Tags: ron palillo | horshack | welcome back kotter | obit

Ron Palillo, Horshack on 'Welcome Back, Kotter,' Gets Belated Obit

By    |   Monday, 18 Aug 2014 08:00 AM

Ron Palillo, who played Arnold Horshack on "Welcome Back, Kotter," died in 2012, but old articles announcing his death went viral on social media sites over the weekend, with many assuming he'd passed just recently.

According to The Los Angeles Times, the mysterious trend seemed to have stemmed from a CNN article that many began passing around on Twitter this past Aug. 14. The standard, obituary-style article was posted the same day as Palillo's death, Aug. 14, 2012, however it appears that many mistakenly thought he died on August 14 of this year.




Many people on social media were quick to repeat the news, adding 'rest in peace' wishes, and highlighting Palillo's signature laugh. Some were quick to cite Palillo's death in the context of Robin Williams' and Lauren Bacall's recent passing, paying tribute to a common superstition that celebrity deaths come in threes.

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High-profile journalists with legions of followers like CNN's Jake Tapper were not immune from contributing to the news wave, and later deleted their posts about Palillo's death, issuing corrections and apologies.


Unfortunately, Palillo is not the first celebrity to be killed off by Twitter users long after they've passed. Just this June, for example, Rue McClanahan, who played the energetic Blanche Devereaux on "The Golden Girls," was widely reported to have died, despite the fact that she actually passed in 2010.

In addition to re-killing some celebs, Twitter is also prone to death hoaxes, wherein rumors of someone's demise are initially propagated through the social network by mischief makers, and eventually picked up and retweeted by gullible and unwitting users.

Hulk Hogan, Miley Cyrus, Subway spokesman Jared, Lou Ferrigno, and Jackie Chan have all been killed off by the network at some point, with some of them becoming victims multiple times. Usually, they're tipped off at some point, and forced to respond with proof that they are, in fact, still alive.

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Ron Palillo, who played Arnold Horshack on "Welcome Back, Kotter," died in 2012, but old articles announcing his death went viral on social media sites over the weekend, with many assuming he'd passed just recently.
ron palillo, horshack, welcome back kotter, obit
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2014-00-18
Monday, 18 Aug 2014 08:00 AM
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