The Untold Truth Of Colin Hanks

If ever there was a case for nominative determinism, it's the offspring of Hollywood's ultimate Mr. Nice Guy Tom Hanks. The son who's adopted a bizarre cod-Jamaican accent, had a drug problem, and become a raging anti-vaxxer (via The Hollywood Reporter), despite the fact that his parents were the first two high-profile celebrities to get COVID-19? His name's Chet. The son who's become a clean-cut married man, well-respected actor, and even a successful entrepreneur in the field of handkerchiefs? Well, he was christened the far more sensible Colin.

Indeed, while it's hard to equate the man who declared 2021 would be a "White Boy Summer" with the all-round good egg star of "Forrest Gump," "Big," and at least a dozen other bona fide classics, Colin Hanks very much appears to be cut from the same cloth. He even looks exactly like his multiple Oscar-winning father.

That also means that just like Tom, the "Life in Pieces" star has pretty much kept his private life private. But from former girlfriends to future career plans, here's what we do know about the Hanks kid that you wouldn't be afraid to take home to the parents.

Rita Wilson is his stepmom

You might not be aware that Rita Wilson isn't actually Colin Hanks' mother. Before rising to fame, Tom Hanks was wed to another actress, Samantha Lewes, with the pair getting hitched in 1978, a year after they welcomed their first-born into the world. The couple also became parents for a second time in 1982 with the birth of daughter Elizabeth.

Luckily, Colin appeared to cope with their divorce in 1987 pretty well, telling "Armchair Expert" hosts Monica Padman and Dax Shepard in 2019 that his stepmother was the person his dad was always destined to be with. And he enjoyed spending every other weekend in Los Angeles with the pair, describing his travels from Sacramento as a "fun sort of getaway."

Colin maintained a close relationship with his mom, too, until she tragically died in 2002 from bone cancer at the age of just 49. The "Orange County" star explained on the same podcast that the loss shifted his priorities, particularly when it came to work. It's why you didn't see him on the big screen again for several years, with Colin revealing that he turned down "s***" movies such as rom-com "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!"

He didn't grow up rich

Okay, so Colin Hanks was never going to struggle for pocket money while growing up in the '80s. But he certainly wasn't the spoiled kid of the rich and famous that you might have expected. Speaking to podcast "Armchair Expert" [43:50] in 2019, the "Mad Men" star revealed that he was still able to appreciate the value of the dollar while living with his mother Samantha in Sacramento.

Colin said, "I don't know how much money that my mom was getting in alimony, but what I heard was, 'We don't have the money for that. Your Dad has that. We don't have that.'" And even his father wasn't pulling in the megabucks at that time. Indeed, it was only during the mid-'90s when everything Tom Hanks touched appeared to turn to gold (see his streak from "A League of Their Own" to "Toy Story") that the Hollywood icon started gracing the likes of Forbes magazine. And by this point, Colin was becoming a man himself.

But the "Roswell" star remains thankful that he had a "different kind of experience" to his much younger half-brothers. "There is a very definitive line in my father's career where things just became stratospheric, and very different," he told hosts Dax Shepard and Monica Padman. And this is the period when Truman and Chet Hanks were still in their infancy, which perhaps explains why the latter, in particular, has gone so far off the rails (via The Sun).

Husband and father

While his father Tom got married at the relatively young age of 21, Colin Hanks waited a little longer to settle down. He was 32 years old when he walked down the aisle with Samantha Bryant, a publicist from New York, in the summer of 2010. Within a year, the pair had become parents thanks to the birth of daughter Olivia Jane, and then in 2013 they welcomed a second child into the world, Charlotte.

Colin may have followed in his dad's acting footsteps, but in a 2021 interview with Us Weekly, he revealed he hopes that his two girls give Hollywood a wide berth: "I keep telling them they can do whatever they want ... I really am more interested in seeing what they choose to do and what they sort of gravitate toward. That's always an important thing for parents to do."

