Concern among fans worldwide was raised earlier this week when news of actor John Travolta’s passing spread swiftly. The February 2023 rumour, however, has already been revealed to be a total fabrication and is merely the most recent in a long line of false celebrity death reports.
Thankfully, the actor most remembered for his appearances in Saturday Night Fever, Grease, and Pulp Fiction is still with us.
John Travolta death hoax spreads on Facebook
After a Facebook page for the actor with the caption “R.I.P. John Travolta” received close to one million “likes,” rumours of his apparent death gained momentum on Saturday. On the “About” page, a credible account of the American actor’s passing was provided:
“At about 11 a.m. ET on Saturday (February 11, 2023), our beloved actor John Travolta passed away. John Travolta was born on February 18, 1954 in Englewood. He will be missed but not forgotten. Please show your sympathy and condolences by commenting on and liking this page.”
Immediately after learning of the talented 68-year-old actor, singer, and dancer’s passing, hundreds of followers began posting condolence notes on the Facebook page. The death fake caused the Twittersphere to go crazy, as usual.
While some gullible followers trusted the message, others were immediately doubtful of the story, possibly having learned their lesson from the numerous phoney celebrity death reports that have surfaced in recent months. Since the passing of an actor of John Travolta’s stature would be huge news across networks, some people noted that the news had not been carried on any major American networks, suggesting that it was a phoney report.
According to a recent survey done for the Celebrity Post, a vast majority of participants (71%) believe the John Travolta death rumours are no longer amusing.
YouTube Death Hoaxes
Some people also seemed to have witnessed previous Travolta death hoaxes, including YouTube videos with titles like “10 Minutes Ago / Sad News John Travolta Is Pass Away Expected Soon Family Prepare To Say Goodbye” and “30 Minutes Ago/ RIP John Travolta/ Goodbye John Travolta.”
These videos were all deceptive and fraudulent.
The Newer Death Hoax
The article with the heading “John Travolta Dead at 68” appears to be the source of the more current death fake.
On December 30, 2022, the “joke” website channel46news.com posted this report. Although “channel46news.com” could resemble a local news website, it is not the case. Anyone can produce a “prank” news article on the website, which they can then distribute to their friends.
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The “prank” story read as follows:
John Travolta Dead at 68.
The famous actor was found unconscious in his home when a family member found him, the family member called 911 and ambulances arrived rushing him to the hospital and for about 2 hours the actor was still unconscious, until 11:43am, He had stopped breathing and from then on had passed away. No further details has been provided has doctors are still trying to find the cause for his death. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends who had lost. Some fans have posted on Twitter saying “Rest in peace John Travolta, Heaven has gained another angel and you are with Olivia in heaven”. We send our love for family, friends and fans.
Near the anniversary of Jett Travolta’s death on January 2, 2009, the death hoax was circulated. He passed away at the age of 16 “after having a seizure and banging his head in a bathtub,” according to CBS News. Actress Kelly Preston, the wife of actor John Travolta, passed away from breast cancer in 2020.
2013 Death Hoax
It’s possible that a mediamass.net piece was the first thing some readers found when they searched for information regarding Travolta’s alleged demise. “‘John Travolta dead 2023’: Actor slain by internet death hoax,” read the title of that piece.
One aspect of mediamass.net that some readers could have overlooked was the fact that it published satire, according to its “About Us” page. But that wasn’t the only aspect of this website that caught our attention.
The story on mediamass.net stated at the top that it was “last updated on Jan. 3, 2023.” That wasn’t the case, though, when this piece was released.
We know that this article was first published back in 2013 according to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. So this wasn’t the brand-new death hoax we were waiting for. To create the false impression that the story was brand-new, the headline and publication date in the article were modified.
John Travolta, a former actor, is still alive. Early in February 2023, readers asked for the actor’s well-being in response to an internet death fake.
There was no reliable information that Travolta was ill, in the hospital, or anything of the type.