Proof The World Isn't All Bad: Tom Hanks Is Actually Related To Mister Rogers

by Christina Marfice
Deborah Feingold/Getty and TriStar Pictures

This is proof positive that Tom Hanks was born to play Mister Rogers

We already knew that Tom Hanks was the perfect person to play Fred Rogers in the upcoming biopic, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Mister Rogers was a kind, sweet soul who taught an entire generation of children how to love themselves and those around them, while Hanks is one of the few unproblematic men we have left in the world. Plus, as soon as he puts on that iconic cardigan, he’s somehow a dead ringer for Mister Rogers. It was just mean to be, for reasons we may never comprehend.

There is one reason, though, that caught us all by surprise but only reaffirms how perfect this casting has been from the very beginning. While on a red carpet ahead of the worldwide release of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Hanks was being interviewed by an Access Hollywood reporter who had some surprise news for him: It’s been discovered that he and Mr. Rogers are actually related, albeit distantly.

Hanks was with his wife, Rita Wilson, when the big reveal happened.

“I want to break some news to you tonight,” the reporter told them both. “Our friends at Ancestry.com did some digging. You are related to Fred Rogers.”

It was actually Wilson who responded first, and she seemed shocked by the revelation.

“No,” she said. “It’s impossible. You’re pulling our leg.”

Standing just behind her, though, Hanks appeared pretty unfazed by the news.

“It all just comes together, you see,” he said.

An illustrated chart shows that Hanks and Mr. Rogers are 6th cousins, who share a relative named Johannes Meffert.

Access Hollywood / YouTube

Even though it’s pretty amazing to find out that Mister Rogers is actually related to the actor who’s playing him, Hanks clearly understands that pretty much everyone on Earth is related if you go back far enough, because he jokingly asks the reporter, “I would like to see if Johnny Depp is related to Fred Rogers. Can you find out from Ancestry.com?”

Whether or not Johnny Depp is related to Mister Rogers, we now know for sure that Tom Hanks is, and that just makes us feel like there’s still a little good left in the world. In 2019, with a racist in the White House and nationalist movements gaining momentum across the globe and sexual predators still not being held accountable for their actions, we need a win once in a while. And when you think about it, it makes perfect sense that kind, sweet Mister Rogers and equally kind, gentle, unproblematic Hanks are related to one another, however distantly.