Olivia Jane and Charlotte certainly don't appear too impressed by how their dad, and indeed their grandad, make a living — at the moment, anyway. The "Parkland" star joked, "I mean, I wasn't on 'Hannah Montana,' so they don't really have any interest in what I do." But far from being offended at such a snub, Colin believes that it helps to keep him grounded: "They don't care what you do [or] what you have done. They just want to do their kid stuff."

Colin Hanks has worked with his pop

Colin Hanks has always insisted that he's never truly benefited from nepotism. But perhaps he's forgetting that his first ever screen role was in a film directed by his world-famous dad. Yes, the usher who helps Liv Tyler's "costume mistress" to her seat in '60s-set musical comedy "That Thing You Do!" was played by a teenage Colin. And that's not the last time that the two Hanks have worked on the same project, either.

Colin also briefly appeared as a lieutenant in "Band of Brothers," the WWII epic co-created by Tom Hanks alongside Steven Spielberg. And then in 2008, the pair shared the screen playing a fictional father and son in "The Great Buck Howard," a dramedy loosely based on the 1970s mentalist The Amazing Kreskin. However, judging by his interview with Parade a year later, the younger Hanks wasn't hugely enthusiastic about this casting choice.

When asked about rumors that he'd been apprehensive about co-starring with his pop, an unconvincing Colin replied, "I was not necessarily looking to co-star with him. It wasn't high on my priority list. But I'm no slouch, if someone like him wants to be in your movie, you better let him. So it sort of worked out ... But, if I'm still answering the same questions about working with him 10 years from now, I'm going to be disappointed."

His brother Chet

It's still difficult to believe that the mild-mannered, respectable star of "Life in Pieces," "Fargo," and "American Crime Story: Impeachment" is related to the Jamaican-accented aspiring rapper who in 2021 declared that "It's time for us to go from a Pikachu to a Raichu." But yes, Colin Hanks and Chet Hanks really are half-brothers.

We'd love to know exactly what they talk about at family get-togethers. But up to now, Colin hasn't yet said a bad word in public about the man single-handedly bringing the Hanks name into disrepute. Even when Chet implored his Instagram followers to avoid getting the COVID-19 vaccine, his half-sibling refused to call him out.

While being asked about the wayward Hanks' remarks by a man who suspiciously sounded like Grover from The Muppets, an extremely diplomatic Colin simply replied (via Variety), "That's one person's opinion." Back in 2015, Colin once again proved he was the son who'd inherited the Mr. Nice Guy genes when he was asked about Chet's pursuits on Sam Roberts' Sirius XM show: "He is obviously doing his own thing. He's very passionate about what he does ... I want him to be happy. I want him to be successful."

Actor and director

Just like his father, Tom Hanks, who's sat in the director's chair for "That Thing You Do!" and "Larry Crowne," as well as episodes of "Tales from the Crypt" and "Band of Brothers," Colin Hanks has also been keen to prove he's just as talented behind the camera as in front of it.

The "Untraceable" actor first turned director in 2014 for a "30 for 30" short about the San Francisco Giants' Crazy Crab, "The Anti-Mascot," and a year later made his first feature film with the documentary, "All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records." Colin continued to explore his passion for music in 2017 with "Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends)," a portrait of the heavy rock supergroup in the wake of the Bataclan massacre. And then he returned to his other main passion two years on with Chicago Bulls tale "The Amazing Adventures of Wally and the Worm."

And in a chat with Tennessean, the multi-talented Hanks revealed that he isn't done yet: "I hope to be able to do more documentaries, but I also have some other ideas in terms of scripted stuff that I want to do. I've created all of these different areas of the sandbox to play in between directing and acting, and it would be great if I could combine those two at some point."

Colin Hanks' side hustle

Celebrities pursuing slightly unexpected business ventures is nothing new. Who can forget the late great Paul Newman and his range of salad dressings, for example? Susan Sarandon has a chain of ping-pong clubs. And Gwyneth Paltrow famously launched a scented candle titled "This Smells Like My Orgasm." But Colin Hanks may be the first Hollywood star to have a side hustle involving handkerchiefs.

