The Untold Truth About Tom Hanks’ First Wife Samantha Lewes

April 18, 2024
6 mins read

Who was Samantha Lewes?

Susan Jane Dillingham, better known by her professional name, Samantha Lewes, was born under the zodiac sign of Sagittarius on 29 November 1952, in San Diego, California USA; she held American nationality and her ethnicity was Caucasian. She was an actress, but was perhaps known best as the first wife of the famous actor, Tom Hanks.

Early life, education, and acting career

Samantha was raised in San Diego alongside her three siblings, by their parents; her father John Raymond was a US marine, and her mother Harriet Hall, was an English teacher. When her parents divorced, Samantha lived with her mother, and they were constantly moving across the states, so she spent her childhood in North and South Carolina, Florida, Hawaii, and Virginia.

She attended a local high school in Virginia, and upon matriculating in 1970, she enrolled at the California State University, in Sacramento, from which she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts ( Acting and Performing), in 1974.

After graduation, she started using the name ‘Samantha Lewes’, and made her acting debut in the episode “Cahoots” of the series “Bosom Buddies” in 1981, portraying Waitress, alongside Tom Hanks, Donna Dixon and Peter Scolari.

In 1984, she made her first and the last appearance on the big screen, portraying Customer in the movie “Mr. Success”, starring Viveka Davis, James Coco, and Patrick Cochran.

Love life and marriage with Tom Hanks

Samantha and Tom met at college, and became close friends which eventually grew into love; they started dating sometime in 1976, and in 1977, Samantha realized that she was pregnant. They lived together in a rented apartment in Sacramento, and were struggling with their financials.

On 24 November 1977, they became parents for the first time, their eldest son, Colin Hanks was born, so Tom proposed to Samantha, and they married on 24 January 1978.


In the following year they moved to New York City, then after Tom gained success as one of the main protagonists in the series “Bosom Buddies”, the family moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1981.

Their second child, Elizabeth, was born on 17 May 1982, and although everything seemed great, and they didn’t need financial issues anymore, since Tom was working hard to succeed in the movie industry, the two separated in 1984 after six years of marriage. The divorce was finalized on 19 March 1987, and Tom once spoke about the reasons saying: ‘I was looking for something I had not found as a kid, and a broken marriage meant I was sentencing my own kids to the sort of feelings I had at their age.’

After their divorce, Samantha didn’t remarry, and as her son once stated, she wasn’t dating that much, devoting her life to raising her children.

Image source

Speaking about Tom, she made allegations that he harassed her, saying in one statement: ‘My husband has repeatedly verbally abused and humiliated me during the past 90 days in my home. This caused me to suffer great emotional distress.’

She also blamed him for her unsuccessful acting career, but Tom answered that she was just trying to get an unfair settlement from him. The kids lived with her, while they spent summer holidays at Tom’s house.

Cause of death

Samantha moved back to Sacramento, and her son Colin talked about how her life was after the divorce, saying that she would often tell them that she doesn’t have enough money, if they asked for something. During the years, Tom gained custody over Colin and Elizabeth, and sadly Samantha was diagnosed with bone cancer.

Despite all the problems they had, and all the hard words that were spoken, Tom paid her medical bills, and brought specialists for her disease, putting in every effort to cure his ex-wife and the mother of his children.


On 12 March 2002, Samantha died in her home in Sacramento; cancer spread onto her lungs and the other parts of her body, and she couldn’t fight it anymore.

Who is Tom Hanks?

Thomas Jeffrey ‘Tom’ Hanks was born under the zodiac sign of Cancer on 9 July 1956, in Concord, California USA; he holds American nationality but also has Greek citizenship, while his ethnicity is of mixed English and Portuguese descent. He’s a writer, producer and actor, with nearly 100 credits to his name, perhaps still known best for his roles in “Forest Gump”, “Apollo 13”, “Saving Private Ryan”, and “Bridge of Spies”, among others.

Tom was raised in Concord with three siblings, Sandra, Larry and Jim, by their parents Janet Marylyn and Amos Mefford; his mother was a hospital worker, and his father was an itinerant cook.

Tom’s parents divorced in 1960, and all the siblings except the youngest, Jim, went with their father; they moved a lot, and by the age of ten, Tom remembers that he’d lived in 10 houses.

He attended Skyline High School in Oakland, California, and upon matriculating in 1974, enrolled at the Chabot College, in Hayward, California but later transferred to the California State University, Sacramento, where he studied theatre arts, but dropped out after three years.

