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Tom Hanks Finds Out He's Related to Mr. Rogers After Filming 'A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood'

Gettyimages | Vivien Killilea
By Natalie Hunter

They say that everyone's separated by six degrees of separation. This statement is very literal for 'A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood' star Tom Hanks. After playing Fred Rogers, ancestry.com revealed that Rogers and Hanks are actually related. The Hanks' reactions are hilarious.

"No, impossible," Hanks' wife Rita Wilson said laughing. "No, you're pulling our leg."

"It all just comes together, you see," Tom Hanks joked. "I would like to see if Johnny Depp is related to Fred Rogers. Can you find out from Ancestry.com?"

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It gets even better. The DNA testing site told the story that ties the two together and explained how Hanks and Rogers are related.

"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," the genealogy site detailed in a statement," Ancestry.com sited.

Giphy | Won't You Be My Neighbor

"Fred Rogers’s 4x great-grandfather, William Mefford, served in the navy and was captured by the British in 1782. He endured life on a prison ship in Barbados and Antigua until he was released ten months later. Tom Hanks’s 4x great-grandfather, Jacob Mefford, joined the War as a private and participated in a skirmish at the Chesapeake Bay. So, Rogers and Hanks not only share the same ancestor, but they also descend from two brothers who fought for America’s independence." Talk about good casting!

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"It’s no surprise they are related as the similarities between the two are uncanny," Jennifer Utley, Ancestry.com's Director of Research, explained.

"Even if we don’t know it, our pasts impact our present." 'A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood' depicts the true story of skeptical journalist, Tom Jonud, who is tasked with profiling children's TV star Fred Rogers. Tom Hanks gives a moving performance that even Fred Roger's approves of.

"He is so brilliant, he just disappears into the part," she told Chicago Tribune. "I think what he would feel is gratitude. He really did like Tom Hanks. I think he would like it. Tom is such a grand person."

Giphy | Won't You Be My Neighbor

Hanks learned a lot from Mr. Rogers. "When my wife and I are going at it on those rare occasions, when she is letting me know that I'm not really listening to her and I'm trying to establish what the ground rules are (for the argument), when we're going at it like that, one of us will say, 'Well, you know what? You know what, honey? It's good to talk. It's good to say the things we feel,'" Hanks told ET. "And I learned that from Mister Rogers."

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