Morgan Freeman is not dead — just like he was not dead in 2012, 2014, or any of the countless other times that viral reports have spread about the beloved actor’s demise.
This week, a hoax report circulated across social media claiming that Freeman had passed away at his home in Mississippi. While a number of people had grown wise to this kind of celebrity death hoax, many others took to Twitter and Facebook to leave messages of shock and condolences for the actor.
Some famous friends even helped squash the rumors. As the Mirror reported, comedian Rob Schneider went on Twitter to set the record straight regarding Morgan Freeman’s health status.
“Just heard Morgan Freeman is VERY MUCH ALIVE!! Sorry!” Schneider wrote.
The Saturday Night Live alum also noted that Morgan Freeman seemed to have a sense of humor about the situation.
“My close friend called me and HE WAS UNIFORMED!!!!” Rob added.
This is far from the first time that viral reports have claimed that Morgan Freeman is dead. The actor is a popular target for online hoaxers, with several other viral reports claiming that he had died. One of the most famous came in 2012, when reports of his untimely death spread rapidly across the internet and garnered millions of views.
After a death hoax spread in September of that year, Freeman went so far as to issue a statement through his publicist noting that he was very much alive. Then, when another death hoax started circulating just weeks later, Freeman took a more hands-on approach.
“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.”
It is not clear what motivation is behind these celebrity death hoaxes. Some of them — including several that have struck Morgan Freeman — originate on satire news sites that appear to be geared toward fooling people into clicking into the site. Others simply appear to be an elaborate prank, with people sometimes creating fake memorial pages on Facebook to see how far they can grow.
Not only is Morgan Freeman very much alive, but the actor is still busy with projects. He has a new show on National Geographic called The Story of Us.
While Morgan Freeman is not dead, he does not appear as willing to speak up about the latest hoax. The actor has not made any public comment on the rumors that spread around the internet this week.
[Featured Image by Alex Winter/Getty Images]