Kirk Douglas Dead? Not So Fast, People.com

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THR Staff
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Looks like an editor at People.com got overly eager about Kirk Douglas' obituary.

The website currently features a story about the legendary actor that was obviously not meant to publish.

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Under the headline "DO NOT PUB Kirk Douglas Dies," the article reads:

"Kirk Douglas, one of the few genuine box-office names to emerge just as TV was overtaking American culture in the years right after World War II, died TK TK TK. He was 97 (DOB 12/9/1916) and had been in good health despite having suffered a debilitating 1996 stroke that rendered his speech difficult."

("TK" is journalistic shorthand for "to come.")

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The article continues with more details about Douglas' life and accomplishments, including two photos and a clip from his 1956 Vincent Van Gogh biopic Lust for Life. The actor turns 98 on Dec. 9.

It's unclear when the story was published: The timestamp reads 3 p.m. ET on Monday, Sept. 29, but it's unable to ascertain whether the article has actually been online for two months.

It's a common practice for media outlets to pre-write obituaries, and given today's publishing tools for websites, one erroneous keystroke can make a story live prematurely.

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Some Twitter users noticed the gaffe Sunday and commented:

"DO NOT PUB Kirk Douglas Dies" Smooth move, @peoplemag: http://t.co/4Nf7evtGgz

—Aaron Hillis (@cobblehillis) December 1, 2014

Good lord, it's still up:-DO NOT PUB Kirk Douglas Dies : http://t.co/rmFkBbVdTL Mobile http://t.co/ftzxXFbVm9

—Kate Aurthur (@KateAurthur) December 1, 2014

@lorakolodny so People magazine is covered for when Kirk Douglas dies. http://t.co/wODl8NjMf6

—Clarissa Nicole (@five12studio) December 1, 2014

DO NOT PUB Kirk Douglas Dies http://t.co/wrwi4DeCne via @PEOPLEMag well this seems odd.

—CourtofOpinion (@OpiningCourt) December 1, 2014

The danger of the advance obit. DO NOT PUB Kirk Douglas Dies http://t.co/8euTMrAxuH

—Dawn Chmielewski (@DawnC331) December 1, 2014

Is People Magazine going to keep the Kirk Douglas obituary online till he eventually dies? #KirkDouglas pic.twitter.com/er5IaKLDqw

—Joe 'Monk' Pardavila (@joepardavila) December 1, 2014

Is People Magazine going to keep the Kirk Douglas obituary online till he eventually dies? #KirkDouglas pic.twitter.com/er5IaKLDqw

—Joe 'Monk' Pardavila (@joepardavila) December 1, 2014

The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Douglas for comment.