Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson back in L.A. after COVID-19 hospitalization in Australia

Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks
Rita Wilson and husband Tom Hanks attending a 2018 movie premiere.
(Grant Pollard / Invision/Associated Press)

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are back in Los Angeles after suffering from COVID-19.

The actor made the announcement Saturday morning in a social media post.

“Hey, Folks... We’re home now and, like the rest of America, we carry on with sheltering in place and social distancing,” Hanks wrote on Twitter.

The couple arrived in California from Australia, where Hanks’ preparations for a new film role took a dangerous turn about a month ago. Hanks and Wilson began experiencing symptoms and subsequently tested positive for the novel coronavirus, which led to a weeklong stay in a hospital in isolation.


Hanks was the first international celebrity to announce a positive test result for COVID-19, underscoring the rapid spread and global nature of the virus.

The couple’s return to California comes a week after they were released from the hospital.

“Many, many thanks to everyone in Australia who looked after us,” Hanks said in the post. “Their care and guidance made possible our return to the USA. And many thanks to all of you who reached out with well wishes. Rita and I so appreciate it. Hanx”

The 63-year-old Oscar-winning actor had been preparing to appear in Baz Luhrmann’s untitled Elvis Presley biopic. Hanks plays Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker. The Warner Bros. production was immediately halted, and within a few days nearly all film and television production around the world was shut down. The coronavirus has upended the entertainment industry, and much of society.

Hanks kept fans informed via social media on the couple’s progress during their isolation and in return experienced some good-natured ribbing for spreading too much vegemite on his toast.

For her part, Wilson, 63, caused a sensation with an Instagram video under the heading “Quarantine Stir Crazy” in which she puts down a thick paperback she’s intently reading and joins in the rap song “Hip Hop Hooray” by Naughty by Nature without missing a beat. The video has been viewed nearly 1.8 million times.

Australia had 3,640 COVID-19 cases as of Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States, now with more than 112,000 confirmed cases, has topped the totals of China and Italy. New York is the nation’s hot spot, but the coronavirus spread is increasing in California.