YOU'RE NOT DEAD! Celebrity Death Hoaxes
6.1 01. Rihanna
Singer Rihanna, reportedly dead from an alcohol-induced heart attack.
8.2 02. Natalie Portman
How she did NOT die: So, at this point, we pretty much won’t ever believe it if a celeb is said to have died after falling off a cliff in New Zealand. Seriously, what the fuck is going on over there, is the gravitational pull possessed or something?
4.6 03. Miley Cyrus
How she did NOT die: Like most death hoaxes, this one originated and spread on Twitter. Hannah Montana was believed to be dead for a whole ten minutes when pseudo-celebrity Peaches Geldof tweeted it out. According to her, “industry insider friends” gave her the top-secret scoop that Miley had passed away. Of course, this was tweetle-deed and tweetle-dummed all over the web. Peaches deleted the post after the rumor was quickly proven untrue. At the time, Miley was performing at a concert, very much alive, if annoying enough that many wished her dead.
5.8 04. Lady GaGa
Lady Gaga was said to have died in her hotel room last December. With distraught fans paying online tributes to the quirky singer, word quickly came out that the news wasn't true.
5.8 05. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey was said to be found dead in her home with a bloody area around her eye, a bullet wound in her stomach and some cuts and bruises up and down her body. Obviously a false report.
6.9 06. Zach Braff
Scrubs star Zach Braff decided to make a personal video of himself to assure his fans he was okay after a fake story said he had committed suicide. Braff said he would never kill himself by consuming pills — he would opt for pots and pans instead.
6.5 07. Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise was also said to have met his end in New Zealand in 2008 after falling off the same cliff as Tom Hanks had reportedly tumbled down. A spokesman for Cruise rubbished the claims as, "Erroneous and unreliable internet garbage".
8 08. Tom Hanks
In 2006, Tom Hanks was supposed to have fallen to his death from a cliff in New Zealand, when, in reality, the actor was actually in California, shooting for a movie.
7.8 09. Russell Crowe
Russell Crowe was supposed to have fallen 50 feet to his death while filming in Austria. His rep said it was untrue although the rumour continued to run rampant.
7 010. Taylor Swift
Just last month, Taylor Swift was declared dead after a fake Twitter account, trying to pass itself off as being associated with a news channel, made the claims. The 22-year-old singer was said to be found dead at her home, which was later proven untrue.
7.7 011. Emma Watson
In mid 2009, Emma Watson was supposed to have died on the spot after being in a fatal car accident. The Harry Potter actress was said to be killed while being driven back to her hotel when a car collided with her vehicle. Her rep had to issue a statement saying the actress was at home, safe and sound, at the time of the alleged incident.
7.6 012. Will Smith
In November last year, websites bumped off Will Smith by saying the actor died while filming a movie in New Zealand by falling more than 60 feet to his death. Another rumour said that Smith was driving when he lost control and flipped his car. Neither of the rumours turned out to be true as the actor was alive.
5.4 013. Lindsay Lohan
July 2010 witnessed an internet furor as news spread that Lindsay Lohan had overdosed on drugs and passed away. A false tweet triggered the drama, which was confirmed by a fake Twitter account of Kim Kardashian. With Lohan in the news at that time for her then-upcoming jail stint, many people believed the news till Lohan's representatives rubbished the entire episode.
6.7 014. Jon Bon Jovi
Late last year, rumours surfaced that rocker Jon Bon Jovi was found dead in New Jersey during a world tour. Reports claimed that the singer was in a coma at a hotel and taken to a hospital, where he suffered cardiac arrest and died. Bon Jovi had to confirm he was alive by posting a picture of himself, holding a sign, which read, "Heaven looks a lot like New Jersey."
1.3 015. Jong-un Kim
A little more than a year after his father, “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il, died of a heart attack, the Internet was awash in rumors that Kim Jong-Un had been assassinated in a military coup during a visit to Beijing. The report actually started on China’s version of Twitter, Sina Weibo, before taking off in the United States after a fake account labeled BBC Live News tweeted “Confirmed breaking news. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un assassinated. Updates to follow.” He is, as far as we know, still alive and looking at things.
