How Many Kids Does Tom Hanks Have?

America's beloved dad, Tom Hanks, has a total of four children from his two marriages. Hanks was married to his first wife, Samantha Lewes (born Susan Jane Dillingham), from 1978 until their divorce in 1987. He and Lewes share actor son Colin Hanks (born Colin Lewes Dillingham) and actress daughter Elizabeth Ann Hanks. In 2016, the Big actor admitted to BBC Radio's Desert Island Discs host, Kirsty Young, that he had his first two children before he felt too grown up himself. "I had kids very young. My son Colin was born when I was 21 and my daughter Elizabeth was born four and a half years later," Hanks said. "By then I thought I was rolling along with the natural order of things."

The A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood star married his current wife, actress and singer Rita Wilson, in 1988, years after first meeting in 1981 and reuniting (and falling in love!) in 1985 on the set of Volunteers. Hanks and Wilson share sons Chester Marlon "Chet Haze" Hanks, an ever-aspiring actor-rapper, and Truman Theodore Hanks.

While the two-time Oscar winner is a proud papa to all of his children, they couldn't be more different from one another — and at least one of them has a bit of a reputation as a problem child, despite coming from a pretty stellar gene pool. Here's the skinny on all four of Tom Hanks' kids.

Colin Hanks takes the most after Tom Hanks

Colin Hanks is Tom Hanks' best-known and oldest child. Born on Nov. 24, 1977, Colin is an actor, producer, and director, following directly in his Oscar-winning dad's footsteps. Colin was born and raised in Sacramento, Calif., and attended Chapman University before transferring to Loyola Marymount University — though he didn't graduate from either school, per an interview with Deadline.

Colin got his first taste of acting with a walk-on role in the 1996 film That Thing You Do!, which starred his father, followed by a small role in Whatever It Takes in 2000 (alongside James Franco). His first major part, however, was on television as Katherine Heigl's love interest on Roswell from 1999 to 2001, and he landed his first starring gig on the big screen in 2002's Orange County opposite Jack Black. Colin's worked steadily in Hollywood ever since, nabbing roles in both TV shows and movies, including Mad Men, King Kong, The House Bunny, The Good Guys, Dexter, NCIS, Fargo, and Jumanji: The Next Level.

In his personal life, Colin dated actress Busy Philipps in college before marrying Samantha Bryant in 2010, People reports. He and Philipps are still friendly, however, and Bryant and Colin share two daughters ... who hilariously aren't too interested in Grandpa Hanks' mega-fame.

Tom Hanks' daughter Elizabeth Ann Hanks in an actress and writer

Tom Hanks and Samantha Lewes' daughter, Elizabeth Ann Hanks, was born in May 1982 and is also in show business — though her on-screen career hasn't always been as active as that of her older brother, Colin. Two of Elizabeth's movie roles have been cameos in her famous father's projects: she was a bored girl in a shop in That Thing You Do! in 1996 and had a walk-on role as a girl on a bus in Forrest Gump, for which her proud papa won an Oscar for best actor

Fast forward to adulthood, and Elizabeth has since starred in two other shorts, one for television called Big City Greens in 2019 and a short film called Anchoraged in 2015. In addition to her acting prospects, Elizabeth is also a writer with bylines — many of them entertainment-themed (often focused in television and movies, naturally) — in the likes of The New York Times, The Guardian, Vanity Fair, Time, and BuzzFeed (um, no big deal?). She also has a book in the works (per her Twitter account) under her pen name, E.A. Hanks. 

When she's not partaking in the creative arts, Elizabeth is vocally political: this multi-talent supported Elizabeth Warren in the 2020 Democratic Primary and, following her dad and Rita Wilson's coronavirus diagnosis that March, revealed that she believes healthcare is a human right.

Chester Marlon 'Chet Haze' Hanks is sort of the black sheep

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson's oldest son together is Chester Marlon "Chet Haze" Hanks. Chet is an aspiring rapper who, like his siblings, has some acting credits under his belt, with appearances in 2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, 2015's The Fantastic Four, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. He also had a recurring role on Shameless from 2016 to 2018, followed by a gig on Empire as rapper Blake Sterling.

