This isn’t the first time fans have worried about Li’s hyperthyroidism. After rumors in 2016 that his health was deteriorating, he told The Strait Times
, “There is nothing to worry about.”
However, widespread concern was reignited by a fan photo posted earlier this week showing a slightly stooped Li with sparse white hair on his mostly shaved head, purportedly at a temple in Tibet.
Fans worldwide expressed disbelief at the stark difference between the photo and Li’s famously youthful appearance.
Posts on Weibo and other social media speculated that it was a sign of his declining health, while others insisted it was simply bad lighting.
Li’s Facebook statement seemed to calm some fears. “So happy and relieved to see you are doing great,” one commenter wrote.
“I’m so happy you’re okay now,” said another.
Li’s manager, Steve Chasman, also hoped to quell the rumours, telling the Washington Post
that Li’s hyperthyroidism was “nothing life-threatening and he’s dealing with it.” The photo, he said, was simply unflattering.
During his film career, Li has racked up a long list of injuries, including a broken leg and ribs, fractured ankle, and cracked fifth vertebrae.
He has appeared in fewer films recently, but is reportedly in talks to play the emperor in Disney’s live-action remake of “Mulan.”