Not even the most badass zombie killer on TV is immune to death hoaxes. The Walking Dead’s Andrew Lincoln, best known for portraying Rick Grimes on the show, was recently caught up to the cruel trend again.
Fans were given quite a shock this week when they hopped on their social media accounts and discovered that the 43-year-old actor had passed away. The cause? A tragic car accident. According to the false report, the premiere of the next The Walking Dead episode has even been pushed back because of Lincoln’s sudden death.
It turns out the claims already made rounds earlier this year and just resurfaced again. Myth-busting website Snopes notes the Andrew Lincoln death report first appeared on February as a “prank news” celebrity death hoax. The preview article headlined Walking Dead Actor Andrew Lincoln Dies in a Car Accident which circulated on Facebook and Twitter reveals itself to be nothing more than a joke when clicked.
The “create a prank and share it” page brags the prank “trolled” over 3 million people.
I literally started crying in class ? I hate y'all all. #AndrewLincoln is not dead ?? hoax
— ~Em~ (@emylerpafford) February 23, 2017
Andrew Lincoln Death Version 1.0
This isn’t the first time Lincoln fell victim to a death hoax. In 2014, reports that he died in a snowboarding accident at Zermatt Ski Resort in Switzerland has also gone viral and baffled his fans. He reportedly lost control while snowboarding and smashed into a tree at high speed and died instantly. The fake report came from Global News Association, the same notorious fake-news headline generator which is responsible for other death hoaxes in the past.
Ok Facebook that was NOT A FUNNY JOKE spreading a rumor that Andrew Lincoln was dead. Because if Rick from @TheWalkingDead was dead, I'd die
— Sophie Shoults (@soh_fee) June 18, 2014
Many initially believed the story as well, when, in fact, the actor is really alive and well. So, what was Lincoln doing while the world wept for his second fake death?
He was hanging out with some school kids, of course. Just a day after the false report swept the internet, someone shared Andrew’s visit on Twitter. Check it out below.
— Gladiator Goldwyn (@iMargo_CEO) February 23, 2017
The actor hasn’t responded to the death hoax to date and it looks like won’t get any reply from him this time. He doesn’t actually have a social media account, so he probably doesn’t event know that those fake reports exist.
Andrew Lincoln is just one of the numerous celebrities who have been victimized by online trolls. This year alone, the internet has killed Ronda Rousey, Adam Sandler, Blake Shelton, Bill O’Rilley, Miley Cyrus and even Queen Elizabeth. Other notable victims from the past include Rowan Atkinson, Jaden Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Angelina Jolie, and Hillary Clinton, among others.