Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson are now official Greek citizens. The prime minister of  Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the news on Instagram over the weekend. 

Mitsotakis wrote, “@ritawilson @tomhanks are now proud Greek citizens! 🇬🇷👍”  The couple stood holding their new passports. 

Last year Hanks and Wilson became honorary citizens of the country after Hanks was thanked for his help in raising awareness for the fires in 2018 that destroyed areas near Athens and killed more than 100 people.

On January 2, Hanks tweeted, “Starting 2020 as an Honorary citizen of all of Greece! Kronia pola! ( more or less, ‘happy year!’). Hanx.” 

In December, Greek Interior Minister Takis Theodorikakos told CNN, “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.”

Wilson and Hanks have been known to vacation in Greece and even own property on the island of Antiparos. Wilson herself is part Greek and Hanks is a Greek Orthodox convert. 

At the 2020 Golden Globe Awards, Hanks said, “I’ve been Hellenic now for the better part of 32 years. Greece is a haven… I’ve been around the world, I’ve been to the most beautiful places in the world, none of them tops Greece.” He added, “The land, the sky, the water, it’s good for the soul, it’s a healing place.”

A few months ago Hanks and his wife had tested positive for the coronavirus. Since they recovered, Hanks has made sure to remind fans to wear a mask. In early July, he told Today in an interview, “The idea of doing one’s part, though, should be so simple – wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands,” he said. “That alone means you are contributing to the betterment of your house, your work, your town, your society as a whole, and it’s such a small thing. It’s a mystery to me how somehow that has been wiped out of what should be ingrained in the behavior of us all.”

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