Samantha Lewes was an American actress who, apart from being recognized for appearing in the TV comedy series “Bosom Buddies” as well as in the TV comedy movie “Mr. Success”, was best known as the former spouse of the two time Oscar winning American actor and producer Tom Hanks and the mother of his children, Colin and Elizabeth Hanks who are both actors. Samantha passed away in 2002.
Personal Life, Bio and Career
Susan Jane Dillingham was born under the astrological sign of Sagittarius on the 29th November 1952m in San Diego, California, into the family of Harriet Hall and John Raymond Dillingham, and apart from being of American nationality she was also of white ethnicity.
There aren’t any other known details about her siblings or family’s background, however, regarding her educational background, it has been acknowledged that upon matriculating from Skyline High School she enrolled at California State University, Sacramento.
Into the moviemaking industry Samantha dived in 1978 when she briefly appeared in an episode of the first season of the BBC’s TV comedy drama series “Grange Hill”; however, this engagement went uncredited. In 1981 she made a cameo appearance in the TV comedy series “Bosom Buddies”, featuring Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari in the leading roles. Lewes’ final on-screen acting engagement occurred in 1984 when she made a brief guest appearance in the TV comedy film “Mr. Success”.
Marriage with Tom Hanks
Samantha and Tom first met at California State University, Sacramento. Being different from other students – ‘a geek, a spaz and horribly, painfully, terribly shy’ – Tom caught her attention and not long afterwards they began their relationship. They decided to abandon their studies and move in together, and in November 1977 they were blessed with a child – a son they named Colin Hanks. Two months later, in January 1978, at the age of 26 Samantha married 22-year-old Tom Hanks. In 1979 the family relocated to New York City where Tom, still unknown as an actor, with a burden to support his family on his shoulders, began his career as a comedian, circulating the city’s bars and comedy clubs.
Three years later, in May 1982, the couple welcomed their second child, daughter Elizabeth Ann Hanks. However, in 1984 Samantha and Tom separated, due to misunderstandings in communication, and eventually filed for divorce which was finalized in March 1987. As Hanks stated in one of his interviews years later, he was too young at the time he married Samantha, and did it mostly because he felt lonely and insecure.
Colin Lewes Hanks was born on the 24th November 1977 in Sacramento, California. After matriculating from Country Day School, he enrolled at Chapman University before transferring to Loyola Marymount University but from which he eventually dropped out. He began his acting career in his father’s 1996 Oscar-nominated music comedy movie “That Thing You Do!”.
During the 2000s he honed his skills by appearing in TV series such as “Roswell”, “Band of Brothers” and “Mad Men”, as well as in movies “Orange County” (2002), “11:14” (2003) and the Oscar-winning blockbuster “King Kong” (2005). Colin also starred in several leading roles, including movies such as “Alone with Her” (2006), “Untraceable” (2008), “The Great Buck Howard” (2008) and “The House Bunny” (2008). Through the 2010s he appeared in a variety of recurring roles in popular TV series, including “The Good Guys”, “Dexter”, “Lucky” as well as “What Lives Inside”, “Fargo” and “Life in Pieces”.
Elizabeth Ann Hanks was born on the 17th May 1982 in Los Angeles, California.
Tom and Rita with 3 of their children: Truman, Elizabeth, and Chet Hanks; who was with his daughter Michaiah.
She attended The Archer School for Girls before enrolling at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. Her debut acting appearance occurred in her father’s breakthrough on-screen engagement – the 1994 romantic drama movie “Forrest Gump”, after which she appeared opposite her brother and her father in the movie “That Thing You Do!” (1996). After a 19-year-long hiatus, in 2015 Elizabeth appeared in the short drama film “Anchoraged”m while her most recent engagement was voice-acting endeavor in an episode of the TV adventure animated series “Big City Greens” in 2019.
Thomas Jeffrey ‘Tom’ Hanks was born on the 9th July 1956, in Concord, California, to Janet Marylyn and Amos Mefford Hanks.
Apart from being of American, he is also of English descent through his father’s as well as of some Portuguese ancestry through his mother’s side. Prior to enrolling at California State University, Sacramento, he was a student of Chabot College. His career began in 1980, while his first prominent appearance came with the leading role in the 1984 Oscar-nominated comedy movie “Splash”. In the following decade, Hanks starred in a streak of leading roles in critically acclaimed movies such as “The Money Pit” (1986), “Big” (1988), “The ‘Burbs” (1989) as well as “A League on Their Own” (1992), “Sleepless in Seattle” (1993) and “Philadelphia” (1993).
The big breakthrough came with the title role in “Forrest Gump” (1994), for which he was honored with an Academy and Golden Globe Awards. He then starred in awarded movies such “Apollo 13” (1995), “Saving Private Ryan” (1998), “The Green Mile” (1999) and the 2000 drama movie “Cast Away” for which he earned an Oscar nomination as well as the Golden Globe Award.
With his career set on the path to stardom, Hanks began appearing in, now memorable, AAA motion pictures such as “Road to Perdition” (2002), “Catch Me If You Can” (2002), “Charlie Wilson’s War” (2007), “Cloud Atlas” (2012) as well as “Captain Phillips” (2013), “Saving Mr. Banks” (2013) and “Bridge of Spies” (2015) among plenty of others.
He was also the leading actor in the Robert Langdon movie franchise, based on a series of popular novels by Dan Brown and directed by Ron Howard, consisting of movies “The Da Vinci Code”, “Angels and Demons” and “Inferno”.
Additionally, Tom Hanks is the creator of the TV series “Electric City” as well as the producer of several television series such as “From the Earth to the Moon”, “Band of Brothers”, “The Pacific”, “Big Love” and “Masters of the Air”. In 2016 he became the holder of the French Legion of Honor, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Samantha Lewes’ Death
During early 2002, Lewes was diagnosed with bone cancer. Hanks did his best to help her and arranged that she met with a couple of the country’s best and most skilled medical specialists in the field, but the disease had already spread beyond the turning point, attacking her lungs, brain and other critical organs. After coping with carcinoma for a few months, Samantha passed away at the age of 49, on the 12th March 2002. She lays buried at East Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Sacramento, California.