People.com Entertainment Movies Tom Hanks Was Fred Rogers' 'Favorite' Actor But 'They Never Met,' Reveals 'Beautiful Day' Director A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is available on Digital Feb 4 and on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on Feb 18 By Nigel Smith Nigel Smith Nigel Smith is Senior News Editor, Movies at PEOPLE. He is an Entertainment Editor and Writer with more than 10 years of experience in the online and print industries as a journalist, storyteller, proofreader and manager. In 2017 Smith joined the PEOPLE editorial team in New York as News Editor, Movies. He has written feature stories and reviews including interviews with Ryan Reynolds, Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Hudson and Russell Crowe. Prior, he served as News Editor at the Wrap in Los Angeles, and Entertainment Editor at the Guardian, also in LA, where he covered the red carpet at major awards shows including the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Governors Awards, Grammy Awards and Independent Spirit Awards. He also attended and reported on major film festivals at Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Telluride, SXSW and Tribeca. Smith has appeared as an expert commentator on numerous morning and entertainment shows including Good Morning America, Today, NBC News, BBC News, Access Hollywood, NY1, PeopleTV and more. A native of Toronto, Canada, Smith graduated from Syracuse University in New York State with Master of Arts degree in Arts Journalism (Film). He is married and lives in New York City. People Editorial Guidelines Published on February 4, 2020 02:39 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Tom Hanks not only played Fred Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood — he was also the late TV icon’s favorite actor! As revealed by director Marielle Heller in a featurette from the home release of the acclaimed film, Rogers was a huge fan of the actor, who earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance. “Joanne [Rogers, Fred’s widow] revealed to us that Tom Hanks was Fred’s favorite actor,” she says in the clip. “They never met. And when I told Tom this, he was like, ‘What!” Joanne, 91, also speaks the world of Hanks in the clip, saying, “I think Tom Hanks is just the nicest person you could ever want to meet. And you hear that from everybody, but that’s my own experience with him.” Tom Hanks Learns He’s a Distant Relative of Fred Rogers: ‘It All Just Comes Together’ Stephane Cardinale/Corbis/Getty; Fotos International/Courtesy of Getty Hanks, 63, previously admitted at how nervous he was to play the late children’s show host, telling CBS This Morning, “The moment I said ‘yes,’ I began to have the night sweats.” Mister Rogers Died 16 Years Ago: 7 of His Most Inspiring TV Moments Rogers was known for his charm, human understanding, and ability to connect with people across all backgrounds. The former minister famously used his children’s show platform to discuss complex social issues and break them down in a beautifully simple way easy enough for kids to understand. His show, Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, ran for 33 years and made him a household name for generations. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is available on Digital Feb 4 and on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on Feb 18.