Fact Check

Doctor Depp

Published July 8, 2015


FACT CHECK:   Did actor Johnny Depp enroll in medical school in order to save a boy dying from cancer?

Claim:   Actor Johnny Depp enrolled in medical school in order to save a sick child.


Example:     [Collected via e-mail, July 2015]

Johnny Depp enrolled in medical school?

Origins:   On 7 July 2015, the entertainment web site Clickhole published an article reporting that actor Johnny Depp had enrolled in medical school in order to save a sick child:

When Johnny Depp read the letter from 8-year-old cancer patient Tyler Murphy, he could have done nothing. He could have sent the young Pirates Of The Caribbean fan an autographed photo. He could have asked his manager to handle it. He could have done nothing at all.

Instead, he amazed everyone and did something wonderful: In March, Depp put his acting career on hold and applied to medical school so he could personally help treat Tyler’s acute lymphocytic leukemia.

Wow! All we can say is, faith in humanity restored!

While Johnny Depp did visit a children's hospital in July 2015 dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow, the actor has not enrolled in medical school to become a doctor and save an ailing child (or for any other reason):

Clickhole, an offshoot of the satirical publication The Onion, is a web site that parodies "clickbait" sites such as Upworthy and BuzzFeed. In addition to the noting the site's disclaimer, which promises to "pander" and "mislead" readers in order to make their content go viral, viewers can also determined the authenticity of this article by examining the included images. For example, the photograph seen at the top of this article does not show Johnny Depp in a hospital; rather, a stock photo of a doctor was digitally altered to include a likeness of the actor:

Last updated:      8 July 2015

Originally published:     8 July 2015

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.