Samantha Lewes: What Do We Know of Tom Hanks’ First Wife?

Samantha Lewes, born Susan Jane Dillingham on November 29, 1952, in San Diego, California, was an American actress best known for her roles in Bosom Buddies (1980) and Mr. Success (1984). Aside from her acting career, she gained significant media attention as the first wife of renowned actor Tom Hanks, with whom she shared two children, their son Colin Hanks and daughter Elizabeth Hanks. Despite her efforts in the entertainment industry, she eventually became more recognized for her personal life and association with Tom Hanks.

Lewes and Hanks married in 1978, and during their time together, they both pursued their careers in acting. However, their marriage faced challenges, ultimately leading to their divorce in 1987. Although their split was difficult for both of them, they continued to co-parent their children and pursue their individual careers. Tragically, Samantha Lewes passed away on March 12, 2002, in Sacramento, California, leaving behind her legacy as a talented actress and devoted mother.

Early Life and Education

Samantha Lewes was born Susan Jane Dillingham on November 29, 1952, in San Diego, California, USA. She was the daughter of John Raymond Dillingham and Harriet Hall Dillingham. Her father worked as a factory worker, while her mother Harriet was a housewife. As the eldest child, Samantha had two younger siblings.

Growing up in Southern California, Samantha was inspired by the art and culture of the region. She attended school in San Diego, where she displayed a passion for performing arts. This passion continued to develop as she participated in various school activities and theater productions.

At a young age, Samantha’s family moved from San Diego to Orange County, allowing her to experience a more diverse upbringing. As she continued her journey, Samantha developed an interest in furthering her education in acting. To pursue her dreams, she attended a college in California, where she met her future husband, Tom Hanks.

In college, Samantha consistently worked on honing her skills in acting while also balancing her academic life. It was during this time that she and Tom Hanks became college sweethearts and began building a life together, eventually leading to their marriage in 1978. Samantha’s early life and education provided a strong foundation for her to embark on a professional acting career, leading to roles in the ABC sitcom “Bosom Buddies” and the TV movie “Mr. Success.”

Samantha Lewes and Tom Hanks

Samantha Lewes, born Susan Jane Dillingham, was an actress known for her roles in the ABC sitcom ‘Bosom Buddies’ (1981) and the TV movie ‘Mr. Success’ (1984). She gained further recognition as the first wife of Hollywood actor Tom Hanks.

Lewes and Hanks met while they were in college and got married in 1978. The couple had two children during their marriage, Colin Lewes Hank, born in 1977, and Elizabeth, born in 1982. Throughout their time together, Samantha Lewes and Tom Hanks experienced both the highs and lows of life in the entertainment industry. Their relationship was put to the test as Hanks’ career began to skyrocket while Lewes continued to pursue acting.

Unfortunately, their marriage faced challenges which ultimately led to their divorce in 1987. Despite the difficult decision, both Hanks and Lewes maintained a sense of respect and understanding towards one another. This allowed them to navigate the challenges of co-parenting their two children, giving them the emotional support they needed as they grew up.

After the divorce, Tom Hanks went on to remarry actress Rita Wilson, while Samantha Lewes continued living a relatively private life, away from the Hollywood spotlight. Although their marriage came to an end, the shared history and love for their children bonded Samantha Lewes and Tom Hanks for life.

Samantha’s Acting Journey

Samantha Lewes, born Susan Dillingham on November 29, 1952, in San Diego, California, was an American actress who found fame in the 1980s. Although she is often recognized for her relationship with Tom Hanks, Samantha had her own acting journey in Hollywood that should not be overlooked.

She started her career in the entertainment industry with a few small roles. One of her first notable performances was in the second season of “Bosom Buddies,” a popular television show in the 80s where she played the role of a waitress. This sitcom, starring her then-husband Tom Hanks, provided Samantha with valuable experience and exposure in the acting world.

In addition to her television appearances, Samantha also took to the big screen. In 1984, she made a special appearance as a customer in the movie “Mr. Success.” Though her filmography is not as extensive as some of her contemporaries, she nonetheless made an impact on her audiences.

