Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson Are Officially Greek Citizens | 22 Words

Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, are now officially Greek citizens.

Keep on scrolling to find out why...

Who doesn't know of Tom Hanks?

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He is now one of the most recognized actors in the world and it's safe to say that he's come an awfully long way.

Hanks got his big break back in 1984.

After dropping out of college in 1980 and moving to New York City, he began landing small roles in movies and TV shows, such as slasher horror, He Knows You're Alone, and the sitcom series, Bosom Buddies. But, in 1984, Hanks got his first leading role in Splash, a movie about a young man who falls in love with a mermaid.

But his major hit came in 1988...

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Big saw Hanks play a thirteen-year-old boy whose body was transferred into the body of a fully grown man overnight. It sounds a little strange, but it is a fantastic movie.

Hanks had proven that he could be a box office draw as well as a talented actor.

He starred in many smaller productions in the following years until he bagged the leading roles in A League Of Their Own in 1992, and Sleepless in Seattle in 1993.

Forrest Gump is probably one of Hank's most recognizable performances.

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Forrest Gump, which was released in 1994, followed the story of an Alabama man with a low IQ living through some of America's most iconic and life-changing events, such as presidencies of J.F Kennedy and Johnson, the Vietnam war, and Watergate.

The awards came pouring in...

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True to predictions, Forrest Gump was a phenomenal success and it won Oscars for best picture and director. Hanks took home a Lead Actor Oscar award and he was also awarded an Academy Award for Best Actor in the 1993 movie, Philadelphia, in which his portrayal as a man diagnosed with AIDS was considered honorable and, quite simply, magnificent.

More blockbusters were soon to follow...

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These include leading and starring roles in Apollo 13 and Disney Pixar's Toy Story in 1995. Hanks' voiceover of Woody the Cowboy would span for generations - Toy Story 4 was released just last year.

Throughout the production of the Toy Story franchise, Hanks went on to star in even more movies...

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This includes the adaptation of Stephen King's The Green Mile in 1995, Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan in 1998, and Cast Away in 2000. There's truly no stopping him...

The list of Hanks' starring roles is endless...

And it is his decades of contributions to the world of acting bagged him the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's Golden Globes.

It was a proud moment...

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The BBC reported that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) said it was "proud" to give the actor the 2020 Cecil B DeMille Award at the event on the 5th of January 2020. The Cecil B DeMille Award is awarded each year to a member of the film industry - be it through acting, directing, or production - that has had an enduring and lasting impact on the industry.

However, back in March, Hanks' world was brought to a standstill.

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The actor confirmed that he and his wife had been diagnosed with coronavirus.

Hanks posted this photo to Instagram from a hospital in Queensland, Australia, where he was shooting for his new movie, alongside the caption:

"Hello, folks. Rita and I are down here in Australia. We felt a bit tired like we had colds, and some body aches. Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too. To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the Coronavirus, and were found to be positive."

Thankfully, he and Rita made a full recovery...

But he continued to help in the fight against the virus by donating bags of his and Rita's blood to be used for potential vaccine research.

That's just one example of how great of a guy Hanks is...

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And now, his kindness has been rewarded in the most incredible way.

Back in 2018, a devastating wildfire struck a resort town just outside of Athens in Greece.

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The devastating blaze left 103 dead and dozens horribly burnt.

Hanks and his wife spent a lot of time raising awareness over the devastation in Athens...

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And the pair, along with their 2 sons, traveled to Athens to volunteer and help locals recover following the disaster.

Hanks has always been a fan of the country...

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Wilson comes from a Greek family, and the actor produced the 2002 comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding and the 2008 musical Mamma Mia - both of which were filmed in Greece.

Hanks even converted to his wife's Greek Orthodox religious faith when they married in 1988...

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And now, the couple have been made official Greek citizens.

Hanks announced his new citizenship on Twitter... but what brought on this honorable decision by the Greek authorities?

Citing "exceptional services to Greece," authorities in Athens announced they had decided to not only grant Hanks Greek citizenship, but they also extended the offer to his wife and their sons.

Under Greek law, honorary naturalization can be bestowed on those "who have provided exceptional services to the country or whose naturalization serves the public interest."

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"Tom Hanks is a person who showed real interest in the people who suffered from the fire in Mati and promoted this issue in the global media," Greek Interior Minister Takis Theodorikakos told CNN in a statement in December.

But not to worry...

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This doesn't mean that Hanks will be moving to Greece - he is simply a citizen who can come and go as he pleases.

This is a wonderful honor for the Hanks family...

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And it's the least that they deserve after their selfless actions in Athens back in 2018. For more on Hanks, keep on scrolling to read what he said about people who are refusing to wear face masks...