Tom Hanks learns he's related to Mr. Rogers at premiere of "A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood"

Tom Hanks found out some exciting and wholly surprising news at the premiere of “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood.” This news might explain why the “Forest Gump” actor is getting such critical acclaim for performance as Mr. Rogers. It turns out the Academy Award winner is actually related to the beloved children’s television icon in real life.

While walking the red carpet with his wife Rita Wilson, Access Hollywood dropped the bombshell news. Tom Hanks didn’t have a clue that he and Fred Rogers are cousins. did some digging into both the Rogers and Hanks family trees. It didn’t take too much digging to find a common relative named Johannes Meffert between the stars.

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Tom Hanks and Mr. Rogers Are Cousins

It turns out Hanks and Mr. Rogers are sixth cousins. Both Hanks and Wilson were shocked and delighted to find out this family history. It took a minute for them to realize this wasn’t a joke.

“No, impossible. No, you’re pulling our leg,” Hank’s wife Rita Wilson said before asking if they could take the Ancestry chart home.

“Fred Rogers and Tom Hanks are sixth cousins sharing the same 5x great-grandfather, Johannes Mefford, who immigrated from Germany to America in the 18th century. Johannes raised a family of patriots; three of his sons (including Tom Hanks’ and Fred Rogers’s ancestors) served in the Revolutionary War,” a statement from said about the relationship.

“It all just comes together, you see,” Hanks told Access Hollywood in the video below.

Tom Hanks’ Granddaughter

Tom Hanks is putting his sixth cousin’s techniques into practice into his own life.

When Hanks’ granddaughter was over, he pulled something out of Mr. Rogers’ playbook to help her adjust to being without her mom.

From Fox News:

“I had my granddaughter over,” the 63-year-old Oscar winner tells USA TODAY. “Her mom got up early and left before she got up out of bed. And when she got up, she was asking, ‘Where’s Mommy?’ 

“And I said, your mom has gone off to see some friends. And she’s left you with me to take care of. So I am going to keep you safe until your mom comes back. So I really hope you’ll come and help me now make some pancakes,” he recalls, chuckling.

“And as soon as I said, ‘I’m going to keep you safe,’ she was completely a gem for the remainder of the day. I got that from Mr. Rogers, because children want to know they’re going to be taken care of.”

“A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood” starring Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers opens Thursday, November 21st. 

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