Tom Hanks becomes honorary Greek citizen

A photo taken on Nov 17, 2019, shows Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson at the New York screening of A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood.
A photo taken on Nov 17, 2019, shows Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson at the New York screening of A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood.PHOTO: REUTERS

ATHENS (AFP, AP) - Tom Hanks may officially consider himself Greek.

The 63-year-old actor and filmmaker has been awarded honorary Greek citizenship last week, the Athens News Agency (ANA) reported, adding an official touch to a long love affair with the country.

A document that confirmed the distinction was signed by Greek president Prokopis Pavlopoulos, ANA reported.

Hanks' wife, producer Rita Wilson, is also of Greek origin on her mother's side. Hanks has said that he feels "110 per cent Greek... I'm more Greek than a Greek is" by being married to Wilson, producer of the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002).

There is considerable pride in Greece that Hanks, one of Hollywood's most bankable stars and a two-time Oscar winner, has a summer house on the picturesque island of Antiparos and visits it every year.

Under Greek law, honorary naturalisation may be granted to people "who have provided exceptional services to the country or whose naturalisation serves the public interest".

Hanks won the Best Actor Oscar for Philadelphia (1993) and Forrest Gump (1994). He is also famous for voicing the character Sheriff Woody in the Toy Story movies series (1995 to 2019).