Samantha’s acting journey was unfortunately cut short due to personal and health issues. Nevertheless, she remains a part of Hollywood history and is remembered for both her passion and perseverance in the industry.

Samantha’s Family

Samantha Lewes, born on November 29, 1952, in San Diego, California, was an actress and is best known as the first wife of actor Tom Hanks. The couple met while working together on an American sitcom called ‘Bosom Buddies.’ They got married on January 24, 1978, and had two children together.

Colin Lewes Hanks, their first child, was born on November 24, 1977. He followed in his parents’ footsteps and pursued a successful acting career, with notable roles in films and television series. He spent his early life in Los Angeles and later in Sacramento, California.

Their second child, Elizabeth Ann Hanks, was born on May 17, 1982. Despite being the daughter of a renowned actor, she has maintained a relatively low profile. She has, however, appeared in a few acting projects and has also pursued a career in journalism.

Following Samantha and Tom Hanks’ divorce in 1987, Tom Hanks married actress Rita Wilson in 1988. From this marriage, they had two additional children, Chester “Chet” Marlon Hanks and Truman Theodore Hanks. Chet, born on August 4, 1990, is an actor and rapper. Truman, the youngest of Tom Hanks’ children, was born on December 26, 1995.

Samantha’s Illness and Death

Samantha Lewes, the first wife of Tom Hanks, was unfortunately diagnosed with bone cancer after their divorce in 1987. The news of her illness was devastating to the whole family, including Tom Hanks and their children, Colin and Elizabeth. Tom tried his best to support Samantha during this difficult time, taking on the responsibility of all her medical expenses.

As Samantha’s health deteriorated, the once thriving actress faced an uphill battle against the deadly disease. Despite the unwavering support from her loved ones and the efforts of her medical team, her condition continued to worsen. Sadly, on March 12, 2002, Samantha Lewes succumbed to her illness, passing away at the age of 50 in Sacramento.

Even after their divorce, Tom Hanks and his current wife, Rita Wilson, maintained a close relationship with Samantha and her children. They ensured that Elizabeth and Colin were well taken care of and stayed involved in their lives. Today, both Elizabeth and Colin have established themselves in the entertainment industry, honoring their mother’s legacy and following in their father’s footsteps.

Throughout Samantha’s ordeal, her family and friends stayed by her side, providing emotional support and care. Even in her darkest moments, she was surrounded by those who cherished her, making it possible for her to carry on a courageous fight. Eventually, though, the severity of her cancer became overwhelming, and Samantha Lewes was laid to rest, forever holding a special place in the hearts of those who knew her.

Legacy and Influence

Samantha Lewes, born Susan Jane Dillingham, was a talented actress who made a mark on Hollywood during her career in the 1980s. Though her time in the entertainment industry was relatively brief, her work left a lasting impact on those who knew her personally and professionally.

Lewes started her career as an aspiring actor with a breakout role in the classic film “Mr. Mom.” She subsequently became a recognizable face in Hollywood thanks to her successful television performances. Samantha’s work in the entertainment industry showcased her passion for acting and her perseverance through the challenging world of Hollywood.

Though she didn’t achieve the same level of acclaim as an Academy Award or Golden Globe winner, Samantha Lewes’ influence can be felt through her family. Her marriage to Tom Hanks, one of the most celebrated actors of all time, resulted in two talented children. Their son, Colin Hanks, is an accomplished actor in his own right, known for his roles in movies such as “Fargo” and TV shows like “Desert Island Discs.” Their daughter, Elizabeth Ann Hanks, has pursued a career as a writer and has been published in notable outlets like the New York Times.

Despite her untimely passing in 2002 due to bone cancer, Samantha Lewes’ legacy lives on through her memorable performances and her highly successful ex-husband, Tom Hanks. Hanks has gone on to achieve remarkable success in the industry, with multiple Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award under his belt. Samantha’s personal and professional journey inspired her children to pursue their own paths in the arts, ensuring that her name remains an essential part of Hollywood’s history.

Written by Alexander