The actor found out he has a deeper connection to the beloved children’s television host.
- Posted on Dec 2, 2019
Tom Hanks delivers a breathtaking performance playing Fred Rogers in the movie A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood—and a recent discovery helps explain why.
According to Ancestry.com, Tom Hanks and Fred Rogers are actually sixth cousins. The two share the common ancestor Johannes Mefford, who came to America from Germany sometime in the 18th-century.
Hanks learned of the news while on the red carpet for a screening of the movie, which follows the relationship between Rogers and a cynical journalist. His wife, Rita Wilson, who was with him when Access Hollywood broke the news, couldn’t believe it.
“No. Impossible,” Wilson told the Hollywood Reporter. “No, you’re pulling our leg.”
Joanne Rogers, Fred’s widow, was thrilled by the news.
“Now that is amazing,” she said on the red carpet. “And Fred would have loved it. He loved family tree stuff.”
Meanwhile, Hanks took the news in stride.
“It all just comes together, you see,” he said.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is screening in theaters everywhere.