Tom Hanks' wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2014, and in April (15) the 59-year-old actress announced she had undergone a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. She is now proudly free of the disease and has vowed to live her life to the full in the hope that will encourage other people battling the illness not to give up.

As part of this, the actress-and-singer has announced her debut, self-titled, solo record will hit stores in 2016, and she'll be going on tour in support of it.

"I am cancer free. I'm one hundred percent healthy!" she is quoted as saying by People.

"I feel really blessed and very lucky. Part of the reason for going on tour is that I want to show people that you can have cancer, and you can still be out there doing what you love to do, and it's not a death sentence like it used to be."

Tom has spoken several times about the huge impact his wife's illness had on him, explaining that because it was diagnosed so quickly it was like a bolt out of the blue. He is showing Rita his support by spending as much time with her as possible - which includes hitting the road with her for her series of shows,

"He's already said, 'I am coming on the tour bus!'" she laughed at The Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment Breakfast presented by Lifetime. "So I had to get one with a bigger bed. So that was important. He's coming. He's going to be on tour... He's a roadie."

Rita's first show is in New York at the Cafe Carlyle on 23rd February (16), after which she'll take a few weeks off before performing again in March, April and May (16).