Dylan McDermott’s Runaway Tweet

When a verified celebrity with 140,000 followers wrongly informs that a two-time Oscar winner is dead, it can cause some commotion

In 2003, actor Dylan McDermott had a small, uncredited role in the Gene Hackman courtroom drama Runaway Jury. Last night, he was responsible for some Twitter drama involving his famous co-star.

GrantlandHeadlineAll in all, it was a strange Tuesday for Hackman. At the beginning of the day, thanks to a mildly confusing Grantland tribute headline (pictured, right), various folks on Twitter were expressing anger, irritation and relief over the two-time Academy Award winnner’s non-passing. The headline says “Living,” but it also states “Gone” in the second part and that’s what had some folks confused.

Then came McDermott. When the actor tweeted last night – “Rest in Peace Gene Hackman… One of the very greats” – some (including this writer) figured he had also been duped by the Grantland headline. But no, the current star of TV series Stalker was fooled by some plain old Twitter death hoaxing apparently tied to an acceptance speech given at the 2015 Critics’ Choice Film Awards by Kevin Costner.

McDermott has since deleted the Hackman RIP tweet and replaced the errant condolences with a clarification. Meanwhile, Hackman – who turns 85 on Friday – is not on Twitter. So he blissfully missed all the “fun.”

Update:
Grantland has tweaked their article headline, replacing “Gone” with “Retired:”

Editor’s note: Because of an unintentional misunderstanding stemming from our original headline, “The Greatest Living American Actor at 85: Gene Hackman Is Gone But Still in Charge,” we’ve changed the title of this piece. Mr. Hackman is very much alive.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
Gene Hackman Details the Spousal Connection