The much-anticipated movie, A Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood, was released this week with actor Tom Hanks playing the lovable children’s television host Fred Rogers. Having just debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival, the new release has already received rave reviews from critics, but the audience is especially impressed with Tom Hanks’ performance as Mister Rogers. Bearing an uncanny resemblance to the late TV personality, Hanks is the perfect person to play the role. But what makes this casting decision even more special is that Hanks is actually related to the real Mr. Rogers.
The fun fact was recently discovered by Ancestry.com, which used a database of over 20 billion online historical records to trace back Hanks’ lineage. The researchers found that he and Rogers are 6th cousins. The two stars share the same great-grandfather five times removed, Johannes Meffert, who immigrated from Germany to America back during the 18th century.
The familial connection was revealed to Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson at the NYC premiere of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood earlier this week. Coming as a surprise, Wilson and Hanks were stunned. “Impossible,” said Wilson. “No, you’re pulling our leg.” Hanks coolly replies, “It all just comes together, you see.”
Tom Hanks recently discovered that he’s related to Fred Rogers, who he plays in his new film, A Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood.
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The two stars are 6th cousins and share the same great-great-great-great-great grandfather.