Tom Hanks warmed the hearts of audiences all around the world last year with his portrayal of beloved children's television personality Fred Rogers in the film, "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood." The role clearly stuck with Hanks. He posted a subtle nod to Mr. Rogers this weekend while in isolation after announcing that he and wife Rita Wilson tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Australia last week. 

"Thanks to the Helpers," Hanks wrote Sunday on Twitter. "Let's take care of ourselves and each other. Hanx." He included a photo of a stuffed kangaroo and a piece of toast with Vegemite, a salty spread that is a staple in many Australian households.

Hanks appeared to be riffing off of Fred Rogers' famous quote about those who help others during disasters or catastrophes. 

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping,'" said Rogers, who hosted the groundbreaking children's program "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" from 1968 to 2001. Rogers died in 2003.

The quote has continued to offer solace and hope to many in times of crisis around the world. In 2017, in the aftermath of a suicide bomb attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England that left 22 people dead, thousands shared the quote across social media to comfort one another.

Hanks first announced in a tweet on March 11 that he and wife Rita Wilson had tested positive for the coronavirus while in Australia. He posted the news along with a photo of disposable medical gloves in what seemed to be a medical waste trash can. He said that initially the couple "felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches. Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too." 

The couple's son, Chet Hanks, posted about his parents' diagnoses on social media shortly after the announcement, assuring his followers, "they both are fine, they're not even that sick." Hanks' other son and Wilson's stepson, actor Colin Hanks, also posted an update about his parents last week, thanking fans for their "outpouring of support."

Hanks tweeted a second update to fans on Thursday night, sharing a photo of the Hollywood couple and a cheeky reference to his famous film, "A League Of Their Own."

"There are things we can all do to get through this by following the advice of experts and taking care of ourselves and each other, no?" the actor said. "Remember, despite all the current events, there is no crying in baseball. Hanx"

Hanks and Wilson are two of tens of thousands of people around the world who have tested positive for the new COVID-19 disease. There have been 377 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Australia, where the couple is currently in isolation, with three confirmed deaths, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins. 

Worldwide, over 169,000 people have tested positive. Almost half have recovered, but 6,500 people have died from the illness as of Monday. 

First published on March 16, 2020 / 7:17 PM

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