Tom Hanks, 64, and wife Rita Wilson, 63, are officially citizens of Greece.
The Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, announced the pair’s fresh citizenship on Instagram, posting a photo of Hanks and Wilson holding their new Greek passports and standing next to himself and his wife, Mareva Grabowski. “@ritawilson @tomhanks are now proud Greek citizens! ???,” Mitsotakis captioned the post.
The entertainers’ honorary citizenship was announced last year, after Greek officials recognized Hanks’ efforts to raise awareness for the 2018 fires which wreaked havoc near Athens. “Tom Hanks is a person who showed real interest in the people who suffered from the fire in Mati and promoted this issue in the global media,” Greek Interior Minister Takis Theodorikakos told CNN in December.
Hanks posted in January that he was “starting 2020 as an Honorary citizen of all of Greece!” To cement his citizen status, Hanks and his family needed to give an oath to the minister of the interior within a year of becoming Greek citizens, Theodorikakos told CNN.
Wilson and Hanks’ ties to the nation go much deeper than their recent activism on its people’s behalf: Wilson’s mother was Greek, and she was raised Greek Orthodox; Hanks converted to Greek Orthodoxy 32 years ago. The couple frequently summer on the Greek island Antiparos, where they own property, and together produced the Greek culture-inspired films “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” “Mamma Mia!” and both films’ sequels.
The couple were diagnosed with and subsequently survived the coronavirus early on in the pandemic and have reported extensively about their symptoms and experience with the disease. Both are now donating blood and plasma to help efforts to develop a vaccine against the novel virus. Hanks has also kept busy in quarantine donating a typewriter to a bullied boy named Corona, congratulating the graduating seniors at Ohio’s Wright State University and celebrating his birthday.
On the other end of the viral web spectrum, Hanks has also joined Oprah Winfrey as the target of whack-job conspiracy theories — ranging from pedophilia to sex-trafficking — spread by QAnon.