By Dan Whitcomb
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks and his wife, actress Rita Wilson, have both tested positive for coronavirus in Australia, the actor said on Twitter.
Hanks said that he and Wilson, both 63, were tested in Australia, where he is working on a film, after they felt tired and achy with 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,” Hanks said in the tweet.
The film star said that he and Wilson would be “tested, observed and isolated” for as long as required.
The couple are the first major U.S. celebrities known to have contracted COVID-19. The coronavirus has infected more than 1,000 people in the United States.
“Not much more to it than a one-day-at-a-time approach, no? We’ll keep the world posted and updated,” Hanks tweeted.
Hanks had traveled to Australia to begin filming an upcoming movie about Elvis Presley. He is set to play Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, in the Warner Bros. production.
“We have been made aware that a company member from our Elvis feature film, which is currently in pre-production in The Gold Coast, Australia, has tested positive for COVID-19,” Warner Bros said in a statement.
“We are working closely with the appropriate Australian health agencies to identify and contact anyone who may have come in direct contact with the individual.
“The health and safety of our company members is always our top priority, and we are taking precautions to protect everyone who works on our productions around the world,” the studio said.
The Warner Bros statement did not mention Hanks.
The actor is staying on the Gold Coast, east coast of Australia, which has one of the country’s main Hollywood studios and where filming was to take place.
“The Elvis biopic filming has been closed down. I understand it will be 14 days quarantine and testing and … our heart goes out to Tom and his wife,” Tom Tate, mayor of the Gold Coast, said in a press conference.
The couple’s son Chet took to Instagram to say he had spoken with his parents on the phone and that both were fine and there was no cause for major concern.
“Yeah, it’s true, my parents got coronavirus. Crazy,” he said in a video message. “They’re not even that sick. They’re not worried about it, they’re not trippin but they’re going through the necessary health precautions obviously.”
Wilson appeared on Monday on a chat show of free-to-air broadcaster Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd. The network said employees who had been in contact with her would be tested for the coronavirus and quarantined for 14 days.
Hanks won best actor Academy Awards for his role in 1994’s “Philadelphia” in which he plays a man stricken with AIDS, and “Forrest Gump” the following year. Wilson has appeared in such films as “Sleepless in Seattle” and “Runaway Bride”.
The coronavirus has infected more than 121,000 people in 118 countries while over 4,300 people have died due to the virus, a Reuters tally shows. In the United States at least 37 people have died from the respiratory illness.
(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles and Byron Kaye in Sydney; Additional reporting by Lisa Richwine, Chris Gallagher, Rama Venkat; Editing by Sandra Maler, Christopher Cushing and Himani Sarkar)