6.3 016. Barack Obama
Hackers briefly gave the nation a scare last year after gaining access to the Fox News Politics Twitter feed on the Fourth of July and announcing that President Barack Obama had died after suffering two gunshot wounds. The hackers even sent their condolences to the Vice President, tweeting “We wish @joebiden the best of luck as our new President of the United States.” Fox later claimed that its staff had nothing to do with the tweet and that its Twitter feed had been compromised.
3.6 017. Pope Benedict XVI
Traditionally when a pope dies, the camerlengo (or chamberlain) verifies his death by tapping him on the head three times with a silver hammer. What usually does not happen is a Vatican official reveals the pope’s death to the public via Twitter. In March, a fake account claiming to represent Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone broke the false news about Pope Benedict XVI, tweeting in Italian “The Holy Father unexpectedly passed away this afternoon. We announce this with grief and consternation.” A Vatican spokesperson later called the reports “baseless.”
2.6 018. Justin Bieber
Sometimes you don’t need an elaborate story to convince people you are dead. All it took to throw a nation of “Beliebers” into a frenzy was the trending topic #RipJustinBieber. Bieber, who currently has almost 22 million Twitter followers, promptly ended the speculation by, well, tweeting. Sadly, it did not happen soon enough to prevent Bieber fans from transforming “Rest in Peace” into “Really Inspiring Person,” thus causing the Internet to throw up a little bit in its own mouth. If you’d like to pay your respects to the not-deceased Bieber, you can always post something on his Facebook tribute page.
6.9 019. Jeff Goldblum
In June of 2009, Stephen Colbert’s announcement that actor Jeff Goldblum had died was interrupted by none other than … Jeff Goldblum. A rumor that Goldblum had fallen off a cliff while filming a movie in New Zealand had spread through the Twitter-verse only a week after many people had learned online — correctly — that Michael Jackson had died. As the Colbert Report showed, even TODAY in Australia took the news seriously, reporting that “New Zealand police are saying that it is a correct story.”
4.9 020. Kanye West
Kanye West might have a messiah complex, but no, he did not return from the dead in 2009. Instead he was the victim of a faulty rumor that he “was killed in a collision that left a second person injured, a third arrested for manslaughter and a fourth person detained by police,” according to Reuters. The hoax, which occurred shortly after the infamous Taylor Swift incident at the MTV Video Music Awards, provided bloggers and comedians with plenty of joke fodder, but there was one person who wasn’t amused — West’s then-girlfriend Amber Rose, who tweeted “This ‘RIP Kanye West’ topic is not funny and it’s NOT TRUE!”
7.9 021. Paul McCartney
In the history of fake deaths, none has eclipsed reports of Beatles front man Paul McCartney's supposed demise. The hoax, which lasted almost two years, began when McCartney figured in a car accident in 1967. He was obviously alive, but in 1969, students from Drake University published in their school newspaper that McCartney perished in the crash and was replaced by a look-alike.
5.2 022. William Hung
American Idol anti-hero William Hung. The source of his false death report was a faux-news piece on the site Broken Newz. He was said to have OD’d from heroin, leaving a suicide note that read: “I have no reason of living… my art which is my importance to the best everybody laugh to… I make end here… goodbye world of cruel.”
5.8 023. Jon Heder
Napoleon Dynamite star Jon Heder. An email rumor claimed he crashed and died while driving to Oregon. It partially read: “John Heder, lead role in Napoleon Dynamite, died of head injuries after undergoing a highway car accident two days ago. He was riding in the passenger seat on his way to Salem, Oregon with his friend Mike McHill when the driver supposedly saw a deer run in front of the car. Mike overcorrected and drove off a steep ten foot embankment after rolling three or four times.”
5 024. Margaret Thatcher
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. A fake news story (disguised as a page from the Guardian) reported the passing of the Iron Lady. As a tribute to her, Stephen Hawking was supposedly going to speak in her voice.
7.4 025. Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson. Supposedly committed suicide in April 2004 by “consuming more than two-dozen sleeping pills,” according to an internet report.
