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Rita Wilson

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Title: Rita Wilson  
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Subject: Tom Hanks, Jingle All the Way, Colin Hanks, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, My Big Fat Greek Life
Collection: 1956 Births, 20Th-Century American Actresses, 21St-Century American Actresses, Actresses from Los Angeles, California, Actresses of Bulgarian Descent, Actresses of Greek Descent, American Female Singers, American Film Actresses, American Film Producers, American People of Bulgarian Descent, American People of Greek Descent, American Television Actresses, Decca Records Artists, Eastern Orthodox Christians from the United States, Film Producers from California, Greek Orthodox Christians, Greek Orthodox Christians from the United States, Living People, People with Cancer, Pomaks, Women Film Producers
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Rita Wilson

Rita Wilson
Wilson in October 2012
Born Margarita Ibrahimoff
(1956-10-26) October 26, 1956
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress, producer, singer
Years active 1972–present
Spouse(s) Tom Hanks (m. 1988)
Children 4
Relatives Colin Hanks

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


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Activism 4
  • Filmography 5
    • As a producer 5.1
  • Discography 6
    • Track listing 6.1
  • Notes 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early life

Rita Wilson was born as Margarita Ibrahimoff[1] (Bulgarian: Маргарита Ибрахимова; Greek: Μαργαρίτα Ιμπραΐμοφ) in Los Angeles, California. Her mother was Greek, born and raised in Sotire near Dropull i Sipërm (Greek: Άνω Δρόπολις, Ano Dropolis) in Albania, near the border of Greece.[2] Her father, Hassan Halilov Ibrahimoff (March 21, 1920 – March 6, 2009), was a Pomak (Bulgarian Muslim), born in Breshtene in the province of Western Thrace, Greece. Western Thrace came into being as a result of World War I, the Treaty of Neuilly in 1919, and the San Remo conference in 1920, when it shifted from Bulgaria to 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] Her father 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, little a bit of Italian, little a bit of french" according to Rita's husband Tom Hanks, he based his character from the movie The Terminal on his father-in-law.[7]


Wilson and Tom Hanks

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. 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–August 2006 in the revival of Chicago.

She is often credited with being the driving force behind 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]

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 the couple have two sons, Chester and Truman.[11] Wilson has two stepchildren, Colin and Elizabeth Hanks.

She contributed to the Moffitt Cancer Center by donating "True Hearts" jewelry made of sterling silver and 14k gold. The proceeds will benefit several charities. Wilson has credited Rosie O'Donnell as inspiration for her charitable work, particularly with cancer and children's charities.[12]

She is a devout member of the Greek Orthodox Church.[13]

In April 2015, Wilson announced that she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had undergone a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.[14] After a one-month hiatus, she returned to Larry David's "Fish in the Dark" Broadway show.[15]


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.[16]


Roles as an actress
Year Title Role Notes
1966 Spinout Bit Girl (uncredited)
1972 The Brady Bunch Pat Conway Television program
Episode: "Greg's Triangle"
1979 Day It Came to Earth, TheThe Day It Came to Earth Debbie
1980 Cheech & Chong's Next Movie Actress
1981 Bosom Buddies Cindy Television program
Episode: "All You Need is Love"
1982 M*A*S*H Nurse Lacey Television program
Episodes: "Blood and Guts"
"Hey, Look Me Over"
1983 Three's Company Agnes Platt Television program
Episode: "Alias Jack Tripper"
1985 Volunteers Beth Wexler
1986 227 Dr. Peterson Television program
Episode: "Mary Nightingale"
1989 Teen Witch Dancer
1990 Sinners Margaret
Bonfire of the Vanities, TheThe Bonfire of the Vanities P.R. Woman
1991 Tales from the Crypt Jess Gilcrist Television program
Episode: Mournin' Mess
1993 Sleepless in Seattle Suzy
1994 Mixed Nuts Catherine O'Shaughnessy
1995 Now and Then Chrissy DeWitt Williams
1996 No Dogs Allowed
That Thing You Do! Marguerite
Jingle All the Way Liz Langston
1998 Psycho Caroline
1999 Invisible Child Annie Beeman
Runaway Bride Ellie Graham
Story of Us, TheThe Story of Us Rachel
2001 Perfume Roberta aka Dress to Kill
Glass House, TheThe Glass House Grace Avery-Baker (uncredited)
2002 Auto Focus Anne Crane
2004 Raise Your Voice Francis Fletcher
2005 Chumscrubber, TheThe Chumscrubber Terri Bratley
Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D Beta Station Commander Voice only
2006 Beautiful Ohio Judith Messerman
2009 My Life in Ruins Elinor
Old Dogs Jenna
It's Complicated Trisha
2011 Art of Getting By, TheThe Art of Getting By Vivian Sargent
Larry Crowne Wilma Gammelgaard
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Bree Mazalon Television program
Episode: "Delinquent"
The Good Wife Viola Walsh Television program
Episodes: "Net Worth"
"Great Firewall"
"Live from Damascus"
"Two Girls, One Code"
"Outside the Bubble"
2012 Jewtopia Arlene Lipschitz
2013 The Tutor Tina Short film
Girls Evie Michaels Television program
Episodes: "It's About Time"
"Females Only"
"Truth or Dare"
2016 My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 Post-production

As a producer

Production roles
Year Title Role Notes
2002 My Big Fat Greek Wedding Producer Producers Guild of America Visionary Award
Nominated — Producers Guild of America Award for Motion Picture Producer of the Year
2003 My Big Fat Greek Life Executive producer Television program
2004 Connie and Carla
2008 Mamma Mia!
2009 My Life in Ruins
2016 My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2


  • 2012: AM/FM (Audio CD: May 8, 2012)[17]

Track listing

  1. "All I Have to Do is Dream"
  2. "Never My Love"
  3. "Come See About Me"
  4. "Angel of the Morning"
  5. "Walking in the Rain"
  6. "Wichita Lineman"
  7. "Cherish"
  8. "You Were on My Mind"
  9. "Good Times Charlie"
  10. "Love has No Pride"
  11. "Please Come to Boston"
  12. "Will You Love Me Tomorrow"
  13. "Faithless Love"
  14. "River"


  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.[2]
  2. ^ Welkos, Robert (2002-10-06). "Sending up the Greek in spirit".  
  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",; 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".  
  9. ^ Antoinette Bueno.Rita Wilson to Debut Solo Album, E! Online, February 9, 2012.
  10. ^ "Rita Wilson to Debut Solo Album AM/FM",, February 9, 2012; retrieved February 11, 2012.
  11. ^ "Tom Hanks Biography".  
  12. ^ H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute; accessed April 15, 2015.
  13. ^ "Спектар: Живот и стил: Православни Холивуд : ПОЛИТИКА". 2010-02-28. Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  14. ^ "Rita Wilson Has Breast Cancer, Undergoes Double Mastectomy and Reconstructive Surgery". April 14, 2015. Retrieved April 14, 2015. 
  15. ^ Rita Wilson talks about cancer
  16. ^ Tracy McVeigh. "Poverty is sexist: leading women sign up for global equality | Life and style". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-05-08. 
  17. ^ Rita Wilson: "AM/FM". Artist notes and product description ( Retrieved 12 May 2012.

External links

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