Tom Hanks is related to Abraham Lincoln

As a double Oscar winner, Tom Hanks is considered Hollywood royalty.

But now it has been revealed that the Forrest Gump star is related to one of America’s greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln.

The 56-year-old actor is third cousin, four times removed of the former president.

Hank’s link to ‘Honest Abe’ comes through the President’s mother, Nancy Hanks.

Details of the genealogical link were revealed by Hanks, 56, as it was announced he will narrate a film called Killing Lincoln.

The historical thriller combines CGI and rare historical archive material and is being made by the National Geographic Channel.

The film is based on the book by Bill O’Reilly with Billy Campbell playing Lincoln, Jesse Johnson as his assassin John Wilkes Booth, and Geraldine Hughes as Mary Todd Lincoln.

Hanks has known he was a distant relative of Lincoln since he was a child, with details of his ancestry passed down by members of his extended family.

He took great pleasure in reading from the Gettysburg Address during an inaugural celebration for President Obama in 2009.

Hanks does not boast about his lineage, but did once say: ‘I’m related to Abraham Lincoln. His mother was called Nancy Hanks, and the members of my branch of the family are either cousins or in-laws or poor relations.

‘So when I was at school, guess which president I was always doing essays on.’

Hanks, who through his film roles in movies like Saving Private Ryan and Apollo 11 is known as the ‘chronicler in chief’ of U.S. history, was briefly considered for the title role in Steven Spielberg’s forthcoming movie Lincoln.

But he dropped out of the running, saying that the actor who needed to play Lincoln had to be tall and admitting he did not have the same stature as Daniel Day-Lewis.

Genealogists have confirmed Hanks is a descendant of the former president.

Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 to Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks.

Nancy died when Lincoln was nine years old, and he had one older sister who died in childbirth at the age of 20.

Lincoln has no direct living descendents, due to a series of tragedies and unmarried descendants.

Only one of his children, Robert, lived to adulthood, and while he had three children, only a few gave him grandchildren.

Lincoln’s last descendant passed away in 1984.

Daniel Day Lewis is transformed into the 13th president for Spielberg’s film, which is released in November.

The film follows his political career up to his assassination in 1865. It is tipped to be a major contender in the 2013 Oscar race.

by Milo Johnson

 

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