Morgan Freeman Not Dead: Twitter Confuses Actor With Nelson Mandela

Morgan Freeman is not dead, despite what Twitter may think.

The micro-blogging site has been exploding with tweets that Freeman has died, and message of condolences were pouring out. The only problem, much with celebrity death news to sweep the site in the past, is that none of it is true.

The confusion came largely from the real life death of former South African leader Nelson Mandela. He passed away on Thursday after a long illness that included a lung infection. Mandela was 95.

But when the news filtered to Twitter — whether accidentally or on purpose — many users reported that Morgan Freeman had died instead.

The confusion could be understood. Morgan Freeman bore a striking resemblance to Nelson Mandela, and in fact once played the South African president on screen.

Freeman starred as Mandela in the 2009 film Invictus, a biopic that featured Matt Damon as the captain of South Africa’s rugby team Francois Pienaar and Morgan Freeman as Mandela. The movie focuses on Mandela shortly after he was released from prison, trying to unite blacks and whites in South Africa to support the national rugby team in the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

In the hours after Mandela’s death was announced, Twitter became a site of confusion about who actually died.

Other users spoke up against the death hoax, assuring others that Morgan Freeman is not dead.

Morgan Freeman should be familiar with death hoaxes by now. Last year he was the subject of another false Twitter report, even mocking it on his Facebook page.

“Like Mark Twain, I keep reading that I have died,” wrote the 75-year-old Freeman. “I hope those stories are not true…but if they are, I’m happy to report that my afterlife seems identical to my life when I was alive.”

Morgan Freeman is not dead, and he’s still got a sense of humor, too

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