Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 6 August 2020

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are officially citizens of Greece: ‘I am Greek in my soul and spirit’

The couple have been presented with passports for the European country by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis

Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson have been made Greek citizens. Wilson’s parents originate from the European country. Reuters 
Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson have been made Greek citizens. Wilson’s parents originate from the European country. Reuters 

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are officially Greek citizens.

The couple were presented with a Greek passport each by the country’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Mitsotakis shared a photo from the meeting to his Instagram, writing simply: “Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks are now proud Greek citizens!” He added the Greek flag and thumbs-up emojis.

The couple are both American by birth, but Wilson’s mother, Dorothea Tzigkou, was Greek. Her father, Halilov Ibrahimoff, was Bulgarian, but born in Oraio, Greece.

Her parents moved to the US in 1949 and her father changed his name to Allan Wilson. The actress and singer, 63, was born in Hollywood, California, in 1956, and was raised in the Greek Orthodox faith.

Hanks, 64, has Portuguese and English ancestry. He joined the Greek Orthodox Church when he married Wilson in 1988.

“I’m Rita Wilson, not a very Greek name, but I am Greek in my soul and my spirit,” the actress said in a 2016 video for the International Foundation for Greece, when accepting an award for her work in film and theatre.

“Growing up, my mother would speak about her family, her friends, her animals and her home. When she left during the war, it was 46 years before I could bring her back home to visit,” she said.

“I have visited both my parents’ home towns and, on a deep level, I understand why they loved Greece, and why it was their spiritual and cultural home.”

The couple own a home on the island of Antiparos, and seem to be spending the summer in the Mediterranean country.

Earlier this month, they celebrated Hanks’s 64th birthday on Paros, which neighbours Antiparos. The actor shared a video of himself diving over the camera, with a backdrop of bright blue sky, to celebrate.

Updated: July 27, 2020 10:38 PM

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