On Sunday, a false report was posted on a site that was seemingly designed to trick readers into thinking they were reading a Yahoo! News article. However, while the two sites had similar looks, stories from the real outlet appear online at www.yahoo.com/news, while this story appeared on http://www.yahoonews-us.com.
The hoax claimed the 57-year-old actor died on Sunday morning from pneumonia, days after checking into the hospital with Parkinson’s Disease-related complications. The site also claimed that the actor’s death had been confirmed to them via the actor’s doctors.
Although it’s unclear what led to the posting of the death hoax, Heavy reported that it may have seemed more plausible to people as the actor has not posted on social media in over a month.
In the image, the actor smiles while standing beside his wife Tracy Pollan, and two of their children: daughters Aquinnah Kathleen and Schuyler Frances.
While the actor has yet to respond to the death hoax, after word began spreading on social media that the sad news wasn’t true, many fans of the actor expressed their relief.
“I’m glad Michael J. Fox isn’t actually dead. Almost just started sobbing,” wrote one fan.
The star has battled Parkinson’s disease, a disorder that causes uncontrollable tremors throughout his body, since 1991. At first, he did so privately but went public with his diagnosis in 1998.
Despite the challenges, in a March 2017 interview with AARP The Magazine, Fox said he was reminded that he was not alone in his battle when legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease for three decades, called him.
RELATED VIDEO: Michael J. Fox Undergoes Spinal Surgery: ‘He Is Recovering and Feeling Great’
Fox remembered that moment with clarity, saying, “In this raspy, paper-thin voice, he said, ‘Aahhhhh … Michael, now that you’re in it, we’ll win this fight.’”
“What could I say?” added Fox. “Sitting there alone listening to Muhammad Ali, this giant — I was welling up, almost openly weeping.”
Fox is just the latest celebrity to fall victim to a death hoax. Last month, a death hoax was started about Mr. Bean star Rowan Atkinson, in an attempt to spread a computer virus, according to website Hoax Slayer.
Jurassic Park actor Jeff Goldblum also had a fake report circulate in 2009 — and his mom believed it.
“Yes, someone had put online that I had fallen off a cliff in New Zealand,” Goldblum, 65, previously recalled during an episode of Watch What Happens Live. “Before we got the word out and I could call everybody, yes, my mom. She called and was like, ‘Jeffrey, are you alright? Are you alright?’ ”
He continued, “And then a friend of mine [who] very tearfully and hysterically left a message.”