Now even though, he passed away in 08' that accusation, was still outrageous. And I love this man, R.I.P.
6.7 026. Carl Lewis
Athlete Carl Lewis. In July 2003 he was reported to have been killed in a bicycle accident. The fake report was actually written by a biking enthusiast to draw attention to an abutment in a Houston park that he considered dangerous.
6.4 027. Johnny Knoxville
Jackass star Johnny Knoxville. A notice on the internet claimed he had died “while being filmed parachuting from a biplane whilst eating a catering sized tub of Heinz baked beans, when his parachute failed to open.”
5.2 028. Britney Spears
Like Jeff Goldblum, Britney Spears was the victim of the celebrity death hysteria following the very real deaths of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett in 2009. In this case, it was Britney’s Twitpic account that was hacked, resulting in a picture of a cross being tweeted out with the message “Britney has passed today. It is a sad day for everyone. More news to come.” It wouldn’t be long before Britney went from fake-dying to fake-pledging her soul to the Prince of Darkness, as later that year her hacked account tweeted the message “I give myself to Lucifer every day for it to arrive as quickly as possible. Glory to Satan!”
6.8 029. Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake. In June 2001 a Los Angeles radio station reported that Justin had died in a car crash (just like Eminem).
7.3 030. Lou Reed
Rock legend Lou Reed. In May 2001 numerous radio stations reported he had been found dead in his apartment. Cause of death: Drug overdose.
6.5 031. Eminem
Rap star Eminem. In December 2000 news reports claimed that he was the victim of a car crash.
7.1 032. John Goodman
An obituary that circulated by email claimed that the actor John Goodman had collapsed from a heart attack.
6.2 033. Will Ferrell
An obituary uploaded to the wire service iNewswire in March 2006 claimed that the comedian had died in a paragliding accident “after a freak wind gush basically blew Ferrell and his companion towards a wooded area where they lost control before crashing into dense foilage.”
3.3 034. Paris Hilton
In June 2007 several articles posted online separately claimed that celebrity heiress Paris Hilton had died while in jail. One article, disguised to look like a CNN page, claimed she had been stabbed. Another article, disguised to look like a news release from Australia’s ABC network, alleged she had committed suicide. Paris Hilton was in jail at the time, but she was definitely still alive.
7.1 035. Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby, the comedian and educator, best know for the "Cosby Show" is dead, according to Twitter and Facebook. However, Cosby is just the victim of yet another social media death hoax. Cosby is not dead, he is alive and well
8.4 036. Bill Nye
Scientist and educator William Sanford Nye, a.k.a. "Bill Nye the Science Guy," spoke out against creationism in a Youtube video. Three days later, rumors of Nye's death became a trending topic on Twitter, which sparked a massive outpouring of support for the PBS children's show host.
6.4 037. Eddie Murphy
Eddie Murphy, who's been falsely purported to be "dead" in multiple internet death hoaxes, is the victim of yet another sick, wrong rumor.
6 038. Alfonso Ribeiro
Fear not, "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" fans, Alfonso Ribeiro is not doing the Carlton dance in heaven. The actor, best known as Will Smith's dorky cousin on the 90's sitcom, is alive and well and the latest victim of an internet death hoax.
6.4 039. Tom Kenny
Tom Kenny is not dead. Tom Kenny, the voice of "Spongebob Squarepants", and current voice of the Ice King on "Adventure Time with Finn and Jake", is battling a fake death report.
This.... gave me a mini-heart attack...
6.3 040. Adam Sandler
Rumors of the actor, comedian; Adam Sandler's freak-accident death are totally false; just another morbid prank.
5.4 041. Tony Danza
Tony Danza, though believed to have fallen off a cliff in New Zealand to his death, is in fact alive and well.
6.1 042. John Cena
"John Cena dead" in 2012 is the latest death hoax to hit Twitter in a week of copious celebrity death hoaxes, though it seems Cena is usually prone to victimization in the fake-dead stakes.
8.4 043. Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman is the victim of a death hoax. Rumors of the actor's alleged demise spread because of an "R.I.P Morgan Freeman" Facebook page claiming he died on September 5th.
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