Barbara Eden, the actress of I Dream of Jeannie, became the victim of a death hoax on August 17 when rumors of her death seemed to spread online. The 90-year-old actress was believed to have died early Wednesday morning. The blatant fraud of Eden’s demise seems to have come from a YouTube station called Allan Radio, which has about 20,000 members. On Wednesday, the channel published the following video:
“R.I.P. 7 Minutes Ago Barbara Eden / Farewell, Barbara Eden.”
I’m hearing Barbara Eden (I dream of Genie) has died.
Sad news pic.twitter.com/pv5MWk9PYi
— Nigel – A Bolton lad 🇬🇧🏴🧐🦒🆖♌ (@Nigel100007) August 16, 2022
The video in question has received over 97,000 views and over 700 likes from users. Barbara Eden’s 91st birthday is on August 23rd, therefore the channel seems to have targeted her. On August 16, the nonagenarian Tucson, Arizona native uploaded a photo of herself with Priscilla Presley at Elvis’ Graceland residence in Memphis, Tennessee. Furthermore, the YouTube channel that started this myth spreads bogus celebrity death announcements in order to get views.
Following the fraudulent news of Barbara Eden’s apparent death, the station published phony programming claiming that actress Whoopi Goldberg had died. Other prominent celebs who have fallen prey to the channel’s ridiculous claims include Hot Fuzz actor Simon Pegg and Star Trek actor William Shatner. Prior to their claims of Eden’s death, the station had also posted a phony video in which it seemed that famed Jamaican singer-songwriter Bob Marley had died. Marley passed away in May 1981.
These channels seem to be managed by bots since videos falsely claiming the death of celebrities is common on YouTube. Clint Eastwood, the actor-director, was one of the few victims of these tapes last month. Many netizens first assumed that the legendary Hollywood celebrity had died when Recuerda Gente Famosa posted a video claiming his death. “10 Minutes Ago/ Sad News / RIP Clint Eastwood / Goodbye Clint Eastwood,” the video’s title said. This title follows the same structure as the previously stated fraudulent videos from the Allan Radio YouTube account. As a result, it is likely that these false statements are made by the same person or group that has many YouTube accounts.
With the shock value of such statements, the major purpose of these films is to generate views and ad income. These films, like most bogus material on YouTube, do not even specify the reason for the death of these celebrities. In most instances, general details about the stars are used to stretch the runtime to roughly five minutes in order to be monetization-friendly. They also employ text-to-voice synthesis to substitute generic voiceovers, allowing them to create many content pieces with false claims in a single day.
Barbara Eden is quite concerned about her health.
At the age of 90, the actress is still quite active, as seen by her recent trip to Memphis. Eden spoke out to Closer Weekly about her health habits last year, just days before her 90th birthday. She stated:
“I’m really conscientious about (my) food. I am a carnivore… I like steak. We consume a great deal of pork, poultry, steak, and veggies.”
Eden also shared a sneak peek at her gym regimen. She continued, saying:
“I do a lot of walking.”
The Flaming Star actress said that she had included spinning into her exercises and hired a trainer for it, but that she had to stop because of COVID.