HOLLYWOOD — Actress, producer and singer/songwriter Rita Wilson became the latest honoree on the Hollywood Walk of Fame March 29, coinciding with the release of her album “Halfway to Home.”
Wilson’s husband Tom Hanks and actress Julia Roberts were among those joining her in speaking at the ceremony at 7024 Hollywood Blvd., adjacent to the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, near the star that Hanks received on July 1, 1992, the day “A League of Their Own” was released.
A native of Los Angeles, Wilson talked about growing up in Hollywood — watching movies at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and attending Hollywood High School, where she was a cheerleader.
“Home. This is my home. Hollywood, California,” Wilson said. “My dad was able to buy a house here on a bartender’s salary, and like so many other women in the day, my mom made our meals and our clothes. This town has given me and my family so much. This town, my home, has allowed me to do what I love to do for a living — act, sing, produce movies. This town has allowed me to pursue my dreams in my own backyard.”
Wilson was born Margarita Ibrahimoff on Oct. 26, 1956, in Los Angeles. Her father, Hassan Ibrahimoff, changed his name to Allan Wilson in 1960, choosing his name after a local street.
Wilson began her professional acting career in the 1972 episode of the ABC comedy “The Brady Bunch” titled “Greg’s Triangle,” playing an opponent of Marcia (Maureen McCormick) in her bid to be selected head cheerleader.
Between 1974 and 1979, Wilson appeared on such television series as “Movin’ On,” “Lou Grant” and “Hawaii Five-O.” She met her husband when she guest-starred in a 1981 episode of “Bosom Buddies,” in which she portrayed the Satan-worshiping girlfriend of aspiring writer Henry Desmond (Peter Scolari).
Wilson and Hanks also appeared together in the 1985 film comedy “Volunteers,” playing fellow Peace Corps members working in Thailand.
Wilson’s other 1980s television credits include “M.A.S.H.,” “Happy Days,” “Three’s Company,” “Who’s The Boss?” “thirtysomething” and “Moonlighting.” She has also appeared in “Frasier,” “From the Earth to the Moon,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Girls” and “The Good Wife.”
Wilson also appeared in the films “Sleepless in Seattle,” “It’s Complicated,” “Mixed Nuts,” “Now and Then,” “That Thing You Do!,” “Jingle All The Way,” the 1998 remake of “Psycho,” “Runaway Bride,” “The Story of Us,” “Auto Focus,” “Beautiful, Ohio” and “Gloria Bell,” released March 8.
Wilson has appeared twice on Broadway — starring in the 2015 comedy “Fish in the Dark” and as Roxie Hart in “Chicago” for nearly two months in 2006.
Wilson was a producer of the films “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and its sequel “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” and an executive producer of “Mamma Mia!” and its sequel “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.”
Her new album, “Halfway to Home” is a blend of Southern California rock with Nashville country. It is her fourth album, following “AM/FM,” “Rita Wilson” and “Bigger Picture.” She is scheduled to perform at next month’s Stagecoach festival in Indio and CMA Fest in Nashville in June.