However, Chet insists he hasn't had much help in Hollywood, telling the Chicago Tribune in 2011 of his nepotism criticisms, "Because of who my father is, people have always had their preconceived notions about me. In other words, people always are going to have their minds made up."

Amid his perpetually fledgling rap career, Chet is likely most famous for his personal demons and bizarre cultural appropriation (like dropping the N-word and inexplicably speaking Jamaican Patois on the 2020 Golden Globes red carpet). He previously went to rehab in 2015 after getting into legal trouble for trashing a hotel room, and admitted in a since-deleted Instagram post to both using and selling cocaine, per the Los Angeles Times. However, he has since spoken to groups about the benefits of sobriety while working with One On Campus and Visions Teen organizations to encourage those struggling with substance abuse to get help that they need. Chet credits his daughter, Michaiah, with inspiring him to get well.

Tom Hanks' son Truman Theodore Hanks is low-key

Tom Hanks' youngest child, son Truman Theodore Hanks, prefers to fly below the radar and work behind the scenes. Truman was born in 1995 and has multiple IMDb credits for his work behind the camera. In addition to working as a cinematographer on The Ice Queen Society in 2019 and serving as a production assistant on the 2019 version of Charlie's Angels and 2018's The Cloverfield Paradox, he's also credited as a camera trainee on the series Babylon Berlin and with additional photography on the MCU's Black Widow film. Not to mention Truman's camera and digital work on the upcoming productions News of the World and Cash Truck

Truman's also been spotted at Los Angeles Kings hockey games with his famous dad. Perhaps an explanation of why Truman seems keen to keep his life more low-key than his older siblings, in 2019, Tom Hanks told The New York Times that his relationships with Colin and Elizabeth Ann are different from his relationships with his younger children with Rita Wilson. "My son [Colin] was born when I was very young. As well as my daughter," he said. "We have this gestalt understanding because [Colin and Elizabeth Ann] remember when their dad was just a guy trying to, you know, make the rent. My other kids, they were born after I had established a beachhead in every way. And so their lives were just different."

What have Tom Hanks' kids said about him?

While being the child of a beloved celeb has its perks, there are some undeniable drawbacks for these showbiz kiddos. Colin Hanks, for example, once confessed on Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast that being Tom Hanks' son was a blessing and a curse in Hollywood, because no one was really able to overlook his A-list parentage. 

"When I was starting off, I was sort of lovingly naive, thinking that [being the son of Tom Hanks] wasn't as big a deal as it is, that I would get the benefit of the doubt that I was my own person," Colin said. "And that doesn't happen." He also noted that, contrary to popular belief, he didn't grow up with a ton of wealth as a kid, explaining that his mother, Samantha Lewes, reminded him often that she and Colin were not rich — rather, Colin's father was after amassing the bulk of his fortune after Forrest Gump, when Colin was already grown.

Similarly, Chet Hanks told Vice that his father is supportive of his attempts at a hip-hop career, leading to increased publicity, but said it hasn't been all roses being Tom Hanks' son. "Sometimes in life, it can cause awkward moments to arise," Chet said. "Like, growing up, people would want to become friends with me so they could meet my dad. And they didn't care about me at all. So that's just ... Well, that goes along with it."

What has proud dad Tom Hanks said about his kids?

Tom Hanks spoke extensively about parenting in the lead up to his role in A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood, in which he starred as the legendary kids' TV icon, Fred Rogers. 

"I start thinking about mistakes I made with my own kids and not explaining things or not being there for them," he admitted to The New York Times in November 2019. "Or being so preoccupied with other things that are going on in our adult world. Somewhere along the line, I figured out, the only thing really, I think, eventually a parent can do is say, 'I love you, there's nothing you can do wrong, you cannot hurt my feelings, I hope you will forgive me on occasion, and what do you need me to do?'" He continued, "You offer up that to them: 'I will do anything I can possibly do in order to keep you safe.'" 

Clearly a loving father to Colin, Elizabeth, Chet, and Truman Hanks, proud dad Tom Hanks added, "That's it. Offer that up and then just love them."