Twitter, you killed the wrong man.
James Avery, better known to 1990s survivors as the demanding Uncle Phil on Will Smith's The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, says he's "pissed" to have joined Jeff Goldblum, Bobby Brown and who knows how many other stars in the not-dead-except-on-the-Internet club.
Here's some background on the hoax—and its not-pleased victim:
On Sunday afternoon, Twitter lit up with messages along the lines of, "RIP, James Avery (aka Uncle Phil) So Sad!"
And while Tweeters quickly concluded that, given the absence of obituaries, Avery was alive, and surmised that Netizens had mistaken TV's Uncle Phil for Scottish soccer's Uncle Phil (aka the indeed deceased Phil O'Donnell), the damage was done. At least as far as Avery was concerned.
"I mean, really, they're going to take away what little career I have left," Avery told CNN.com on Monday at the premiere of The Karate Kid, starring Smith offspring Jaden Smith. "My mother was scared."
Not only that, Avery publicist Cynthia Snyder told us today, the actor's mother was moved to tears. "Someone called his mom, and she called his house crying," Snyder said. "That's why he was so upset."
So, in the name of setting things straight, Avery is 61, at work on Transformers 3, and, happily, not dead.
Oh, and no, we don't know why people would've confused soccer's Uncle Phil for TV's Uncle Phil considering soccer's Uncle Phil died two years ago last December.
The magic of Twitter, we suppose.