Gene Hackman The Victim Of Internet Death Hoax

Ben Arnold
Contributor

The news of the death of Gene Hackman has been greatly exaggerated, it would seem.

Movie legend Hackman, now 84, retired from making movies in 2004, and lives with his wife Betsy in Sante Fe, New Mexico.

But still, rumours emerged earlier this week after actor Dylan McDermott, who starred alongside Hackman in the 2003 movie ‘Runaway Jury’, tweeted his condolences.

However, just an hour later he deleted the original message, and revealed he’d been hoaxed:

However, unlike some random acts of maliciousness on Twitter, it appears the misunderstanding could have stemmed from a couple of sources.

Firstly, an article about the actor appeared on the Grantland website earlier this week, headlined ‘The Greatest Living American Actor at 85: Gene Hackman Is Gone But Still in Charge’.

The ‘gone’ part may well have been picked up on over the ‘living’ part, and seemingly admitting the headline was misleading, it was later changed to ‘The Greatest Living American Actor at 85: Gene Hackman Is Retired But Still in Charge’.

Kevin Costner’s speech at the Critics’ Choice awards on January 15 may also not have helped matters.

Accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award, Costner, who appeared on screen with Hackman in films like ‘No Way Out’ and ‘Wyatt Earp’, said: “I stand here and can’t help but think there’s been some kind of mistake, like this isn’t for me, like I’m really accepting this for Sean Connery or Gene Hackman because they couldn’t be here themselves.

“I don’t know about you, but I miss them. The weight that Sean and Gene gave to our business, the way they carried the title ‘leading man’.”

Lots of past tense there, chief.

Hackman’s publicist told Yahoo US: “He’s alive and well, happily retired from acting and focused on writing.”

So far Hackman has written two books, ‘Pursuit’ in 2013 and ‘Payback At Morning Peak’ in 2011, and co-written three others.

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Image credits: Getty/Fox/Buena Vista