When celebrities die, the world takes notice. Fans grieve the loss of their idols and talk about their contribution to society. But with such a high status in the world, attention can cut both ways. The internet has allowed rumors to spread much more quickly. With that kind of power, many hoaxers have spread plenty of rumors about fake celebrity deaths. We don’t usually think about it, but this can cause plenty of problems for the celebrities themselves. So, what celebrities have had false deaths? Here are 25 False Celebrity Deaths We’re Glad Aren’t Real.
In May 2010, a rumor spread on the internet that Tom Cruise died in an accident while in New Zealand. It became such a prominent rumor he had to address it to the press that he was, in fact, alive and well.
Many country music fans were greatly saddened to hear Reba McEntire had died in 2012. She supposedly had fallen to her death while climbing a mountain in Austria. To address the rumor, McEntire took to Twitter and said, “I am alive and kicking!!!”
Avril Lavigne has had a death hoax attached to her since 2003, and it just won’t die. The conspiracy theory suggests Lavigne died and was replaced by a look-a-like. People continue to spread false information in an attempt to convince people. But fear not Avril Lavigne fans, she is alive and well.
In 2009, news spread all over Google’s real-time search that Natalie Portman had died from a fall in New Zealand. Of course, it was all a hoax and she’s fine. Now we’re just curious why celebrities are all having fake deaths in New Zealand.
Chloe Grace Moretz
People all too often forget celebrities are people with family and loved ones. That’s why, when someone spread a rumor that Chloe Grace Moretz had died in a snowboarding accident in Switzerland, she was none too happy after family and friends called in tears to check in on her. She called the hoaxers, “disgusting.”
After a Facebook page called, “RIP Cher” was set up, fans flooded it, putting up their tributes and love. It got over 1 million likes. Of course, shortly after, a representative for the singer shot the rumor down and told people to stop believing everything they hear on the internet.
In 2016, an internet hoax spread across Twitter that Charlie Sheen had died from a snowboarding accident, hitting a tree at a high speed. His ex-wife, Denise Richards, fought back saying he is alive.
In 2013, Facebook pages used fake news outlet logos to convince people Celine Dion died in a car crash. The news spread like wildfire and eventually leaked on to Twitter. Of course, when she found out about it, Dion was less than thrilled.
Last year in 2016, Sony’s Music Twitter account was hacked. The supposed hacker posted, “Britney Spears is dead by accident! We will tell you more soon #RIPBritney.” Spears’ rep quickly shot down the claims and assumed their account had been hacked.
A video of Jaden Smith, son of mega Hollywood star Will Smith, spread all over Facebook claiming to be a suicide note to his father. But Jaden had been seen walking the red carpet with his father around the same time it was released, and the rumors were debunked. The horrific prank spread quickly, however, and continued to spread despite frequent denunciations.
A fan spread a video online claiming iconic rapper Eminem died in a car crash in 2007 and was replaced by the music industry with a clone.
Who’s the Boss star Tony Danza has been the victim of not one but two celebrity death hoaxes. He claims the second time people actually bought it. “It’s kinda weird – after you’re gone, still being able to know what would happen,” he said.
Tony Danza and many other celebrities have nothing on the huge pop star Justin Bieber. In fact, Bieber holds the record for most deaths on Twitter, according to a study of death rumors. His death is falsely reported every two weeks on Twitter, according to Synthesio.
Though he’s getting up in years, famous guitarist Carlos Santana is still alive despite rumors in 2015 that he died. Of course, the rumors were spread on Facebook and Twitter but were quickly shot down by Santana’s rep.
When rumors spread online that famous child star Macaulay Culkin died, he responded by releasing a prank photo of someone carrying his dead body on Instagram. The photo was a parody of the Weekend at Bernie’s scene. But then he released another pic of him alive saying, “We’re on to you people.”
In 2010, Morgan Freeman, the famous actor who has played many iconic movie roles, was the victim of a Twitter death hoax, claiming he died at his home in Burbank, California.
Much like Justin Bieber, Jackie Chan has been a victim of death rumors many times and the rumors refuse to go away. At one time, he apparently died in a car crash in Australia, and the other time he died of a heart attack. But, to date, he’s very much alive and well.
After a death rumor was spread that Jeff Goldblum died in New Zealand while filming, Goldblum said he won’t be visiting the island anytime soon. He was worried if he visited there, the prophecy would somehow become true.
In 2010, rumors circulated that Russell Crowe had died while climbing an Austrian mountaintop. The rumors became so prominent they infected his own Wikipedia page and his rep had to address them as completely false.
We’re not quite sure what it is about New Zealand, but in 2006, a rumor spread that Tom Hanks died there after…you guessed it…falling off a cliff. However, it was quickly disproven by New Zealand authorities, and photos of Hanks were shown of him working on the set of Charlie Wilson’s War.
After the death of Charlie Murphy, a death rumor spread about Eddie Murphy, claiming he died in a car crash in California. The rumor was spread by LinkBeef, a website constantly spreading fake news and celebrities deaths.
Early in 2017, Emma Watson became a victim of a Facebook death hoax. A Facebook page was created called “R.I.P. Emma Watson,” and it got a million likes. The description on the page was incredibly detailed, making it even more believable.
Internet hoaxers took to YouTube and Twitter to announce the fake death of celebrity rapper Chris Brown. They flooded the comment section on all his YouTube music videos with messages of mourning for his fake death and did the same on Twitter.
Beyonce also got the Facebook page death hoax treatment. Someone created a “RIP Beyonce” page on Facebook; it claimed she had ripped out an earring on accident and died due to “excessive bleeding.”
The pop singer famous for the song Never Gonna Give You Up and for the internet prank “Rick Rolling” became the target of a death hoax in 2009. The rumor originated on CNN’s “iReport” service where anyone can report news. But contrary to those reports, Rick Astley is alive and is still never gonna give you up.
Photo: 25. Georges Biard, Tom Cruise avp 2014 3, CC BY-SA 3.0, 24. Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, Reba McEntire (32715978223), CC BY-SA 2.0, 23. Photograph by Freaktheclown Derivative by Keraunoscopia, Avril Lavigne, Today Show, 2013, CC BY-SA 3.0, 22. Georges Biard, Natalie Portman Cannes 2015 5, CC BY-SA 3.0, 21. Georges Biard, Chloe Grace Moretz Cannes 2014 3, CC BY-SA 3.0, 20. David Carroll, Cher TBT D2K, CC BY-SA 2.0, 19. Joella Marano, Charlie Sheen 2012, CC BY-SA 2.0, 18. RepliCarter, Celine Dion Paris, Bercy 2013-11-25 02, CC BY-SA 3.0, 17. Glenn Francis, Britney Spears 2013 (Straighten Crop), CC BY-SA 4.0, 16. Harrywad, Jaden smith 2009, CC BY-SA 3.0, 15. Mika-photography (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Mika-photography), Eminem slim, CC BY-SA 3.0, 14. Larry D. Moore, Tony danza 2012, CC BY-SA 3.0, 13. Lou Stejskal, Justin Bieber in 2015, CC BY 2.0, 12. Larry Philpot, Santana 2010, CC BY-SA 3.0, 11. Matt Biddulph, Macaulay Culkin singing (2010), CC BY-SA 2.0, 10. Reamronaldreagan, Morgan-Freeman, CC BY-SA 4.0, 9. Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, Jackie Chan (7588070218), CC BY-SA 2.0, 8. gdcgraphics, JeffGoldblum07TIFF, CC BY 2.0, 7. Eva Rinaldi, Russell Crowe 2012, CC BY-SA 2.0, 6. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 5. David Shankbone, Eddie Murphy 2010, CC BY 2.0, 4. Georges Biard, Emma Watson 2013, CC BY-SA 3.0, 3. Eva Rinaldi, Chris Brown 5, 2012, CC BY-SA 2.0, 2. Rocbeyonce, Beyonce – The Formation World Tour, at Wembley Stadium in London, England, CC BY-SA 4.0, 1. Michael Alø-Nielsen, Rick Astley Tivoli Gardens, CC BY 2.0