First Dan Rather, now this -- obviously printed in error. The truth is, Christopher Reeve has passed away. I suspect ABC must have had Sharon Osbourne's obituary pre-written and accidentally posted it in place of Christopher Reeves. Maybe they were referencing the format? Either way, it's creepy.
UPDATE: I called ABC News and explained the situation to a confused switch board operator who said she hadn't heard about it but would let someone know, just before transferring me to an audience commentary voice-mailbox. Regardless, the story was taken down within minutes. Game over.
UPDATE #2: Here's the obituary in full.
Sharon Osbourne XX of XX.
Sharon Osbourne, best known as the woman who saved Ozzy Osbourne from himself, XXX today of XXX. She was XX.
[Nee Sharon Arden Born October 9, 1953 in London, England XXXX: XX]
Wife and business manager of heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne, a.k.a. the Prince of Bleeping Darkness, Sharon lived in backstage obscurity until her family's wildly popular MTV reality show, The Osbournes, catapulted her to household-name status. Her XXX today of XXX was?
Sharon, Ozzy and two of their three teenage children, Jack, 18 and Kelly, 17, played out their chaotic yet happy daily lives for an audience of millions - one episode pulled in 7.8 million viewers, the most for any show in the history of the network. They also won an Emmy award for Best Reality TV Show.
Off-screen, just weeks after negotiating an astronomical $20 million dollar contract for a second season of The Osbournes, Sharon was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. The show went on, though, filming throughout her illness and treatment.
Though she struggled with addictions to food, drugs and alcohol, Sharon was known for her business savvy and nerves of steel. Starting in the late 1970s, she hauled Ozzy out of a debilitating drug addiction, took over his career and helped him sell more than 70 million solo albums. When Ozzy was rejected by Lollapalooza, she created the Ozzfest metal tour, which turned out to be the largest grossing group concert in history. Sharon also hatched the idea for The Osbournes and was the family's fiercest contract negotiator throughout.
Rock n' Roll Roots
With a father who was a concert producer and band manager and a mother who danced, Sharon grew up steeped in London's entertainment industry. Sharon's father, the hard-bitten Don Arden, managed bands such as Electric Light Orchestra and Black Sabbath, Ozzy's original heavy metal band. Sharon dropped out of school at 15 to work for her him.
Ozzy and Sharon's romance began in 1979, when Sharon went to collect $500 that Ozzy owed her father. Having been kicked out of Black Sabbath for excessive substance abuse, Sharon found Ozzy at a Beverly Hills hotel, bottomed out from a six-month cocaine binge. "He was so vulnerable and sweet and honest," she told People. "He was a bit of an oddball. But he was really, really loving."
Furious with her for poaching a client - especially one who owed him money - Sharon's father attempted to have her killed and they did not speak for 20 years.
During those years, Sharon struggled with her weight and Ozzy's addictions. At the lowest point in his struggle, Ozzy attacked Sharon one night in a drug-induced haze and tried to strangle her. "Eminem talks about killing his wife, but my husband actually tried it," Sharon told British tabloids. The incident landed Ozzy in a six-month round of rehab, though even today, he continues to drink and take prescription drugs.
In 1999, when 225 pounds had settled on Sharon's 5'2" frame, she underwent a new surgical procedure to shrink her stomach. It helped her drop 95 pounds, restricting her to small amounts of food at a time. "In my life I've seen the way people react to fat people. Somebody once said that it's more accepted to be a drug addict than it is to the fat, and it's true," Sharon told Barbara Walters.
Doctors say this weight-loss procedure had nothing to do with her subsequent cancer.
At the height of The Osbournes popularity, Sharon was included in People's Most Beautiful People issue in 2002.
When she was diagnosed with cancer, her family was shattered. Filming the show during this difficult time was more straining than they had thought. "Ozzy's been hitting the bottle again and the cameras are here all the time?" Sharon told Barbara Walters on 20/20. "So we have no privacy? You know when you're sick and you want to be on your own? And I can't throw up on my own and Ozzy can't get drunk on his own."
Osbournes No Osmonds
The family's on-screen, "ordinary" lives made the Addams Family seem like the Osmonds — they in fact parodied the wholesome duo for a Pepsi Superbowl ad this year. Their regular-yet-shocking family antics were punctuated by the constant bleep of the censor, with Sharon remaining the sane and stable mom throughout. When the family pooch had bowel problems, she called in the pet therapist; when things got ugly with the elevator-music-loving neighbors, she made nice with police.
The show also affected the lives of their teenage children. Kelly, 17 has put out an album, Shut up; Jack, 18 appeared on an episode of Dawson's Creek; and even the "missing" daughter, Aimee, who moved out when MTV moved in — has upped the ante on her modeling career. Sharon too, was set to host her own afternoon talk show. Alternately proud and bothered by her family's fame and lack of privacy, Sharon surprised MTV executives by telling Barbara Walters the show would end after the second season. She quickly recovered from the gaffe by publicly announcing, "I love my MTV."
"You're not as normal as I think you are when I'm talking to you," Walters once told Sharon, aptly capturing the essence of her allure. When Ozzy once bit off the head of a dove during a tense moment with record company executives, Sharon defended him, "He was meant to take it out of his pockets as a show of peace."
Sharon also occasionally surprised her foes with Tiffany boxes full of feces. She also told People about her meeting with Queen Elizabeth: "She was very warm and amazingly down-to-earth, and I just told her that she had great t*%&, 'cause she does."
To celebrate their 20th anniversary, Sharon and her dark prince renewed their wedding vows in a New Year's Eve ceremony. The official day of their anniversary is July 4th. Sharon once joked, "I wanted to pick a day Ozzy would remember."
Osbourne is survived by her husband Ozzy and three children, Kelly, Jack and Aimee.