Famous Celebrity Death Hoaxes

It's been a rough week, kids. The world lost Carson sidekick Ed McMahon, Charlie's Angel Farrah Fawcett, King of Pop Michael Jackson and Salesman Extraordinaire Billy Mays.

By Sofi Papamarko Jul 01, 2009 5:00 PMTags
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It's been a rough week, kids. The world lost Carson sidekick Ed McMahon, Charlie's Angel Farrah Fawcett, King of Pop/Arguably Most Famous Man Ever Michael Jackson and salesman extraordinaire Billy Mays. Tears!

As fascinated as we are with the lives of celebrities, it seems we're even more fascinated by their deaths. That goes a long way towards explaining the phenomenon of the Celebrity Death Hoax.

Not long after Michael Jackson's death was confirmed, rumours circulated about actor Jeff Goldblum's supposed demise off a cliff in New Zealand. But this was never confirmed, and Goldblum and his enormous bobbing Adam's apple will see another day.

Here are a few of the more famous celebrity death hoaxes that have been dreamed up over the years:

1969: DJ Russ Gibb at WKNR-FM in Detroit received an anonymous call from a listener, declaring Paul McCartney dead and claiming that he was replaced by a lookalike. The proof? Numerous clues scattered throughout Beatles albums, including the lyric "The Walrus is Paul" on the song Glass Onion and the fact that McCartney('s alleged doppelganger) sported a mustache on Sgt. Pepper, hiding plastic surgery scars.'

2001: Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake were rumoured to have died together in a car crash. There have been multiple Spears death hoaxes. We sincerely hope that Brit-Brit lives a long and healthy natural life, but really? What are the odds of that happening?

2004: A DJ in New Mexico joked that Michael Jackson had committed suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills. Chilling, considering the circumstances surrounding the King of Pop's actual death.

2005: There was a widely circulated rumour that Jon Heder, star of the film Napoleon Dynamite, was killed in a car crash in Oregon. Gosh!

2008: Rumours of Oprah Winfrey's demise on Wikipedia were greatly exaggerated:
Winfrey was found dead in her home at 8:21 a.m. on Saturday morning. Winfrey "appeared to have a bloody area around her eye, a bullet wound in her stomach and some cuts and bruises up and down her body." The post also says the suspect was "beaten" and "shot by a handgun". Yikes! Obviously untrue. Also, if you look under your chair right now, A NEW CAR! EVERYBODY GETS A NEW CAR! WOO!

2008: Again with the Wikipedia! A revision stated that:
On September 5th 2008 Miley Cyrus died in a fatal car crash on the way to the set of Hannah Montana. Her car was part of a side impact crash with a F-350 driven by an unidentified black man. She was seriously injured and rushed to the hospital only to die there a few minutes after arriving.
If that were the case, how did she manage to get back together with Joe Jonas? Hmmm?

As Michael Scott says on The Office, Wikipedia is great because "Anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject, so you know you are getting the best possible information." True dat.

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