There were rumours of actor M.S. Bhaskar's death doing the rounds on social media sites. The actor himself has now clarified that he is alive and doing well. He has also urged his fans not to believe in such rumours.
"I have been getting frantic calls from concerned friends, family members and fans from Sunday evening, asking me if whether I am fine. By God's grace, I am doing well. I do not know who started this rumour of my death and for what reason," the veteran comedian told the Times of India.
Bhaskar, a former theatre artist, has appeared in supporting roles in several television serials as well as in films. The actor, popular for his comic roles, has starred in over 70 films and has also worked as a dubbing artiste in some films.
Bhaskar has done an important role in the recently-released Tamil film "Arima Nambi", starring Vikram Prabhu and Priya Anand. He will next be seen doing a pivotal character in Kamal Haasan's upcoming film "Uttama Villain", which is set to hit screens this year.
This is not the first time that rumours of celebrity deaths have spread on social networking sites. Last year, actress Kanaka was rumoured to be dead after suffering from cancer. However, the actress met mediapersons and clarified that she is doing well. In May 2014, Telugu actor Raja became a victim of death hoax. There were rumours claiming that the actor passed away in an accident and it started appearing on social media platforms after he reportedly criticized popular Telugu star Pawan Kalyan at a meeting.
Raja clarified that the death news was just a rumour. "I'm alive and kicking," Raja told TOI and added: "It's just very sad. You just cannot spread rumours about somebody's death. I never imagined people can stoop so low that they wish somebody dead just because he raised a few issues you do not agree with. My family and friends have been a worried lot and have been calling me to check if I'm OK."
"Silambattam" actress Sana Khan also became a victim of death news due to a case of mistaken identity. A Pakistani actress with the same name passed away in a car accident in March this year. It sparked rumours that the Indian actress, who became popular with her stint in reality show "Bigg Boss", had died. Khan's family members also fell for the death hoax.
Not just the south actors, even bollywood celebrities have become victims of death hoax. Lata Mangeshkar, Hrithik Roshan, Ayushmann Khurrana and rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh have been targeted with such hoax news on social networking sites. Other popular celebrities including Jackie Chan, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Lady Gaga and Morgan Freeman have also been victimized by the death hoax stories.