Familiar famous faces — from Meryl Streep and Bruce Springsteen to President Barack and Michelle Obama — filled the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. on Dec. 7.

But actor and honoree Tom Hanks lit up the most when he spotted his wife of 26 years, actress Rita Wilson, and his four children in the audience.

“It’s very special to look out at a bunch of people… and there’s my wife and kids all together,” gushed Tom, who was among those being awarded for excellence in the arts at the star-studded event.

tom hanks and rita wilson

Tom and Rita in January 2014.

Tom and Rita are famous for having one of Hollywood’s longest marriages. However, during the past year, the couple has quietly struggled with a variety of challenges which friends say threatened their solid union.

“They love each other dearly,” a close friend tells ‘Closer.’ “But they weren’t getting along. They were on different paths.”

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The greatest test the couple faced in 2014 was how to cope with their 24-year-old son Chet’s substance abuse, which he publicly admitted to in November after receiving treatment.

“Tom and Rita seem to have the perfect life and be the perfect couple,” says another pal of the couple. “But nothing is ever as easy as it seems.”

To read the full story on Tom and Rita, pick up the new issue of ‘Closer Weekly,’ on newsstands now!