A viral death hoax claims that actor and director Henry Winkler is dead. Winkler 73, is said to have passed away at his home in Queens, New York. The false reports that Winkler “died of natural causes at the very moment the hospital vending machine stopped working.” Despite the mocking tone of the report, it spread throughout social media.
According to Snopes, the report originated from ConservativeTears.com, which is part of the America’s Last Line of Defense network of websites and Facebook pages. The website specializes in publishing fake information, and is aimed specifically at “trolling” conservative readers. The site even included a testimonial from Winkler’s family spokesperson, the fictional Art Tubolls.
A Fake Report Stated That Winkler Died At His Home In Queens, New York
“Henry was a loner,” the fake statement read. “He has numerous cousins, nieces and nephews, but his first love was always God and hunting. He spent more time with Charlton Heston in the 80s than any one man should. Last year he spent nearly 4 months in a tent on Ted Nugent’s canned hunt farm. He really loved getting back to nature.”
The report quickly spread through Twitter and Facebook, with Winkler even becoming a trending topic on the former. “I’m seeing a couple of reports from a conservative site that Henry Winkler is dead. I hope this isn’t true,” wrote one concerned user. Another was angry that a site was using the supposed death of a performer to poke fun at conservative readers. Check out additional reactions below.
The Death Hoax Originated from a Satirical News Site That Misprinted Winkler’s Real Age
“Why are conservative sh**weasels picking on Henry Winkler @hwinkler4real? They’re saying he died, and that he LOVED Trump and was a huge gun nut,” they tweeted. “WTH? Seriously? You not only lie about him being dead, you make him on of you when NOTHING could be further from the truth. Step off!”
Other users were merely relieved that Winkler was still alive and well. “I didn’t know how much I loved Henry Winkler until I thought he was dead,” wrote one exasperated fan. “Downed a half box of Cheeze-Its before I found out it was a hoax! Not cool! Love you, Henry! Ya never hear anything bad about Henry. Love that.”
This Is Not the First Time That Winkler Has Had to Deal With a Death Hoax
Some eagle-eyed readers to able to spot the errors in the fake report, however. For one, Winkler was born in 1945 and is 73 years old, but is listed as 77 on the obituary. Winkler is also currently on a promotional tour for his new book Here’s Hank: Everybody Is Somebody, which means he’s making public appearances on a nightly basis around the country.
This is not the first time that Winkler has fallen victim to a death hoax. In September 2018, a message began circulating on social media that the former Happy Days star had died and left half of his estate to President Donald Trump. The false report came from the satirical publication America’s Last Line of Defence.