BY BRYNN MANNINO
Legendary Hollywood actor, producer and author Kirk Douglas, who turns 98 next week on Dec. 9, is still alive and well, contrary to reports of his death, which began circulating online Sunday night after People magazine reportedly posted his pre-written obit on their website.
The headline read, "DO NOT PUB Kirk Douglas Dies," followed by:
"Kirk Douglas, one of the few genuine box-office names to emerge just as TV was overtaking American culture in the years right after World War II, died TK TK TK." ("TK" refers to copy "to come.")
"He was 97 (DOB 12/9/1916) and had been in good health despite having suffered a debilitating 1996 stroke that rendered his speech difficult," the article continued.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the obit had a Sept. 29 timestamp on it, possibly when People prepared it, though it's not clear when the piece was first published. Gawker noted that People has a habit of backdating "DO NOT PUB" pieces.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the article went on to include Douglas' accomplishments, including two photos and a clip from his 1956 Vincent Van Gogh biopic 'Lust for Life.' Business Insider has some choice excerpts.
The obit was removed after links to it began circulating on social media and, according to Variety, Bloomberg quickly posted a retraction and apologized for the mistake, while neither People magazine's editors nor Douglas' reps have responded, Variety also notes.
Whether this was a technical error or the mistake of an editor who potentially mistook another trending Kirk Douglas story this past weekend (ETOnline.com released a well-received interview between Kirk and his son Michael), we may never know.
Watch ET's interview here: