As Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood nears his 88th birthday, he is staying busy in showbiz — and he seems to be in perfect health. In fact, we couldn’t even find a reference to him coming down with the common cold, let alone suffering any sort of health scare in recent years. However, a shady “news” outlet would have had you believe the actor and director died last year.
A fake news website called CNN-GlobalNews.com — one designed to look like CNN‘s site — claimed Clint died of an apparent heart attack at his LA home in June 2017, according to TruthorFiction.com. This clickbait fodder even included a fabricated quote from Tom Hanks, the star of Clint’s film Sully. “I am lost for words. Some people you just assume with be with you forever. #ClintEastwood,” the actor’s fake statement read.
Clint and friend Tom in 2016.
In reality, though, it seems the closest we ever came to losing Clint was his “near-death experience” in a plane crash during his military service more than a half-century ago. In the early 1950s, he hitched a ride on an ill-fated bomber plane, as he told Loyola Marymount University School of Film & TV students in 2015.
“Everything went wrong,” he said, per The Hollywood Reporter. “Radios went out. Oxygen ran out. And finally, we ran out of fuel up around Point Reyes, CA, and went in the ocean. So we went swimming. It was late October, November. Very cold water. [I] found out many years later that it was a white shark breeding ground, but I’m glad I didn’t know that at the time, or I’d have just died.”
Clint in February 2018.
That accident could have ended Clint’s Hollywood career before it ever began. And now, more than six decades later, he’s still making movies. He directed this year’s biopic The 15:17 to Paris, for example, and he shepherded a remake of A Star is Born before his American Sniper star Bradley Cooper signed on to write and direct the film. Oh, and he performed a life-saving Heimlich maneuver on a choking man back in 2014. See? Not only is he alive and kicking, he’s actually keeping other people alive!