Tom Hanks channels Mister Rogers, thanks 'helpers' from coronavirus quarantine

The actor and his wife, Rita Wilson, remain in isolation in Australia after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper

Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers. 


Tom Hanks played Mister Rogers in the 2019 film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, and a famous quote from the late children's show host apparently has stayed with the actor. Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, were diagnosed last week with COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, and are currently in isolation in Australia. On Sunday, Hanks posted a variation on Fred Rogers' famed quote about looking for the good in troubled times.

"Thanks to the helpers," Hanks wrote on Instagram, along with a photo of iconic Australian items -- a stuffed kangaroo and a tube of Vegemite spread. "Let's take care of ourselves and each other."

Fred Rogers famously said in an interview that his mother would tell him to "always look for the helpers" when a catastrophe occurred. "There will always be helpers," he said, citing medical workers and others who come in to a troubled situation. "Because if you look for the helpers, you'll know there's hope."

Hanks' photo featured a stuffed kangaroo holding an Australian flag and a clip-on koala toy holding on to a tube of Vegemite, perched behind toast covered with that Aussie food spread. It has been liked more than a million times in just 16 hours.

Watch this: Pandemic: Here's what's changed about the coronavirus

In an earlier Instagram caption, Hanks said he and Wilson are remaining in isolation so they don't spread the illness to those for whom it could be more dangerous. "We are taking it one day at a time," he wrote.

Coronavirus in pictures: Scenes from around the world

See all photos