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Rita Wilson on Wikipedia
Rita Wilson
Rita Wilson (15327230504).jpg
BornMargarita Ibrahimoff
(1956-10-26) October 26, 1956 (age 60)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationActress, producer, singer
Years active1972–present
Spouse(s)Tom Hanks (m. 1988)
Parent(s)Hassan Ibrahimoff
Dorothy Wilson
RelativesColin Hanks

Rita Wilson (born Margarita Ibrahimoff; October 26, 1956)[1] is an American actress, singer, voice actress, activist, and producer. She appeared in the films Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Now and Then (1995), Jingle All the Way (1996), The Story of Us (1999) and Runaway Bride (1999). Wilson has also performed on Broadway and on television, and she has produced several films, including My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002).


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Career
  • 3 Personal life
  • 4 Activism
  • 5 Filmography
    • 5.1 As a producer
  • 6 Discography
  • 7 Notes
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links

Early life

Rita Wilson was born as Margarita Ibrahimoff[1] (Bulgarian: Маргарита Ибрахимова) in Los Angeles, California. Her mother, Dorothea (Dorothy), was Greek, born and raised in Sotirë near Dropull i Sipërm (Greek: Άνω Δρόπολις, Ano Dropolis) in Albania, close to the border of Greece.[2] Her father, Hassan Halilov Ibrahimoff (March 21, 1920 – March 6, 2009), was a Pomak (Bulgarian Muslim), born in Breshtene (Oraio) in the municipality Myki in the regional unit of Xanthi, Thrace, Greece. Her father's half-brother Ferhat lives in Bulgaria.[fn 1][3][4][5] Wilson's father moved to the United States on May 4, 1949.[4] He converted from Islam to Orthodox Christianity upon his marriage and changed his name from Hassan Ibrahimoff to Allan Wilson in 1960,[4] choosing his name after a local street. Rita was raised in the Greek Orthodox faith.[6] Her father in addition to his Bulgarian could speak "Russian, Turkish, Polish, Greek, a little bit of Italian, a little bit of French" according to Rita's husband Tom Hanks, who said he modeled his portrayal of the character Viktor Navorski in the film The Terminal on his father-in-law.[7]


Wilson's career began with a guest appearance on The Brady Bunch in the 1972 episode "Greg's Triangle," where she played one of the candidates running against Marcia for head cheerleader. She also twice appeared on M*A*S*H in 1982 as Nurse Lacey as well as the sitcoms Three's Company and Bosom Buddies starring her future husband Tom Hanks and as Hester Rose Crane, the deceased mother of Frasier Crane on Frasier. She has appeared in numerous movies, including Volunteers, Teen Witch, Barbarians at the Gate, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Mixed Nuts, Sleepless in Seattle, Now and Then, That Thing You Do!, Jingle All the Way, Runaway Bride, Invisible Child, The Story of Us, Raise Your Voice, It's Complicated, and Larry Crowne.

She played Susan Borman, wife of astronaut Frank Borman, in the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon. On television, she guest starred in many television series, including Frasier, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Good Wife, Body of Proof, and Girls.

Wilson performed on Broadway, where she performed the role of Roxie Hart from June to August 2006 in the revival of Chicago.

She is often credited with being the driving force behind actress-playwright Nia Vardalos's movie deal for My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which became the highest-grossing independent film of all time, and for which she served as a producer.[8] Since Wilson is a Greek-American and her husband, Tom Hanks, is not (he is of English, German, and Portuguese ancestry), Wilson was convinced that she could relate to the situation in which the film's main character, Toula, found herself. Her confidence in Vardalos paid off tremendously. A sequel, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, which Wilson co-produced and in which she had a supporting role, was released in 2016.

