“Don’t worry Wilson, I’ll do all the paddling. You just hang on.” Living in 10 houses across the country with his family by the age of 10, Tom Hanks often describes his younger self as “painfully shy” and “pretty responsible” but flamboyant and funny as well. By high school, he channeled his humor toward the stage before studying theater at California State University where he spent the majority of his time fully immersed in the industry by going to plays and interning with the Great Lakes Theater Festival in Cleveland, Ohio. Once he brought home his first Critics Circle Award in 1978, Hanks dropped out of college to pursue acting full time.
Climbing the ranks to become one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood, Hanks has given dozens of award-winning performances as some of the most memorable characters in film history from a FedEx employee who befriends a volleyball on a deserted island in Cast Away and a corporate lawyer hiding his homosexuality and AIDS diagnosis in Philadelphia to a slow-witted and kindhearted athletic prodigy from Alabama in Forrest Gump. Adding in films like Saving Private Ryan, Splash, Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail and it’s no surprise that Hanks brings in an average of $100.8 million per film with a box office total of over $8.5 billion since 1978. Now that’s a blockbuster-making machine!
But, his success certainly doesn’t stop at the silver screen. Now worth an estimated $390 million, the 60-year-old Toy Story star is living proof that marriage in Hollywood can indeed last after celebrating his 28th wedding anniversary with actress Rita Wilson this year. Of course, it definitely helps that the couple has pooled their millions of dollars to create a stellar private life in a few of the most luxurious estates around the world. So where do they call home?
Shortly after tying the knot in 1988, Hanks and Wilson purchased a 1929 Spanish Revival-style manor for $1.9 million from legendary film producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy. With its old Hollywood ambiance and convenient location in the Pacific Palisades of Los Angeles, the home was perfect for the young pair of actors who were just getting their feet wet in the star-filled streets of Hollywood.
Sprawling across 6,289 square feet with four bedrooms and five and a half baths, Hanks’ Palisades home is far from what he experienced in The Money Pit as his estate is filled with exquisite details from the glossy wood floors and wood-beamed ceilings to the ironwork, tile and state-of-the-art contemporary kitchen. The living room boasts amazing views of the gardens with French doors and windows offering plenty of natural light but, the most remarkable room in the entire house, is the upstairs master suite. Taking up most of the second floor, the master suite is a luxurious retreat for the Hollywood couple complete with a fireplace, master bath, walk-in closets and a private terrace that opens to breathtaking ocean views.
And, speaking of ocean views… The exterior of the Hanks estate is just as magnificent as the interior with tall hedges, fragrant lavender bushes and a wall that surrounds the entire backyard for the utmost privacy for the Volunteers costars. Other amenities include a colorfully tiled fountain, spa (but surprisingly no pool) and a picturesque view of the nearby canyon and Santa Monica mountains.
While building his acting credits in Hollywood, Hanks began dabbling more in real estate and purchased the two properties next door in addition to four other homes including a beach house in Malibu and a vacation home in Sun Valley, Idaho. As for his neighboring Palisades estates, one of the homes is a 3,930 square-foot 1930s style Spanish manor with four bedrooms and five bathrooms while the other is a 1950s English manor stretching across 7,260 square feet with seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms. With both homes featuring hardwood floors, plenty of natural light, French doors and stunning high ceilings, Hanks had no problem forking over an upwards of $6 million for each in the new millennium. But, he definitely had bigger plans for his growing real estate portfolio other than simply owning the entire block.
After purchasing an even bigger house in the Palisades—14,500 square feet, to be exact—in 2010 for $26.1 million, Hanks decided to sell his main Palisades estate in 2013 for $5.2 million, a noticeable mark up from his original purchase price of $1.9 million in 1988. Thrilled with the return on his investment and energized by the real estate market, The Da Vinci Code star listed his other two Palisades homes in August 2016 for a grand total of $18 million, once again well over what he and Wilson originally paid.
With the properties still on the market today, when Hanks isn’t busy flipping and selling homes with his lovely wife, you can catch the award-winning actor and filmmaker dabbling in politics and activism campaigns such as supporting same-sex marriage or writing short stories on one of his many vintage manual typewriters. Of course, you can always see him on the silver screen in old flicks like Big, Turner & Hooch, Apollo 13 and The Green Mile or in new projects such as Sully, The Circle and Inferno.