Greece’s president Prokopis Pavlopoulos signed an honorary order allowing the 63-year-old actor to become a naturalized Greek citizen, according to a statement from the president’s office and reports in Greek media.
Hanks owns a home on the island of Antiparos and is a regular visitor to the country. His actress and producer wife Rita Wilson is of Greek ancestry and the two have a special bond with the country.
Under Greek law, honorary naturalization may be granted to people “who have provided exceptional services to the country or whose naturalization serves the public interest.”
The Hollywood actor is beloved on Antiparos and has become part of the community during the summer months when he’s there with his wife.
Last summer he spent his 63rd birthday frolicking in the sea where he Tweeted a video of himself jumping into the sea from a boat.
Both Hanks and his wife have received widespread acclaim for their involvement in the Greek Orthodox Church, including Wilson’s “Ode to Greek Easter” — a personal essay which continues to be the most widely-read page on The Pappas Post.
Hanks was the center of attention during Holy Week of 2016 — when a photo of him carrying the epitaphio during Friday night’s procession went viral.
The actor also received viral media attention in 2018 during his summer vacation in Antiparos, from where he sent a postcard to a 13-year-old American teenager with leukemia.
Hanks is slated to receive the Cecil B DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award at the 77th annual Golden Globe awards on January 5.
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