Wilson's long-standing interest in singing led her to record a debut solo album, AM/FM, which she released May 8, 2012, on the Decca Records label. The album featured classics from the 1960s/70s, including a cover of "Wichita Lineman" that she performed with the song's writer-composer, Jimmy Webb.[9][10]

Personal life

Wilson married actor Tom Hanks in 1988, and they have two sons, Chester and Truman.[11] Wilson has two stepchildren, Colin and Elizabeth Hanks. Wilson has one grandchild, and two step-grandchildren.[12]

She contributed to the Moffitt Cancer Center by donating "True Hearts" jewelry made of sterling silver and 14k gold. The proceeds will[when?] benefit several charities. Wilson has credited Rosie O'Donnell as inspiration for her charitable work, particularly with cancer and children's charities.[13]

She is a devout member of the Greek Orthodox Church.[14]

In April 2015, Wilson announced that she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had undergone a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.[15] After a one-month hiatus, she returned to Larry David's Fish in the Dark Broadway show.[16]


In 2015 Wilson signed an open letter which the ONE Campaign had been collecting signatures for; the letter was addressed to Angela Merkel and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, urging them to focus on women as they serve as the head of the G7 in Germany and the AU in South Africa respectively, which will start to set the priorities in development funding before a main UN summit in September 2015 that will establish new development goals for the generation.[17]


  • AM/FM (May 8, 2012)[19]
  • Rita Wilson (March 11, 2016)[20]


  1. ^ Ferhat is an Arabic and Turkish name, and was misspelled "Fairhat" in the reference given.[3]


  1. ^ a b Birth date confirmed at the State of California, California Birth Index, 1905–1995. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California. Date of birth for Margarit Ibrahimoff in Los Angeles, California is October 26, 1956.[1]
  2. ^ Welkos, Robert (2002-10-06). "Sending up the Greek in spirit". The Age. Retrieved 2008-10-10. ...my father is Bulgarian. 
  3. ^ a b "Rita Wilson, Who Do You Think You Are?", tracing-the-tree, March 31, 2012; retrieved April 3, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c Stated on Who Do You Think You Are?, March 30, 2012.
  5. ^ Tom Hanks' wife Rita Wilson breaks down after discovering she had a brother who died as a baby on Who Do You Think You Are. Mail Online, 31 March 2012; retrieved December 3, 2012.
  6. ^ "My Big, Fat, Greek Mystery", tmatt.net; September 18, 2002; accessed April 15, 2015.
  7. ^ "Season 12 Episode 9." Inside the Actors Studio. Bravo. 14 May 2016. Television.
  8. ^ "TV Review - My Big Fat Greek Life". Entertainment Weekly. 2003-04-07. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  9. ^ Antoinette Bueno.Rita Wilson to Debut Solo Album, E! Online, February 9, 2012.
  10. ^ "Rita Wilson to Debut Solo Album AM/FM", PRNewswire.com, February 9, 2012; retrieved February 11, 2012.
  11. ^ "Tom Hanks Biography". Biography.com (FYI/A&E Networks). Retrieved August 6, 2014. 
  12. ^ Tom and Rita Hanks welcome third grandchild
  13. ^ H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute; accessed April 15, 2015.
  14. ^ "Спектар: Живот и стил: Православни Холивуд : ПОЛИТИКА". Politika.rs. 2010-02-28. Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  15. ^ "Rita Wilson Has Breast Cancer, Undergoes Double Mastectomy and Reconstructive Surgery". People.com. April 14, 2015. Retrieved April 14, 2015. 
  16. ^ What to Stream Now. "Sitting Shiva With Larry David". Vulture. Retrieved 2017-02-28. 
  17. ^ McVeigh, Tracy. "Poverty is sexist: leading women sign up for global equality | Life and style". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-05-08. 
  18. ^ Deming, Mark. "Rita Wilson" (biography). Billboard. Retrieved January 21, 2016. 
  19. ^ Rita Wilson: "AM/FM". Artist notes and product description (Amazon.com). Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  20. ^ "Rita Wilson - Rita Wilson". Amazon. Amazon.com, Inc. Retrieved 27 January 2016. 

External links

  • Rita Wilson at the Internet Movie Database
  • Rita Wilson at the Internet Broadway Database Edit this at Wikidata
  • Rita Wilson at the Internet Off-Broadway Database

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