Is it any wonder that someone as beloved and respected as Tom Hanks raised a kid with a good head on her shoulders? If you haven’t heard of Elizabeth Ann Hanks, it’s probably because she never lived the life of a spoiled Hollywood brat. And instead of riding her dad’s coattails to make it in showbiz, she established a successful career in a separate field. Find out more about Tom Hanks’s daughter and what she’s doing to make a name for herself.
Elizabeth Ann Hanks Is The Daughter Of Tom Hanks And Samantha Lewes
Elizabeth Ann Hanks, 39, was born on May 17, 1982, in Los Angeles, California. She is the second child and only daughter of Tom Hanks and his first wife, Samantha Lewes.
Hanks was educated at the Archer School of Girls in L.A. and graduated in 2001. After studying literature for a year at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, she enrolled at Vassar College in upstate New York. She graduated from the liberal arts school in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in English and literature.
When she graduated, the commencement address was delivered by America’s Dad himself: Tom Hanks. The Oscar-winner gave his daughter and her fellow graduating classmates some excellent advice on how to move forward with their post-college lives:
“It’s not a statement… but it’s a request,” he said. “It’s not a bit of advice… but it’s a plea. In fact, it’s a single four-letter word. It’s a verb and a noun which takes into account the reality of your four years at Vassar as well as the demands of the next four decades you spend beyond this campus. It’s a — It’s a message once made familiar by the Beatles — those Northern English lads who embodied The Power of Four. Help. HELP. HEEEELLLLLLPP!”
The actor continued, “Please be willing to help. Help, and you will make a huge impact on the life of the street, the town, the country, and our planet… Help publicly. Help privately. Help in your actions by recycling and conserving and protecting, but help also in your attitude. Help make sense where sense has gone missing. Help bring reason and respect to discourse and debate. Help science to solve and faith to soothe. Help law bring justice, until justice is commonplace. Help and you will abolish apathy—the void which is so quickly filled by ignorance and evil.”
She Didn’t Pursue Acting, But Did Play A Small Role In ‘Forrest Gump’
Elizabeth Ann Hanks briefly tried her hand at acting as a youngster. According to her IMDb page, she played a couple of small parts in her dad’s films during her teen years. Her first role was in 1994’s Forrest Gump, in which she played a schoolgirl who didn’t allow Forrest to sit next to her on the bus. Two years later, she made a brief appearance in That Thing You Do!
As an adult, Hanks starred in the 2015 short film Anchoraged. She also produced a 2019 fantasy short film called This World & The Next. However, she ultimately decided against a career in film. Perhaps watching her own father struggle with acting and parenting had some effect on the decision.
“I start thinking about mistakes I made with my own kids and not explaining things or not being there for them,” the Sully star told The New York Times in 2019. “Or being so preoccupied with other things that are going on in our adult world. My son… was born when I was very young, as well as my daughter. But that means we have this gestalt understanding because they remember when their dad was just a guy trying to, you know, make the rent.”
Elizabeth Hanks Is A Writer
Hanks put her literary studies to good use. Under the name E.A. Hanks, she works as a writer for various publications. Her bylines have appeared in Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Buzzfeed, and Time.
Most notably, she served as an associate news editor at The Huffington Post and a children’s editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books. Perhaps the latter inspired her most recent project: her first children’s novel. According to her literary agency and Instagram bio, Piper Peregrine Vs. The Consortium For Better Thinking is set for release in 2022.
Elizabeth Has Three Brothers: Colin, Chet, and Truman
Hanks is the only daughter and sister in her family. Her older brother Colin is an actor who has appeared in countless films and popular TV series like Mad Men, NCIS, Dexter, and Fargo.
The pair also has a couple of half-brothers. After the death of their mother in 2002, their dad married actress Rita Wilson. The couple had two children together: Chet, born in 1990, and Truman, born in 1995. Check out the entire clan in this photo from the Golden Globes.
Truman followed in his family’s footsteps and works in the film industry. The Stanford graduate worked in the camera department on Black Widow and the upcoming film adaptation of West Side Story.
Meanwhile, Chet is shaping up to be the black sheep of the Hanks family. At the end of March 2021, the young actor made headlines when his ex-girlfriend Kiana Parker filed a restraining order against him. Parker alleges that Chet abused and threatened her on multiple occasions.
“Things turned dark, he told me he would ‘blow my brains out’ and that he ‘didn’t want to live and would blow his brains out’ as well,” Parker said in court documents. Shortly after, a judge ordered that Chet’s handgun license be suspended.
Chet hit back with a lawsuit. He claims that Parker racked up thousands of dollars in unauthorized charges on his credit cards. He asserts that he was the true victim of physical threats—not Parker.
“The day after Chet Hanks confronted Kiana Parker about stealing money from his credit card, while Ms. Parker was accompanied by a huge male carrying a gun, she viciously attacked Chet with a knife, which caused him to profusely bleed,” said his attorney Marty Singer. “It is all on video and the undisputed video tells the whole story. Her claims are completely false, fabricated and fictional.”
We imagine Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are concerned about their son, whose future remains up in the air. At least they can rest easy knowing that Elizabeth remains on the right track.