Tom Hanks is a distant relative of Mr. Rogers

Actor Tom Hanks is getting set to portray Mr. Rogers in a new film debuting this week, and according to, the two men are distantly related, reported.

>>VIDEO: "He really cared about people" Mrs. Rogers shares Fred's legacy ahead of new movie

Hanks and Rogers are sixth cousins, sharing a great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Johannes Mefford. Three of Mefford's sons served as American soldiers in the Revolutionary War.

>> Read more trending news reported Rogers' great-great-great-great grandfather served in the Navy and was captured by the British in 1782. He was held on a prison ship in Barbados and Antigua for 10 months.

Hanks' great-great-great-great grandfather fought in a skirmish at Chesapeake Bay.

"So, Rogers and Hanks not only share the same ancestor they also descend from two brothers who fought for America's independence," said in a statement to Today.

Access Hollywood surprised the actor with the news on the red carpet. Hanks' wife Rita Wilson responded, "You're pulling our leg."

"A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" will be released nationwide on Friday.

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