Gene Hackman dead? Fans freak that legendary actor, 84, is gone

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Gene Hackman dead? Fans freak that legendary actor, 84, is gone
Actor Christopher Reeve, left, and co-star Gene Hackman arrive at the premiere of their movie "Superman" in Los Angeles, Ca., on Dec. 15, 1978. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Gene Hackman accepts the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in "The French Connection" at the 44th Academy Awards in 1972. Watch LIVE OSCAR SUNDAY on ABC.
Gene Hackman, right, and long-time friend Daniel Lenihan, discuss their new book, "Wake of the Perdido Star," Nov. 19, 1999, in Cloudclift Bakery, the cafe where they first dreamed up their adventure story in Santa Fe, N.M. Hackman and Lenihan co-authored the book, published by Newmarket Press. (AP Photo/Sarah Martone)
"The Royal Tenenbaums" cast members Gene Hackman, left, and Ben Stiller pose together at the premiere of the film in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2001. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Actor Gene hackman and his wife,Fay, arrive at the Music Center in Los Angeles night of April 10,1972 for the Academy Awards ceremony. Hackman is nominated for "best actor" for his role in "The French Connection." (AP Photo)
Gene Hackman accepts his best supporting Oscar for his role in "Unforgiven" at the 65th annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles, Ca., Monday, March 29, 1993. (AP Photo/Bob Galbraith)
Actor Gene Hackman arrives with his wife, Betsy Arakawa, for the 60th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 19, 2003, where he will receive the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Cecil B deMille Award for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Gene Hackman holds his Cecil B. DeMille award at the 60th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. Sunday, Jan. 19, 2003. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Actors Gene Hackman and Al Pacino on set for the Warner Bros. movie 'Scarecrow' in 1973. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Actor Gene Hackman in a scene from the movie 'Lucky Lady', 1975. (Photo by Stanley Bielecki Movie Collection/Getty Images)
Gene Hackman, right, holds his Cecil B. DeMille award at the 60th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. Sunday, Jan. 19, 2003. Robin Williams, left, introduced him. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Gene Hackman leans over to kiss Jane Fonda after they were named "Best Actor " and "Best Actress" a the 44th annual Academy Awards ceremony a the Music Center in Los Angles, April 10, 1972. Hackman received his Oscar for his role in "The French Connection" and Miss Fonda in "Klute". (AP Photo)
Philip D'Antoni, Gene Hackman and Jane Fonda with Oscars at the 1971 Academy Awards presented March 27, 1972 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. (AP Photo)
Gene Hackman accepts his Oscar for best actor at the 1971 Academy Awards presented March 27, 1972 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. (AP Photo)
Raquel Welch, Cloris Leachman, named best supporting actress and Gene Hackman at the 1971 Academy Awards presented March 27, 1972 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. (AP Photo)
Actor Gene Hackman on set for the Warner Bros. movie 'Scarecrow' in 1973. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Philip D'Antoni wins an Oscar for "The French Connection" and Gene Hackman wins for best actor at the Academy Awards, March 27, 1971 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. (AP Photo)
Philip D'Antoni producer of the "The French Connection", named best picture; Gene Hackman named "best actor" for his role in "The French Connection"; Jane Fonda named "best actress" for "Klute" and William Friedkin, winner of "best achievement in directing" for "The French Connection," seen at the Academy Awards, March 27, 1971 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. (AP Photo)
Clint Eastwood, left, and Gene Hackman hold the three Oscar won for the film "Unforgiven" at the 65 th Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles Monday,March 29, 1993. Eastwood won Best Director and Best Film, Hackman won Best Supporting Actor. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
Gene Hackman, winner of best supporting actor for "Unforgiven" and Marisa Tomei, best supporting actress winner for "My Cousin Vinny" pose with their Oscars at Academy Awards Monday night, March 29, 1993. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