Yes, in 2018, the "Get Over It" star joined forces with the Anderson Brothers design agency to launch a range dubbed ... wait for it ... Hanks Kerchiefs. The pun-titled collection was initially only sold online but proved to be so successful that within three years it had found its way into brick-and-mortar stores such as BEYOND/HELLO. So what drew Colin to the world of mucus-filled fabrics? Well, it turns out there's a rather heartwarming Hanks connection, as he told Today.

"My grandpa always carried (a handkerchief) with him to blow his nose. When I was a kid, whenever I went to an army navy surplus store I would always buy one and my dad always had a stack of them whenever we would go on family vacations and would wear them around his neck. So, in a way, (handkerchiefs) have always been present in my life." And the actor has extended the family tradition even further by naming several of the patterns after his nearest and dearest.

A massive sports buff

As well as maintaining a thriving acting and directing career, pursuing various business endeavors, and being a father to two young girls, Colin Hanks also somehow finds the time to throw his support behind several sports teams.

Major League Baseball franchise San Francisco Giants are perhaps his first love, as he explained to USA Today in 2021: "I've been a Giants fan since I was a kid. Growing up in Sacramento, we didn't have a baseball team of our own, so it was always A's or Giants. And due to my dislike of the designated hitter — and the fact that all my friends were Giants fans — I started young." The "Fargo" star narrated their World Series film in 2014 and has also made a "30 for 30" short film about their bizarre 1980s mascot, Crazy Crab.

Colin also counts himself as a supporter of NFL team the San Francisco 49ers, NHL franchise the Los Angeles Kings, and the NBA's Sacramento Kings. But like his Aston Villa-supporting father Tom, he also has an unlikely interest in English soccer — only his Premier League team of choice is 2020 champions Liverpool. Following the Merseysiders' first title win in more than 30 years, Colin took to Twitter to celebrate with the hashtag #YNWA, a reference to the club's famous anthem, "You'll Never Walk Alone."

BFFs with his ex

If any further proof was needed that Colin Hanks has inherited his father's Mr. Nice Guy genes, then the fact he's still BFFs with ex-girlfriend Busy Philipps should just about do it. Yes, despite their college romance at Loyola Marymount University coming to an end more than two decades ago, the pair still see each other on a regular basis. In fact, they're also both good friends with each other's spouses.

Busy revealed all in 2017 when she co-hosted "Live with Kelly" on the same episode that Colin was booked as a guest: "We are very very close friends now — his wife and I are very tight, he and my husband hang out. We go on vacation together ... He's real excited that I'm here." And that wasn't pure sarcasm, either. Colin genuinely did look happy to be on a TV set with his ex, telling co-host Kelly Ripa (via People), "It's not awkward going on national television being interviewed by your old college girlfriend."

The "Elvis and Nixon" star went on to explain how his and Busy's careers have continually aligned, with both landing their first major TV gigs in the same week and their first notable movie roles, too. Busy later joked about the unusual nature of their relationship on Twitter when she tagged Colin in on a link to an InStyle piece titled, "If Your Ex Wants to Be Friends With You, Science Says They Might Be a Psychopath."

He was once a bit of a stoner

Colin Hanks and his wayward half-brother, Chet Hanks, have both admitted to getting high in the past. But the former's drug of choice isn't quite as hard as the latter's. Yes, the "Drunk History" star revealed to Forbes in 2021 that he used to enjoy the odd bit of marijuana back when he was a teen movie regular.

Colin, whose Hanks Kerchiefs company forged a partnership with cannabis dispensary BEYOND/HELLO, told the magazine he got into the drug before it was cool: "I enjoyed it quite a bit in my younger days and always felt that it was something that was not as big a deal as older generations really seem to make it out to be. And so, ironically, I sort of lost interest in it around the time that it started to become a little bit more acceptable in a mainstream sense."

The actor doesn't indulge that much now that he's a married man with kids, but he'll still occasionally smoke a joint to wind down at the end of a hard day's filming. And he doesn't believe there should be any stigma attached, either: "I know a lot of people use it to sleep. I've done that on a few occasions, when needed. There are a bunch of different positive uses for cannabis. So for me, this idea of 'you can't be some sort of productive member of society because you smoke cannabis,' that is just simply not true."

