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
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.
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)
Actor Gene Hackman on set for the Warner Bros. movie 'Scarecrow' in 1973. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
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 in a scene from the movie 'French Connection II', 1975. (Photo by Stanley Bielecki Movie Collection/Getty Images)
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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Axl Rose Dead? Fans Freak Out Over Death Rumors
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