Promotional headshot of actor Gene Hackman, as he appears in the movie 'French Connection II', 1975. (Photo by Stanley Bielecki Movie Collection/Getty Images)
Actor Gene Hackman, who once thought he was doomed to play supporting roles all his life because of his ?potato face,? discusses the effect of an Academy Award nomination on his career, March 24, 1972. Hackman, nominated for best actor for his role in ?The French Connection,? is being beseeched to take starring parts in a wide variety of movies. (AP Photo/George Brich)
Actor Gene Hackman with wife at E.R.A. gathering in actress Joan Hackett?s home in Beverly Hills, Calif., March 1978. (AP Photo)
Actor Gene Hackman in a scene from the movie 'French Connection II', 1975. (Photo by Stanley Bielecki Movie Collection/Getty Images)
Liza Minelli and Gene Hackman make a nice couple as they swing around the dance floor at the University Club in Mexico City, Wednesday, June 26, 1975. They are in town for the filming of ?Lucky Lady? a new film about rumrunners in the 1930?s. (AP Photo)
American Actor Gene Hackman and Actor Matt Dillon, Jan. 5, 1985. (AP Photo)
Attending the New York Film Critics awards party, Sunday, Jan. 26, 1972 from left are Gene Hackman, Paulette Goddard and Peter Falk. Falk accepted an award for Jane Fonda. (AP Photo)
Actor Gene Hackman gives the thumbs up signal prior to the Pro-Celebrity Race in Long Beach, California, Saturday, March 14, 1981. Hackman has won the celebrity divisions at Watkins Glen and Long Beach. (AP Photo/Rasmussen)
Actor Gene Hackman, Left, talks with veteran race car driver, now team manager for All American Racers, Dan Gurney, Right, at the Daytona International Speedway, Feb. 5, 1983. Hackman will be making his debut as a professional driver driving the team Toyota Celica. (AP Photo/Bob Self)
Actor Gene Hackman flips a coin to see who will pick which option during the weigh in for the WBO/IBF lightweight championship fight between Oscar De La Hoya and Rafael Ruelas, Friday, May 5, 1995 at Caesars palace in Las Vegas. Ruelas won the toss and took option A which meant he would be weighed in last, picks gloves first, enters ring last and introducted first in the ring. The two will fight on Saturday night. Hackman, for the past few years, has been a close follower of the Ruelas brothers. (AP Photo/Lennox McLendon)
Gene Hackman co-stars in Warner Bros.-Seven Arts? Bonnie and Clyde, starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, produced by Warren Beatty, directed by Arthur Penn INn Technicolor in April 1968. (AP Photo)
Gene Hackman smiles as he holds Oscar he had just received as ?best actor? of 1971 for his role in ?The French Connection,? at the 44th Annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Music Center in Los Angeles, April 10, 1972. (AP Photo)
Gene Hackman greets Mariel Hemingway before entering the Beverly Hilton Hotel for the 50th annual Golden Globes Awards, Saturday, Jan. 23, 1993 in Beverly Hills, California. Hackman won Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for the film ?Unforgiven.? Hemingway is nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series-Drama for her work in ?Civil Wars.? (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Famous American actor Gene Hackman, right, and his companion Betsy Arakawa take a look over Berlin Wall in the district of Kreuzberg, Monday, March 13, 1989 in Berlin. Gene Hackman stays in West Berlin for shooting to his new movie ?Baggage.? (AP Photo/Lutz Schmidt)
Actor Gene Hackman shown at Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles in January 1993. (AP Photo)
Gene Hackman in 1988. (AP Photo)
Actor Gene Hackman, who once thought he was doomed to play supporting roles all his life because of his ?potato face,? discusses the effect of an Academy Award nomination on his career, March 24, 1972. Hackman, nominated for best actor for his role in ?The French Connection,? is being beseeched to take starring parts in a wide variety of movies. (AP Photo/George Brich)
FILE - "The Royal Tenenbaums" cast member Gene Hackman poses at the premiere of the film in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, Dec. 6, 2001. Hackman will turn 80 years on Jan. 30, 2010. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Actor Gene Hackman with wife Betsy Arakawa in June 1993. (AP Photo)
UNSPECIFIED DATE - USA: A Portroid of Gene Hackman taken by Rick DeMint. He has amassed a collection of over 500 Polaroid portraits or Portroids with each star's autograph at the bottom. His collection includes massive names like US president Barack Obama, Tom Cruise Susan Sarandon, Ralph Fiennes, Donald Trump, Andre Agassi, Eddie Izzard and Ricky Gervais. (Photo by Rick DeMint / Barcroft Media / Getty Images)
Actor Gene Hackman sighted on April 17, 1977 at Chasen's Restaurant in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
(NO US SALES FOR 90 DAYS, NO TABLOIDS) Gene Hackman during 'Runaway Jury' Press Conference with Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, John Cusack and Rachel Weisz at the Wyndham Hotel in New Orleans, LA. (Photo by Vera Anderson/WireImage)
Actor Gene Hackman on the set of the movie 'French Connection II', 1975. (Photo by Stanley Bielecki Movie Collection/Getty Images)
SUPERMAN II -1980 GENE HACKMAN
GENE HACKMAN - US actor
Actor Gene Hackman at the Academy Awards
THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS 2001 Touchtstone film with Gene Hackman
HEIST -2001 GENE HACKMAN
HEIST (2001) GENE HACKMAN, REBECCA PIDGEON HEIT 001FOH
USS ALABAMA aka CRIMSON TIDE 1995 Buena Vista film with Gene Hackman
THE CHAMBER 1996 Universal film with Gene Hackman at left and Chris O'Donnell
Left to right: Gene Hackman as Major General Sosabowski, Ryan O'Neal as Brigadier General Gavin, Michael Caine as Lieutenant Colonel J.O.E. Vandeleur, Edward Fox as Lieutenant General Horrocks, and Dirk Bogarde (1921 - 1999) as Lieutenant General Browning, in a promotional portrait for 'A Bridge Too Far', directed by Richard Attenborough, 1977. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
American actor Gene Hackman exulting in the film Hoosiers. USA, 1987 (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
American actor Gene Hackman on the set of the movie 'Mississippi Burning' (directed by Alan Parker), Braxton, Mississippi, May 6, 1988. (Photo Robert R. McElroy/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 6: (L-R) Irene Gorovaia, Jonah Meyerson and actor Gene Hackman attend the world premiere of 'The Royal Tennenbaums' on December 6, 2001 at El Capitan Theater in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - MARCH 21: Actor Gene Hackman and Mercedes Ruehl attend the nominees luncheon for 24th Annual British Film and Television Academy Awards on March 21, 1993 at Universal Studios in Universal City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY - APRIL 14: (L-R) Actor Gene Hackman, Keith Carradine and Richard Dreyfuss attend Sixth Annual Broadway Cares Benefit on April 14, 1992 at the Palace Theater in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY - MARCH 17: Actor Gene Hackman and wife Betsy Hackman attend the opening of 'Death and the Maiden' on March 17, 1992 at the Brooks Atkinson Theater in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Gene Hackman during Presidential Premiere of 'Superman' in Washington, D.C. - December 10, 1978 at JFK Center for the Performing Arts, Eisenhower Theater in Washington, D.C., United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
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By Susan Johnson
HollywoodLife.com


After a Jan. 28 Grantland article ran a story with the headline "The Greatest Living American Actor at 85: Gene Hackman Is Gone But Still in Charge," fans feared that the legendary actor, whose 85th birthday is on Jan. 30, had died. Is this for real or just another death hoax?

Not to worry, Gene Hackman fans, the legend is "alive and well," his rep confirmed to ABC News on Jan. 28.

Phew, what a relief!

Grantland later changed the title of its headline to say "The Greatest Living American Actor at 85: Gene Hackman Is Retired But Still in Charge." It's amazing what one little word can do, but at least it didn't seem to be an intentional death hoax.

The article did do some damage before it was corrected, though. Especially after someone put up a Facebook called called "RIP Gene Hackman." "He will be missed but not forgotten," the page read, according to ET Canada. "Please show your sympathy and condolences by commenting on and liking this page."

Did you fall for the Gene Hackman death hoax? Don't worry, you're in good company. Even actor Dylan McDermott was fooled; he took to Twitter to say "Rest in Peace" before later tweeting out the truth.

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