The actor found out on Sunday that he and Fred Rogers—who played Mister Rogers on the children’s TV show—are sixth cousins, CNN reports. Ancestry.com unveiled the information first. “It all just comes together, you see,” Hanks told Access Hollywood, which informed him first.
“Fred Rogers and Tom Hanks are sixth cousins sharing the same 5x great-grandfather ... who immigrated from Germany to America in the 18th century,” an Ancestry spokeswoman told CNN.
It’s particularly extraordinary because Hanks plays Mister Rogers in the forthcoming film, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. He told Access Hollywood he didn’t know they were related when he accepted the role.
In other odd Tom Hanks-related news, no one was able to accurately identify the actor on last night’s episode of Jeopardy! When the contestants were asked who is starring as Mister Rogers in A Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood, all three drew a blank, even when a video of Hanks as Rogers appeared on the screen.
Yes, the contestant named Beverly did buzz in, but as Alex Trebek told her, “That's Tom Hanks, not quickly enough, Beverly.”
The Jeopardy! Fan Twitter account came to the contestants’ defense, alleging that the lights malfunctioned during the question. However, the official Jeopardy! account hasn’t verified that that’s what actually happened.
A Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood hits theaters November 22.