Samantha Lewes: A Deep Dive into the Life, Death, and Contributions of Tom Hanks’s Ex-Wife


Samantha Lewes was an American actress and writer known for her role in “Mr. Success” and “Bosom Buddies.” However, she is widely recognized as the first wife of the legendary actor Tom Hanks. In this article, we will take you on a journey through Samantha Lewes’s life, from her early days to her untimely death, and explore her contributions to the acting industry and her charitable engagements.

Early Life and Family

Samantha Lewes, born as Susan Jane Dillingham, on November 29, 1952, in San Diego, California, grew up in a loving and supportive family. She was the daughter of John Raymond Dillingham, a hospital technician, and Harriett Hall Dillingham, a homemaker. Samantha had three siblings, two brothers, and a sister named Sandra.

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From a young age, Samantha displayed a keen interest in acting and storytelling. She participated in various school plays and community theaters, showcasing her natural talent and captivating the audience with her performances.

Relationship with Tom Hanks

Samantha Lewes’s life took an exciting turn when she met a young and aspiring actor named Tom Hanks in college. The couple fell in love and got married on January 24, 1978. Together, they welcomed two children: son Colin Hanks in 1977 and daughter Elizabeth Hanks in 1982.

Tom Hanks once described his marriage to Samantha as “the blessing of my life.” They supported each other’s careers and shared many joyful moments as a family.

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Acting Career

Samantha Lewes pursued her dream of acting, appearing in several television shows and movies. She gained recognition for her role as Rosalyn in the television series “Mr. Success” and as Casey in the hit comedy “Bosom Buddies.” Although her career didn’t reach the same heights as her ex-husband’s, Samantha’s talent and dedication to her craft were evident in her performances.

Charitable Engagements

Samantha Lewes had a heart full of compassion and was actively involved in various charitable engagements. She dedicated her time and resources to organizations like Habitat for Humanity, providing assistance to families in need. Samantha believed in the power of giving back to the community and made a positive impact through her philanthropic endeavors.

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Tragically, Samantha Lewes’s life was cut short when she passed away on March 12, 2002, at the age of 49, after battling bone cancer for several years. Her death deeply affected her family and friends, leaving behind a legacy of love, resilience, and artistic passion.

Legacy and Contributions

Although Samantha’s life may have been overshadowed by her marriage to Tom Hanks, her contributions to the acting industry and her dedication to philanthropy should not be forgotten. She left a lasting impact on those who knew her and displayed remarkable strength in her battle against cancer.

Elizabeth Hanks, Samantha’s daughter, once said, “My mom was the epitome of grace. Every day, she taught us the importance of kindness and resilience. She was truly a remarkable woman.”

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Q: Was Samantha Lewes a successful actress?

A: While Samantha Lewes didn’t achieve the same level of success as her ex-husband Tom Hanks, she made notable contributions to the acting industry with her roles in “Mr. Success” and “Bosom Buddies.”

Q: How many children did Samantha Lewes have?

A: Samantha had two children with Tom Hanks: a son named Colin Hanks and a daughter named Elizabeth Hanks.

Q: What was Samantha Lewes’s cause of death?

A: Samantha Lewes battled bone cancer for several years before passing away on March 12, 2002, at the age of 49.

Q: Did Samantha Lewes continue acting after her marriage ended?

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A: Samantha’s acting career slowed down after her divorce from Tom Hanks. She focused on raising her children and pursuing charitable endeavors.

Q: Was Samantha Lewes involved in any charity work?

A: Yes, Samantha was actively involved in charitable engagements, particularly with organizations like Habitat for Humanity.

Q: How did Samantha Lewes’s death impact Tom Hanks and their children?

A: Samantha’s death was a profound loss for her family. Tom Hanks and their children, Colin and Elizabeth, mourned her passing and continue to cherish her memory.

Q: What is Samantha Lewes’s lasting legacy?

A: Samantha Lewes’s legacy lies in her contributions to the acting industry, her dedication to philanthropy, and the love and kindness she shared with those around her.

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Samantha Lewes was a remarkable woman whose life took her on a journey of love, fame, and philanthropy. Despite the challenges she faced, she embraced her roles as an actress, mother, and humanitarian with grace and resilience. Samantha’s legacy lives on through her contributions to the acting industry and her dedication to helping others. She will always be remembered as an inspiring figure, both within and beyond the spotlight.

As Samantha once said, “No matter what struggles we face, kindness and love can change the world.”

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