Tom Hanks discovers he's related to Mister Rogers days before "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" released

On the left is Fred Rogers rehearsing a segment for Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood on June 28, 1989. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File). On the right is Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers in "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" (Sony Pictures)
Published:

Tom Hanks bears a shocking resemblance to children's television star Fred Rogers, who he plays in the upcoming film "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood." But the similarities are more than just good casting — the performers are actually related, according to a discovery made by Ancestry.com.

Hanks is sixth cousins with Rogers, and they share the same great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Johannes Mefford, a company representative told CBS News. The company utilized its database of over 20 billion online historical records to form Hanks' family tree, the representative said.

The star and his wife, fellow actor Rita Wilson, appeared to learn of the news for the first time while speaking with Access Hollywood at a New York City screening of the upcoming film Monday. "No. Impossible. No, you're pulling our leg," said a shocked Wilson.

Advertisement - Story continues below

After the outlet revealed the family tree, Hanks and Wilson came around to the news. "It all just comes together, you see," said Hanks.

The new film tells the story of a reporter whose life changes after he meets Rogers. Matthew Rhys plays Lloyd Vogel, a journalist for Esquire tasked with profiling the icon. The film is based on Rogers' real-life friendship with journalist Tom Junod, which began in 1998 when Junod wrote an article about the TV personality.

Rogers, who died in 2003, hosted "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" from 1968 to 2001 and was known for his positivity and care for children.

The movie premieres on November 22.

The family tree shows Tom Hanks and Fred Rogers are distantly related. (CBS VIA ANCESTRY)
Filed under: