BOSTON • Actor James Woods (left), 70, knew it was fake news, but did not correct it until much later.
An advertisement mentioned that he was selling one of his homes in the run-up to retirement.
The news was picked up over the weekend by a newspaper in Rhode Island - surprising many in the industry, including the actor's own agent.
Woods' career of nearly 50 years is marked by Emmy awards and Oscar nominations.
According to the Washington Post, the confusion started after the real estate agent read a draft of the advertisement to Woods over the telephone.
"I was not paying attention. I somehow didn't hear 'retirement'," said the actor.
He did not bother to clarify matters when the story ran because he thought no one would care about his bowing out of the business.
But the Hollywood press did, with entertainment sites splashing out the details.
Now that he has debunked the retirement talk, Woods advertised the fact that he would be happy to act again - if a good role comes along. "No actor retires from the film business," he said.