With so many celebrity deaths making the news in 2016, apparently, a fake news creator thought John Amos would make a great celebrity death hoax victim. According to Snopes, John was killed off by a fake news article, but Amos is not dead despite what Headline News (not HLN) reported. As seen on the screenshot of the fake article that was published on Wednesday, December 28, the headline claimed “John Amos Dead at 77.” The article went on to claim Amos had died as a 77-year-old, and called John “she” instead of “he.”
“John Amos, the actor best known as Good Times’ James Evans, has died after suffering a heart attack. She [sic] was 77.”
The screenshot also revealed that the hoax death story received 119,900 views. John made a good celebrity death hoax victim because many people still remember Amos from his role as James Evans, the patriarch who was a no-nonsense type of father. During his reign on the 1970s television series Good Times, Amos was remembered for his mean-looking “mug” as John would flash his silly TV son “J.J.” a mean sneer when he acted up. In fact, Amos portrayed a man who would sneer at just about anyone, even when he was happy.
As of this writing, a search for “John Amos” on Facebook shows that the fake news story titled “John Amos Dead at 77” is still in the top position under “News” reports on Facebook and has gotten more than 115,000 shares on Facebook. That fact alone proves that Facebook still has a long way to go in order to avoid fake news stories containing celebrity death hoaxes from being ranked highly on Facebook.
“‘He was loved by the world and she [sic] will be missed profoundly,’ says Lourd, 24. ‘Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers.’ headlinennews.com”
With Amos recently in the news because he turned 77 years of age on December 27, John was an easy target for a celebrity death hoax. According to NJ.com, Amos was also in the news quite a bit lately because of John putting his home up for sale. Originally from Newark and East Orange, Amos put up his house for $429,000. The house was purchased in 1990, and it is located in a wooded area of Tewksbury Township, nestled within four acres of woods, according to the Trulia listing of the house.
Happy Birthday, John Amos!— Steven James (@TheLaunchMag) December 27, 2016
"See, they're McDonalds... I'm McDowells! pic.twitter.com/i9ZXdyR4F2
Amos does not reportedly live in the home that’s up for sale as John resides in Baja California. John was best known for his TV role, but he was also a star of Roots, having played the adult version of Kunta Kinte. Amos is still a working actor, having appeared in The Ranch, a comedy on Netflix. John’s role in Good Times ended when he was killed off in a work accident, which led to his TV wife Esther Rolle’s famous “Damn, damn, damn!” scene that’s often quoted to this day.
“It is unfortunate that people resort to such vile behavior as to falsely report that someone has died on social media. Rest assured that John Amos is alive and well. He will address you all here on his Facebook Page personally very soon. Thank you for your concern! -Monica J. McKnight -JA Brand Manager.”
Some of the reactions to the death hoax from social media can be read on Amos’ official Facebook page.
Amos can be seen in the top photo above, as John posed for a photo shoot to promote Roots: The Complete Original Series, which was released on Blu-ray earlier this year.
[Featured Image by Amy Sussman/Invision/AP Images]