A fake photo of Tom Hanks in quarantine with his Castaway "co-star" Wilson the volleyball has gone viral online.

News of Hanks' and his wife Rita Wilson's diagnosis with coronavirus came earlier this week, as the couple were in Australia's Gold Coast where Hanks is filming a movie.

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But when satirical news website the Betoota Advocate published a fake photo of him with the volleyball from the 2000 film, many social media users fell for the hoax.

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The photo shows Hanks posing with the handprinted volleyball, known as Wilson, the object his Castaway character befriends when on a deserted island.

The photo of Hanks with Wilson the volleyballl went viral after the satirical blog post. Photo / Twitter
The photo of Hanks with Wilson the volleyballl went viral after the satirical blog post. Photo / Twitter

Along with the photo, the article read: "The thoughtful and overworked staff at the Gold Coast hospital have brought Hanks in a Wilson volleyball to keep him company for the duration of his stay."

Several reporters and media figures were among those who shared the story without appearing to realise it was fake.

The real photo was taken from footage of Hanks in the crowd at a hockey game in 2015, when he was handed the ball as he appeared on the stadium Jumbotron.