The news that Hollywood legend Tom Hanks received honorary citizenship from the Greek government went viral on our website and on news outlets worldwide last month.
But what went a bit underreported was the fact that not only Hanks, but his entire family, is being awarded citizenship from the Hellenic Republic.
Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos issued the honorary naturalization proclamation, granting citizenship to the 63-year-old actor — as well as well as his wife, actress and producer Rita Wilson, and their two sons, Chester (Chet) and Truman Theodore.
As published in the Greek government gazette, the citizenship was granted in recognition of the family’s support during the deadly wildfires that killed more than 100 people outside Athens in July 2018.
Hanks is also a regular vacationer on the island of Antiparos, where he owns a home. Last summer he posted a slow motion video of himself on Twitter diving into the Greek island’s crystal clear waters.
“The Hanks family gave a signal all over the world for immediate relief actions to help our fire-stricken fellow citizens,” the order signed on Dec. 27 said. It added that, in their effort to assist charity efforts, they had provided “exceptional services to Greece.”
In the photo above: The Hanks family get together for the 77th annual Golden Globes on January 5: (L-R) Colin’s wife Samantha Bryant, Colin Hanks (from his first marriage), Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Chet Hanks, Elizabeth Hanks (from his first marriage) and Truman Hanks. During the ceremony, Hanks received the Cecil B DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award.
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.
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