Yet another false report of a Hollywood death, Gene Hackman in this case, to correct.
ABC News is reporting that Hackman, who will turn 85 on Friday, January 30, is alive and well, according to his rep.
The whole misunderstanding, if it can be called that, began Tuesday, January 27, with Grantland posting an article about the retired actor with the title "The Greatest Living American Male Actor at 85; Gene Hackman Is Gone But Still In Charge." Unfortunately, many readers read that to mean that he had passed away.
To that end, a Facebook page entitled "RIP Gene Hackman" was created. Actor Dylan McDermott even posted a tweet on his Twitter page paying condolences to Hackman. McDermott later removed the tweet, then posted another espousing his disdain for the misunderstanding, stating "people have too much damn time on their hands."
To Grantland's credit, once the misunderstanding became more pronounced, Grantland went back in and changed the word Gone from the title to Retired, and posted an update at the end of the article announcing that Hackman was indeed alive.
Hackman has indeed retired from acting altogether, with Welcome To Mooseport being his last film in 2004, capping his career with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for his "outstanding contribution to the entertainment field" at the Golden Globes in 2003. There are no indications as of now that he will come out of retirement to do more acting. He now spends his time as an author and still doing narrating for Lowe's' television commercials.
Yahoo! News is reporting that he has authored two books, Payback At Morning Peak in 2011 and Pursuit in 2013, as well as co-authoring three other novels. During a GQ interview in 2011, Hackman did say he would do one more movie, with some restrictions, such as "if I could do it in my own house, maybe, without them disturbing anything and just one or two people."
Gene Hackman was born in San Bernardino, California, in 1930. He became a Marine at 16, was discharged at 20, and bounced around for the next 12 years until he got the role of Buck Barrow, brother of Clyde Barrow, in Bonnie and Clyde. From there, Hackman has made his name with some iconic characters, including policeman Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle in The French Connection 1 and 2, Lex Luthor in the Christopher Reeve-led Superman series, Little Bill Daggett in Unforgiven, and Coach McGinty in The Replacements. Hackman won Best Actor for the first French Connection movie in 1972, and Best Supporting Actor in Unforgiven in 1993.
[Image courtesy of imgkid.com]