Tom Hanks Has a Strange Familial Tie To This Iconic Character He's Portrayed in Movies

<p>Fred Rogers is one of the most iconic television personalities of all time. His TV show, <em>Mister Rogers&#8217; Neighborhood</em>, ran for over 30 years, and was known for dealing with tough emotional issues, giving children the tools that they needed to cope with difficult times.</p>
<p>A film about the life and work of Fred Rogers seemed inevitable, and there is really only one actor who could appropriately convey the warmth and kindness of the famed host &#8212; Tom Hanks.</p>
<p>Keep reading to learn more about Tom Hanks, Fred Rogers, and the crazy reason why Hanks is the perfect choice to play Rogers in a movie.</p>
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<h2>Fred Rogers is a symbol of kindness</h2>
<p>Fred Rogers was born in 1928 and began working in television in the fifties. In 1953, he started developing his very first show for children, called <em>The Children&#8217;s Corner</em>. The show was primarily a puppeteering program and received widespread acclaim. </p>
<p>Over the next few years, Rogers became ordained as a Presbyterian minister and continued working on various other shows, including <em>Butternut Square</em> and <em>Misterogers</em>.&nbsp;</p>
<p><em>Mister Rogers&#8217; Neighborhood</em> debuted on television in 1968 and went on to air on for thirty-three years. The show focused on children&#8217;s developing emotions, rather than learning letters and phonics, and Rogers himself was front and center for every episode. </p>
<p>He became a comforting presence during tough times and is still looked to today as one of the most influential television hosts that ever lived. Rogers earned a slew of awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Emmy and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. </p>
<p>He passed away in 2003 after a battle with stomach cancer, but his programs, including <em>Mister Rogers&#8217; Neighborhood</em>, live on.&nbsp;</p>
<h2>Tom Hanks is an American treasure</h2>
<p>Out of all the stars in Hollywood, possibly the most beloved is Tom Hanks. The clean-cut, charming actor has lent his talents to some of the biggest films of the century, including <em>Forrest Gump</em>, <em>Saving Private Ryan</em>, and <em>Toy Story</em>. He has also managed to avoid controversy during the course of his long career, instead, becoming a figure of intelligence, warmth, and compassion.</p>
<p>Hanks is also notorious for his kindness, and there is a multitude of stories about his generosity when meeting with fans. All in all, there could be no more perfect candidate to portray Mr. Rogers than Tom Hanks.</p>
<h2>Tom Hanks portrays Mr. Rogers in a new film</h2>
<p><em>A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood</em> is a brand-new film that focuses on the friendship between Fred Rogers and a journalist assigned to write a profile of him. While Hanks isn&#8217;t the main character in the film, with the journalist taking the spotlight most of the time, he still receives a great deal of screen time, much of it while wearing his iconic red sweater. </p>
<p>The film has already been earning praise for the way Hanks plays Rogers, but as it turns out, Hanks was a natural choice for the role.</p>
<h2>Is Tom Hanks related to Fred Rogers?</h2>
<p>Recently, Ancestry.com did a trace of Tom Hanks&#8217; family history and discovered that the famous actor is actually a distant relation of Fred Rogers. As a sixth cousin to Mr. Rogers, Hanks, and the host share the same&nbsp;great-great-great-great-great grandfather.</p>
<p>When the revelation was exposed to Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, Hanks&#8217; reaction was that of astonishment and surprise.&nbsp;&#8220;Listen…it all just comes together, you see,&#8221; Hanks said, while Wilson exclaimed that it was &#8220;impossible.&#8221; </p>
<p>Needless to say, fans have been loving the sweet surprise, and the consensus is that the familial relationship between Hanks and Rogers totally makes sense.</p>
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