March 2, 2024
Samantha Lewes

Many only know Rita Wilson Hanks as the wife of Tom Hanks. But before Hanks’ marriage to Rita, there was Samantha Lewes. Lewes is the first woman that Tom Hanks ever married. She was an epitome of grace and talent. It is unfortunate that her marriage to the TV screen legend, Tom Hank didn’t work out but it was for the best for the couple. In this article, we will reveal everything behind Tom Hanks’ ex-wife. Where is she now? What happened between her and Tom Hanks? All the details will be shared here. 

Quick Facts About Samantha Lewes

  • Name: Samantha Lewes
  • Birthday: November 29, 1952
  • Date of Death: March 12, 2002
  • Birth Place: San Diego, California, United States of America
  • Father: John Raymond Dillingham
  • Mother: Harriet Hall Dillingham
  • Profession: Actress
  • Zodiac sign: Saggitarrius

Who is Samantha Lewes?

Christened Susan Jane Dillingham at birth, Samantha Lewes was born in San Diego, California on November 29, 1952, to Harriet Hall Dillingham and John Dillingham. There is not so much information about how her childhood was. We do not have information about her parents’ background either as she was quite a private person. 

Lewes’ mother was an elementary English teacher in England. Her father on the other hand was a US Marine officer who fought in World War II. He was active in the military for 26 years. For his meritorious service, he received a purple heart award.

As it is prevalent in several marriages, Samantha Lewes’ parents didn’t have it rosy in their marriage. This led to a divorce as a result. Samantha would later be raised by her mother. After the divorce, her mother moved from southern California to North California. 

Samantha Lewes’ Career

Samantha had always had the flair for acting. The talent was natural to her. No wonder she made a really solid impression in her first appearance on screen when she featured in ABC sitcom Bosom Buddies in 1981. 

If there was anything people loved about Samantha, it was her radiant smile. Some fans had to watch her films because of her bright smile. If you rummage through pictures of her when she was still young, you’d find out how beautiful her pictures are. 

She didn’t have a blossoming career as good as Tom Hanks, but it was nonetheless a career that is worthy of emulation. 

How Did Tom Hanks and Samantha Lewes Meet? 

We do not know when Tom Hanks and Samantha Lewes meet. But we know they first met in Sacramento when they were students together in acting school. Theirs was a relationship that started off as college friends, then college lovers then finally spouses. At the time they married, they were quite young. Samantha was 25 years when she agreed to marry Hanks in 1979. Interestingly, she was four years older than Hanks. Love knows no age barrier, you know. 

Marrying at that age meant that they would face challenges as they were just navigating through life and had not had a breakthrough. 

The Couple Filed For a Divorce

After almost nine years of marriage, the two separated and filed for divorce. The marriage was made null and void because the two could not find a midpoint to settle their differences. In Tom Hanks words, he married at quite a young age due to loneliness. 

Is Samantha Lewes Still Alive?

Unfortunately, Samantha Lewes died 19 years ago. She was diagnosed with bone cancer. Perhaps if she had been diagnosed earlier she could have found a way to beat it. But getting to know that the bone cancer was at a critical stage in a routine checkup was devastating for her. By the time, she found out that she had cancer of the bone, it had spread to her lungs and brain. 

Sadly, she succumbed to death on March 12, 2002, in her home in Sacramento, California. She died at a relatively young age of 49. 

How Samantha Lewes’ Death Affected Tom Hanks? 

Even though they had been separated for several years, Tom Hanks shared kids with Lewes. Her death hit him so hard. But Samantha Lewes was done with her watch. Tom Hanks and Lewes had two children, Elizabeth Hanks, their daughter, and Colin Lewes Hank, together. 

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Tom Hanks Is Married To Rita Hanks For Years Now

Off the top of your head when you hear of Tom Hanks, the name that accompanies it is Rita Hanks. This is how long the two have been together. Even though Tom’s marriage didn’t work out with Samantha Lewes, Hanks found love in Rita. He met her in 1988 and went on to marry her. 

Samantha Lewes Kids Are Doing Well in Hollywood

Colin and Elizabeth took after their parents as actors. Colin Hank is best remembered for his role in Orange County and King Kong. He has also received nominations for awards for his brilliance on screen.



Samantha may be gone but her legacy in her children lives on. There was no way she could have survived, bar finding out early, however, Samantha Lewes Career could have gone better but the little she did, was satisfactory for her. 

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