Fake News: Legendary Actor Kirk Douglas NOT Dead 4 Days Before His 101st Birthday

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Notorious fake news website ActionNews3 is at it again, this time with a hoax (archived here) titled "Legendary Actor Kirk Douglas Dead, 4 Days Before His 101st Birthday". The story opened:

News reports have confirmed that actor Kirk Douglas died of natural causes late this afternoon, Los Angeles coroners office reported. This was just 4 days before he would have turned 101 years old.

Family released a statement saying he "went comfortably and was in no pain" and "lived a long and prosperous life that people only dream of."

The rest of the article is mostly cribbed together from the Wikipedia page of Kirk Douglas, with the occasional "is" replaced by a "was".

kirkdouglas.jpg

No reliable news outlets have confirmed the "news", not even two days after his supposed death on December 5th. On those grounds alone it is safe to say this is fake news.

In addition to that ActionNews3 is a know fake news website that is part of a network of similar sites posting false stories all hosted on the same IP address (67.227.229.104). Notorious other sites in the network seem to include:

  • news4ktla.com
  • now8news.com
  • theracketreport.com

Earlier the site ran death hoaxes about Morgan Freeman, Rob Kardashian and Hugh Heffner (before he really died).

So don't fall for this one either and report it when you see it online (and warn your friends if you see them sharing it).

Updates:

  • 2020-02-06T17:23:59Z 2020-02-06T17:23:59Z
    More than two years after this story was published, Kirk Douglas, the Hollywood screen legend, passed away. He was 103. He died on February 5, 2020, in Los Angeles, surrounded by family, according to a statement his son Michael posted on Instagram. "To the world he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years, a humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in set a standard for all of us to aspire to,” Michael Douglas said.

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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