David Jason is not dead, but thousands of people have been fooled into thinking the television legend passed away this week.
Reports circulated this week that the 75-year-old actor died of a heart attack, with a news story being shared across Facebook and Twitter. Many people write messages of condolences, but those who actually opened up the EurNews story found out that it was indeed a hoax.
Some people figured out that David Jason was not dead, the Mirror noted, and many of them tried to clear up the situation for others.
“For all you plonkers put there, David Jason is NOT dead. Just another hoax,” one wrote.
Others were angry that the prank would try to fool people into believing the acting legend had passed away.
“Why the h*** would people wanna start a rumour that David Jason is dead. I’m fuming”
But David Jason is far from the first celebrity to face a strangely placed death rumor. While it hasn’t been quite as common in the U.K., many celebrities in the United States have been in the crosshairs of false death reports.
The latest hoax targeted actor-turned-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, with a report from a news site called MSMNC.co fooling thousands of people.
The report claimed (via Snopes) that Schwarzenegger was found dead, though anyone who read closely noticed that it was riddled with typos and grammatical errors (all were retained).
“Arnold Schwarzenegger was found dead at his Las Angeles [sic], California home. Schwarzenegger was 68 years old.
“Police responded to the L.A. home after receiving a 911 emergency call for a ‘unresponsive male’. Upon entering the residence, police found Schwarzenegger’s deceased body in his bed.”
“‘We found Mr. Schwarzenegger in his bedroom deceased around 9:30 pm on Wednesday,’ said Las Angeles Police Chief James J. Freda [sic] in a brief statement to Local 4 CBS News [sic]. ‘We found no reason to believe foul play was a factor in his death but intent [sic] to perform a full investigation.'”
The website in question is known for faking news, including a previous death hoax on Guns n Roses frontman Axl Rose.
Axl had a good sense of humor, tweeting, “If I’m dead, do I still have to pay taxes?” The band’s officials website also used the attention as a positive, writing, “Ha! They say I’m dead — again… Wait, what? WTF? It’s a hoax. Guys. Get a life at ParadiseCity.com.”
The report that David Jason was dead at least made no pretenses of being real, though many people apparently read the headline without actually clicking the story.
[Picture by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images]