Hollywood and kung fu legend Jackie Chan would like it to be known that he is not dead. For the last two weeks, Twitter has been awash with stories that the 59-year-old Hong Kong-born actor is no more. Now, Chan himself has taken to social media to prove that he is alive and still kicking.
The rumours started in early June, when this statement started spreading across cyberspace: "Actor Jackie Chan died in a single vehicle crash between Ipswich and Willowbank in Queensland as confirmed by Royal Queensland Police".
Then, Global Associated News, a website that has developed a reputation for dealing in such false reports, made this claim:
"Jackie Chan died while filming a movie in Kitzbühel, Austria early this morning - June 20, 2013. Preliminary reports from the Austrian Police officials shows that the actor fell more than 50 feet to his death in a remote area of the Hahnenkamm mountains while on-set during the filming of a movie. Specific details are not yet available. The accident occurred at approximately 4:30 a.m. (UTC/GMT +12)."
Chan, whose last feature film was Chinese Zodiac (2012), is not only alive and well, but working on Skiptrace and The Expendables 3 (both 2014). He posted this message on his Facebook page:
"Hi everybody! Yesterday, I got on a 3am flight from India to Beijing. I didn't get a chance to sleep and even had to clean my house when I got home. Today, everybody called to congratulate me on my rumored engagement. Afterward, everybody called me to see if I was alive. If I died, I would probably tell the world! I took a photo with today's date, just in case you don't believe me! However, thank you all for your concern. Kiss kiss and love you all!
P.S. My dog is healthy, just like me! He doesn't need surgery! By the way, my dogs are golden retrievers, not Labradors."
Chan, who has also announced plans to convert his autobiography I Am Jackie Chan into a musical, was also targeted in March two years ago, when he was rumoured to have died of heart failure.
The list of celebrities affected by similar hoaxes is growing all the time, and includes Oscar-winning actors Morgan Freeman and Reese Witherspoon, comedian Bill Cosby, Robert Pattinson, Denzel Washington, Adele, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga.