Rita Wilson (born Margarita Ibrahimoff October 26, 1956) is an American actress, singer, and producer. She appeared in films Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Now and Then (1995), Jingle All the Way (1996), The Story of Us (1999) and Runaway Bride (1999). Wilson also performed on Broadway and television, and produced several films, including My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002).
Rita Wilson was born as Margarita Ibrahimoff (Bulgarian: Маргарита Ибрахимова; Greek: Μαργαρίτα Ιμπραΐμοφ) in Los Angeles, California. Her mother was Greek, born and raised in Sotire near Dropull i Sipërm (Greek: Άνω Δρόπολις, Ano Dropolis) in Albania, near the border of Greece. Her father, Hassan Halilov Ibrahimoff (March 21, 1920 – March 6, 2009), was a Pomak (Bulgarian Muslim), born in Breshtene in the province of Western Thrace, Greece. Western Thrace came into being as a result of World War I, the Treaty of Neuilly in 1919, and the San Remo conference in 1920, when it shifted from Bulgaria to Greece. Her father's half-brother Ferhat lives in Bulgaria. Wilson's father moved to the United States on May 4, 1949. Her father changed his name from Hassan Ibrahimoff to Allan Wilson in 1960, choosing his name after a local street. Rita was raised in the Greek Orthodox faith. Her father in addition to his Bulgarian could speak "Russian, Turkish, Polish, Greek, a little bit of Italian, little a bit of French" according to Rita's husband Tom Hanks, who said he modeled his portrayal of the character Viktor Navorski in the film The Terminal on his father-in-law.
Wilson's career began with a guest appearance on The Brady Bunch in the 1972 episode "Greg's Triangle," where she played one of the candidates running against Marcia for head cheerleader. She also twice appeared on M*A*S*H in 1982 as Nurse Lacey as well as the sitcoms Three's Company and Bosom Buddies starring her future husband Tom Hanks. She has appeared in numerous movies, including Volunteers, Teen Witch, Barbarians at the Gate, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Mixed Nuts, Sleepless in Seattle, Now and Then, That Thing You Do!, Jingle All the Way, Runaway Bride, Invisible Child, The Story of Us, Raise Your Voice, It's Complicated, and Larry Crowne.
She played Susan Borman, wife of astronaut Frank Borman, in the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon. On television, she guest starred in many television series, including Frasier, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Good Wife, Body of Proof, and Girls.
Wilson performed on Broadway, where she performed the role of Roxie Hart from June to August of 2006 in the revival of Chicago.
She is often credited with being the driving force behind actress-playwright Nia Vardalos's movie deal for My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which became the highest-grossing independent film of all time, and for which she served as a producer. Since Hanks himself was not of Greek descent on either side of his family(he himself is of English, German, and Portuguese descent), Wilson was convinced that she could relate to the situation in which the film's main character, Toula, found herself. Her confidence in Vardalos paid off tremendously, as a planned sequel was in the works as of late February of 2016.
Wilson's long-standing interest in singing led her to record a debut solo album, AM/FM, which she released May 8, 2012, on the Decca Records label. The album featured classics from the 1960s/70s, including a cover of "Wichita Lineman" that she performed with the song's writer-composer, Jimmy Webb.
Wilson married actor Tom Hanks in 1988, and the couple have two sons, Chester and Truman. Wilson has two stepchildren, Colin and Elizabeth Hanks.
She contributed to the Moffitt Cancer Center by donating "True Hearts" jewelry made of sterling silver and 14k gold. The proceeds will benefit several charities. Wilson has credited Rosie O'Donnell as inspiration for her charitable work, particularly with cancer and children's charities.
She is a devout member of the Greek Orthodox Church.
In April 2015, Wilson announced that she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had undergone a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. After a one-month hiatus, she returned to Larry David's "Fish in the Dark" Broadway show.
In 2015 Wilson signed an open letter which the ONE Campaign had been collecting signatures for; the letter was addressed to Angela Merkel and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, urging them to focus on women as they serve as the head of the G7 in Germany and the AU in South Africa respectively, which will start to set the priorities in development funding before a main UN summit in September 2015 that will establish new development goals for the generation.
As a producer