time. Eventually, the couple decided to tie the knot on January 24, 1978.

As mentioned before, many might know Colin Hanks is the son of Samantha Lewes and Tom Hanks. So he is quite a known face on the big Hollywood screens. But something that might turn heads is that the actor was born before his parents married. Now, that shows how passionate Tom Hanks and Samantha’s love was!

The couple welcomed their second child in 1982. Blessed with a beautiful baby girl, they named her Elizabeth Hanks. She made a few appearances in movies like Forrest Gump and That Thing You Do. However, like her father and brother, she could not make it big in Hollywood.

How Samantha Lewes Helped Tom Hanks Fight His Depression

Samantha Lewes Helped Tom Hanks Fight His Depression

Today, mental health issues are a real problem. At least people acknowledge the seriousness of these issues. But to think they were non-existent is entirely untrue. Depression and anxiety are common issues that people struggle to deal with quite often. Actor Tom Hanks acknowledged that he fell into this abyss early in his teens.

Fans all over know him as a man of will and courage. However, depression can get to even the bravest and best of us. While giving an interview to the Desert Island Discs, he said that he was very lonely. Moreover, he added that he married Samantha Lewes to deal with his loneliness. Well, this confession seems quite ambiguous. Does he mean his ex-wife helped him with his depression, or was he not ready for marriage?

What is the Real Story of Samantha Lewes and Tom Hanks’ Divorce?

Marriage is a responsibility that needs a lot of effort and adjustments. Hope is what you need to keep a marriage alive. Tom Hanks got married when he was just 21 years old. He had no job, and his career had not taken off just yet. And like he said, he married to battle his loneliness. Marriage with such a foundation is destined to crumble eventually.

Samantha Lewes conceived a child before marriage. With the responsibility of a wife and a son, Tom Hanks seems to have become a better man. However, rumors are that he consumed pot and used drugs early on. Marriage and a child eluded him from these vices.

The relationship escalated very quickly. Unfortunately, the faster it reached new heights, the quicker its downfall. After spending almost a decade together, the couple called it quits. After filing for divorce in 1985, the duo finalized their separation on March 19, 1987.

Aftermath of the Couple’s Divorce

1. Harassment Case against Tom Hanks

Actor Tom Hanks is one of the respected veterans in Hollywood. He is disciplined and well-mannered. However, the two-time Oscar winner was not so with his ex-wife Samantha. She filed for a restraining order against Tom Hanks in a Los Angeles court after their divorce. In addition, she made some serious allegations of harassment and attempted to destroy her career against Tom Hanks.

As was expected, Samantha’s marriage with Hanks came to a climax when the duo called it quits. The pair filed for divorce in 1985, which was only finalized on March 19, 1987. After ending nine years of marriage, Hanks married Rita Wilson in 1988.

2. Tom Hanks Met Rita Wilson

Soon after Samantha Lewes divorced, Tom Hanks did not waste any time. He was quick to marry his girlfriend, Rita Wilson, in 1988. The news of their marriage took the media by storm. Almost like shock waves passed through days.

Many would want to know how Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson met. The duo first met on the set of Bosom Buddies in 1981. They instantly gelled with each other and became instant friends. Coincidentally, his then-wife, Samantha Lewes, also had a cameo role in the film.

3. Life of Samantha Lewes After Divorce

In a podcast called The Armchair Expert in 2018, Colin Hanks seemed to reckon his mother’s life post-marriage. While his father took no time moving on, the actress barely dated. She remained single. The children’s summer mainly consisted of traveling from California to Los Angeles. She was a good mother and made her children learn the value of money.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are some notable roles Samantha Lewes played?

Lewes is perhaps best known for her role as Susan in the 1985 film “Mr. Success” and as Marsha in the TV series “Bosom Buddies.”

2. Who was Samantha Lewes Married to?

Samantha Lewes was married to actor Tom Hanks from 1978 to 1987.

3. How Old was Samantha Lewes When She Died?

Lewes was 49 years old when she died.

4. How Did Samantha Lewes Die?

According to the reports, Lewes died of bone cancer.

5. Does Samantha Lewes Have Children?

With Tom Hanks, Lewes has two children: a son, Colin Hanks, and a daughter, Elizabeth Ann Hanks.

Wrapping Up

Samantha Lewes is no longer in this world. However, her legacy continues. Her memories are still in the hearts of several people. She was one of the renowned actresses, especially on the theatre front. Lewes was a great mother to her two children. After a painful fight with cancer, she finally said to this world.

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