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Tom Hanks quickly jumped into action and yelled at a group of fans to “back the f–k off” from wife Rita Wilson after she was nearly knocked over while leaving dinner at Nobu Wednesday night in New York City.
Hanks appeared stunned. “Knocking over my wife?” he asked as he stood looking visibly annoyed.
Hanks, 65, followed Wilson out of the trendy sushi spot with a few security guards leading the way to their vehicle, and a group quickly surrounded the couple, at some point causing Rita to nearly lose her footing.
The “Forrest Gump” star immediately made space for his wife by holding out his arms so that the autograph seekers would take a few steps back.
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One bystander attempted to help Hanks keep his cool while Wilson made her way to the vehicle.
“These people are relentless. Sorry about that, Tom,” the bystander said.
Tom and Rita have been married 34 years and first met while working together on the 1981 sitcom “Bosom Buddies.”
They have two sons together, Chet and Truman. Hanks has two children from his first marriage, son Colin and daughter Elizabeth.
Social media users praised Hanks for his actions.
“COMPLETELY JUSTIFIED,” one Twitter user wrote in part.
Hanks’ devoted fan base came to his defense after a video began circulating online about the actor having “shaking hands” at a panel last week for the upcoming “Elvis” biopic.
Hanks, 65, stars as Colonel Tom Parker, Presley’s manager, in the Baz Luhrmann-directed movie, which was filmed nearly 40 miles south of Brisbane in the city of Gold Coast.
Hanks discussed his joy in filming the movie in Queensland, but comments were centered around his difficulty holding the microphone as he passed the device between his hands.
But Hanks’ supporters were quick to quell online speculation about his health and took to Twitter in support of the entertainer.
“He still one of the best actors left,” one Twitter user wrote. “His health is his business.”
Another user expressed similar sentiments.
“It is extremely unkind to speculate on Tom’s health,” the individual wrote. “Tom has a Loving Wife & Family thus they will make him rest if it’s due to tiredness or any other issues.”
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One social media user simply commented that the situation was “sad,” while another boasted that Hanks had given fans “great movies in the past.”
Hanks has not disclosed any medical conditions.
Upon landing in Australia in March 2020 to film the biopic, Hanks and Wilson were diagnosed with COVID-19, which halted filming.
Hanks said he and Wilson felt tired with colds, aches and slight fevers.
“To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the coronavirus and were found to be positive,” he said, adding they’ll be “isolated for as long as public health and safety requires.”
The global pandemic followed, and production was stalled for months resuming in September. Filming finally wrapped in March 2021.
Hanks has not been without additional health battles, though, and went public with his Type 2 diabetes diagnosis in 2013 during an interview on “The David Letterman Show.”
“I went to the doctor, and he said, ‘You know those high blood sugar numbers you’ve been dealing with since you were 36?,’” Hanks said, “’Well, you graduated! You’ve got Type 2 diabetes, young man.’”
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He later called himself a “total idiot” for not properly following through on his doctor’s medical advice to combat the issue and take care of his health.
“I’m part of the lazy American generation that has blindly kept dancing through the party and now finds ourselves with a malady,” he told Radio Times.
“I was heavy. You’ve seen me in movies, you know what I looked like. I was a total idiot. I thought I could avoid it by removing the buns from my cheeseburgers.”
Hanks recently admitted he wouldn’t have taken the Oscar-winning role of Andrew Beckett in “Philadelphia” had it been offered today. He portrayed the gay lawyer battling AIDS and workplace discrimination in the 1993 film with Denzel Washington.
“Could a straight man do what I did in ‘Philadelphia’ now? No, and rightly so,” Hanks told The New York Times Magazine.
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“The whole point of ‘Philadelphia’ was, ‘Don’t be afraid.’ One of the reasons people weren’t afraid of that movie is that I was playing a gay man. We’re beyond that now, and I don’t think people would accept the inauthenticity of a straight guy playing a gay guy.
“It’s not a crime, it’s not boohoo, that someone would say we are going to demand more of a movie in the modern realm of authenticity. Do I sound like I’m preaching? I don’t mean to.”