Colin Hanks lives near his childhood home

In 2018, Colin Hanks bought a 4,300 square foot home complete with five bedrooms and an even bigger number of bathrooms in a quiet area of California's Studio City. The one-time "Dexter" star reportedly splashed out $2.85 million on the property, converted from a rundown ranch house, before it was even put on the market.

And as impressive as its marble countertop kitchen, shiplap paneling, and outdoor swimming pool is, sentimentality may have also played a part in the purchase. According to, the house is situated less than a mile away from the one Colin shared with his father, Tom Hanks, and mother Samantha Lewes before they divorced in 1987.

Hanks Sr. might not live in the area anymore — he now resides in the Pacific Palisades with wife Rita Wilson — but Colin certainly won't be short of famous friends in his relatively new neighborhood. Bryan Cranston, Melissa McCarthy, Jamie Lynn-Sigler, and Keven Zegers are just a handful of the Hollywood celebs who've settled in the city named after the studio lot now known as CBS Studio Center.

Celebrating Michael Keaton

Like every other Instagram user on Father's Day, whether their parents are on the same platform or not, Colin Hanks paid tribute to his pop in 2016 with a throwback photo. Nothing strange about that, you might think. But bizarrely, the snap was of Michael Keaton in the forgotten '80s comedy "Night Shift."

Two years later, Colin once again appeared to "mistake" the first big screen Batman for his dad, Tom Hanks, by using a screenshot from 1983's "Mr. Mom." But it was in 2019 that he truly committed to the joke, captioning an image of Keaton as Hunt Stevenson in "Gung Ho:" 

"He's a good man and always lead by example. Like that time he rallied the guys to try and make that 15,000 cars per month quota to impress the big wigs at Assan Motors. He lead by example and gave his all. Of course, they didn't make the quota but it was the effort that counts! Way to go Dad."

In 2021, Hanks explained to Mario Lopez on "Access Hollywood" that the tradition was inspired by the foreign press junkets of the '80s where a Keaton film would often be mixed in with Tom's list of credits. And luckily, Colin's very real father sees the funny side of being substituted every Father's Day for another Hollywood nice guy.

Outgrowing teen flicks

Colin Hanks starred in his fair share of teen movies in the early '00s. He co-starred with James Franco and Shane West in "Whatever It Takes," played Ben Foster's wingman Felix in "Get Over It," and took center stage in college comedy "Orange County." But judging by a 2008 interview with, the actor was mightily relieved to leave the world of frat boy hijinks, homecoming football games, and will they/won't they high school romances firmly behind.

He said, "I got sick of doing scenes next to lockers a long time ago. And for me, I got really sick of doing those movies about — you know, really wanting to get invited to the party, or really wanting to get the girl, or really wanting to do any of those things. Those movies are fine. It's just not necessarily for me."

Colin might not be young enough to play a student these days — although the casting in "Dear Evan Hansen" suggests there's always a chance — but he is old enough to appear at the front of the classroom. Just two years after claiming he'd grown tired of filming locker scenes, he showed up as an assistant dean in stoner movie "High School." And then in 2014, he guested as Coach Donnie for three episodes of spin-off sitcom "Bad Teacher."

A sizeable net worth

Even with the near $3 million he spent on a swanky new pad in Studio City, Colin Hanks still has plenty of money left for a rainy day. According to Celebrity Net Worth, "The Good Guys" star has $14 million to his famous name after more than two decades as a Hollywood regular.

So how does that compare with the rest of his famous family? Well, you won't be surprised that his net worth is dwarfed by that of his father, Tom Hanks, and stepmother Rita Wilson. The pair have been rich list regulars for most of their married life and now have a reported $400 million in the bank. You also won't be surprised to learn that the black sheep of the clan, Chet Hanks, is way behind, although his rumored $3 million is nothing to be sniffed at.

Judging by how he approached the making of his 2015 film "All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records," Colin appears to be pretty thrifty with his money. Instead of digging into his own pot of cash, the director launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the music documentary instead, explaining, "We are approaching this as a passion project, and as such are dedicated to making this film as cost effective as we can. We are trying to do this grassroots."