Tom made his acting debut in 1980, portraying Elliot in the movie “He Knows You’re Alone”, followed by his appearance in the series “The Love Boat”, before he was cast to play Kip Wilson in “Bosom Buddies”, the role which brought him recognition among filmmakers, so in the following years, his career grew.


He was seen in movies such as “Bachelor Party”, “The Man with One Red Shoe”, and “Dragnet”, among others before he was cast to play Josh in the 1988 movie “Big”, starring alongside Robert Loggia and Elizabeth Perkins, in this fantasy comedy drama, which had 14 award nominations, including two for Oscars-Best Actor in a Leading Role (Tom Hanks), and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, and won 11. Tom won the Golden Globe Award Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, and Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA Saturn Award Best Actor.

Tom’s popularity grew overnight, and his roles were following one after another; in the late ’80s he starred in “Punchline”, “Turner & Hooch”, “Joe Versus the Volcano”, and “The Bonfire of the Vanities”.

The early ‘90s saw him in “A League of Their Own”, before he portrayed Sam Baldwin in one of the most popular romantic comedy dramas “Sleepless in Seattle” starring with Meg Ryan and Ross Malinger; the movie had 19 award nominations, including two for Oscars-Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, and Best Music, Original Song, and won four.

In 1993, Tom was cast to play Andrew Beckett in “Philadelphia”, starring alongside Denzel Washington and Roberta Maxwell, which brought him his first Oscar Best Actor in a Leading Role; the movie had 23 award nominations and won 20, including another Oscar for Best Music, Original Song.

Certainly one of the most notable roles which Tom had was his role as Forrest Gump in the eponymous 1994 movie, which brought him his second Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and the movie also won five other Oscars- Best Picture, Best Director, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published, Best Film Editing, and Best Effects, Visual Effects.


In the following year, he starred alongside Kevin Bacon and Bill Paxton in the Oscar-awarded “Apollo 13”, an historic adventure drama about the returning of NASA’s spacecraft Apollo 13 to Earth safely; the movie had 59 award nominations, and won 28, including Oscars for Best Sound and Best Film Editing.

Tom appeared as Captain Miller in the 1998 movie “Saving Private Ryan”, starring alongside Matt Damon and Tom Sizemore in this war drama, which had 79 wins including five Oscars for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Film editing, and Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing, while Tom was nominated for the Oscar Best Actor in a Leading Role.

The early 2000s, saw him starring in the Oscar-nominated “The Green Mile” alongside David Morse and Michael Clarke Duncan; the movie was based on the novel of the same title written by Stephen King, and was nominated for four Oscars-Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published, and Best Sound, in 2000.

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The list of Tom’s roles is too long to enumerate, so we will mention some of his most notable appearances in the movies from 2000 until 2015, such as “Road to Perdition”, “Elvis Has Left the Building”, “The Da Vinci Code”, “Captain Philips”, “Bridge of Spies”, and “Ithaca”.

In 2016, Tom portrayed Bailey in “The Circle”, followed by his roles as Ben Bradlee in “The Post”, and as Fred Rogers in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” in 2019, which brought him the Oscar nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.

In the following year, he played Captain Krause in “Greyhound”, the historic drama based on the novel “The Good Shepherd” written by C. S. Forester, and screenplay written by Tom himself – the movie had 21 award nominations, including one for Oscar-Best Sound, and won one.

His most recent roles have been in “News of the World” and “Finch”, and there are a few movies in post-production waiting to satisfy his fans in the following year, some of the titles being “Pinocchio”, “Asteroid City”, and “In the Garden of Beasts”.

After he divorced Samantha, Tom married Rita Wilson in 1988, and they have two sons, Chester Marlon, and Truman Theodore. Rita is also an actress, of Bulgarian and Greek descent, and Tom converted to her faith, so they could marry in the Greek Orthodox Church; in 2019, he got his Greek’s citizenship after the President of Greece, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, signed an honorary naturalization order.

As of January 2022, this 65-year-old actor, known for his piercing blue eyes, now has grey hair, weighs around 180lbs (82kgs), and is 6ft (1.83m) tall.

His net worth has been estimated at $350 million.

Olivia Wilson

As the Freelance Writer at Net Worth Post, I steer producing riveting stories about the lives and triumphs of influencers. With an unwavering commitment to precision and a flair for weaving compelling tales, I guide our content creation, from the depths of research to the pinnacle of narrative excellence. My responsibilities encompass the full spectrum of editorial management, including the meticulous investigation, narrative development, and upholding the integrity and high standard of our output.

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