Bob Denver is still dead.
The other day on Facebook, I came across a link "announcing" the death of Denver, who most famously played Gilligan on TV's "Gilligan's Island."
I'm usually pretty up on who's alive and who's dead, celebrity-wise, but in this instance I dropped the ball.
So I shared the link. The story, which appeared to sprout from "The Today Show" web site, announced Denver's age at death as being 70.
That should have been my first red flag.
A quick calculation told me that Denver must have been born in 1943, or in December of 1942, for him to have died at age 70.
After I shared the link, a Facebook friend commented that he was surprised Denver was that young.
"Yeah, me too," I commented back. "That meant he was in his early-20s when 'Gilligan's Island' first started on the air."
That by itself is semi-plausible, but I had neglected to take into account Denver's years playing Maynard Krebs in "The Dobie Gillis Show," which was on the air several years prior to Gilligan.
Being born in 1942 or '43 definitely did not jibe with that.
Denver: Still dead
It didn't take long for another FB friend to post a comment.
"That story is from 2005!"
I went to Denver's Wikipedia page. Sure enough, he died in 2005.
I was enraged, but I wasn't sure if it was more because I had been fooled, or that someone had posted the link in the first place.
I quickly deleted my status, embarrassed.
Then I went Googling.
I used the search string "Bob Denver dead Facebook" and I found a story from 2012 telling of how Denver death posts were making the rounds through Twitter, inexplicably.
So it had happened before, this re-confirmation of Denver's death (he was 70 in 2005).
I browbeat the Facebook friend who had shared the link to begin with. I told him to take it up with his FB friend who had posted it originally. I wanted justice.
So Bob Denver is still dead, I am sad to report.
Even sadder to report my gullibility. I let that one get away.