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Guess Who Tom Hanks Is Related To?

Turns out Hanks, who plays Fred Rogers in new movie, is Rogers' 6th cousin, per Ancestry.com
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2019 8:00 AM CST
This combination photo shows Fred Rogers, left, in Pittsburgh on June 28, 1989, and Tom Hanks at the London premiere of the film "The Post" on Jan. 10, 2018.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – It felt like a "no-brainer" that Tom Hanks was cast as Mister Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, opening nationwide Friday. Some even say the 63-year-old actor "was born" to play the gentle children's show host. That turns out to be more true than any of us suspected, including Hanks: He's actually related to the late Fred Rogers, a discovery made by Ancestry.com, per CNN. The genealogy company traced Hanks' bloodline and found out the two men are sixth cousins; their common ancestor is Johannes Meffert, who came to the US from Germany in the 1700s.

Access Hollywood has video of the moment Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, were told of the big find on Monday at a screening of the film, per CBS News. "No, impossible. No, you're pulling our leg," was Wilson's immediate reaction. "It all just comes together, you see," said Hanks, who seemed somewhat stunned. Jennifer Utley, Ancestry.com's research chief, isn't surprised about the connection, "as the similarities between the two are uncanny," she tells Fox News. "Even if we don't know it, our pasts impact our present." Hanks is hoping for more famous relatives to come out of this. "I would like to see if Johnny Depp is related to Fred Rogers," he joked to Access Hollywood. "Can you find out from Ancestry.com?" (Read more Tom Hanks stories.)

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