On Saturday, July 23, a widespread WhatsApp video forward claimed that renowned actor and director Clint Eastwood had passed away at the age of 92. However, it is unlikely that this information is true as there have been no reports of his passing from any major news outlets.
Furthermore, the comment section of the controversial video in question has been disabled after making such a claim in the title. The video was uploaded to YouTube by Recuerda Gente Famosa.
The seemingly fake title reads:
"10 Minutes Ago/ Sad News / RIP Clint Eastwood /Goodbye Clint Eastwood"
Unsurprisingly, the claims are barely mentioned in the video and are not backed by any factual information. The video ends abruptly while talking about Eastwood's life and achievements. Like most videos containing fake information, the aforementioned one also contained an AI speech generator that narrated the actor's life in a robotic and monotonous voice.
Fake video announcing Clint Eastwood's death rakes in significant views and WhatsApp shares
While the number of times the video was shared on WhatsApp or other social media cannot be adequately gauged, it has garnered over 194,000 views on the basis of its misleading headline and content. This kind of content seems to be the forte of the channel, as all the videos uploaded by Recuerda Gente Famosa pertain to fake news about celebrity deaths that are meant to mislead viewers and rake in the views.
In July, the channel posted similar fake claims in regard to other renowned personalities like Celine Dion, Harrison Ford, and Michael Douglas, amongst others. The comment section has been turned off for all these videos, presumably to avoid backlash.
Surprisingly, this is not the first time the veteran actor and filmmaker has been rumored to have passed away in recent years. In 2019, Clint Eastwood's name was involved in a death hoax that claimed that he had died at the age of 89. There was a similar hoax about him in 2017 as well.
It is possible that the actor's advanced age makes his followers gullible victims of these hoaxes. Such content usually relies on the short burst of traffic sent their way due to the controversial claims. The uploaders then monetize the traffic before the content is taken down by YouTube or other video streaming platforms for spreading fake information and being misleading.
Clint Eastwood on his health
In a 1991 interview with Muscle & Fitness, Clint Eastwood had opened up about his health and diet. He said:
"I've never carried much body fat, but I've always been pretty good about watching my diet."
The actor had further advised people to avoid carbohydrates.
"Stay away from carbohydrates, especially rich desserts…Keep a scale in your bathroom. Get proper rest. Try to be optimistic. Eat fruits and raw vegetables. Take vitamins. Skip beverages loaded with sugars. Avoid alcohol in excess."
Later, in a 2017 interview with Men's Health, Clint Eastwood's son, Scott, revealed that his entire family lives by a healthy code, which he referred to as the "Eastwood Code." He further said that his father had taught him how to bench press amongst other workouts. While speaking about his father, Scott Eastwood also added:
"My dad is a machine about food and exercise."
It is understandable why health is prioritized heavily by the nonagenarian star, who is still actively working in Hollywood. Eastwood's father reportedly passed away from a heart attack. While Clinton Eastwood Sr. did not die at a young age, the manufacturing executive and former salesman was reportedly a smoker. Following his father's death, Eastwood is said to have never been an avid smoker, despite his characters being portrayed as such.
With such a focus on his health and diet, Eastwood is likely in quite robust condition. Furthermore, there is no doubt that if the Oscar-nominated star were to pass away, legacy and trusted outlets would first announce the news instead of random YouTube videos.