Little People, Big Death Rumor: What Really Happened to Matt Roloff?

A cliffhanger got otherwise-fine reality TV dad, that's what happened

By Joal Ryan Jun 17, 2010 2:01 AMTags
Matt RoloffHeather Swanson /TLC

For a change, it wasn't the Internet that scared you into thinking a star had died. No, this time you got punked by a TV network.

Maybe TLC didn't mean to play the role of hoaxster with Monday's fifth-season finale of Little People, Big World, but it did. And reality-TV dad Matt Roloff had to clear things up, i.e., vouch for his own health.

Here's what happened:

Monday's episode closed with the 48-year-old Roloff being found collapsed at his home. (See the sequence of events here at this Roloff fan page.)

Did Roloff have a heart attack? Did he die? Fans were left to fill in the blanks for themselves. And they did. As Internet chatter can attest.

"Just watched tonight's show," a viewer posted on the show's official message board. "I'm deeply concerned about what happened to Matt at the end. It will be difficult to wait until Sept. Does anyone know what happened?"

The very-much-alive Roloff does: He was felled by an attack of vertigo, or dizziness.

"For those wondering…the reality of my collapsing was REAL," Roloff posted on his Facebook page today. "I continue to fight Vertigo dizzy spells. I'm now on the right meds. Happy to say I'm doing much better…haven't hit the floor in months."

While followers of the Roloffs, since 2006, seen on TLC dealing with the ups and downs of farming life, as well as the dwarfism that affects Matt Roloff, wife Amy and their son Zach, were relieved, they weren't entirely forgiving.

"[F]an of the show for years but feel the ending was almost disrespectful to fans," another viewer wrote on the Little People, Big World message board. "Why leave us worrying about your health?"

Because, um, it worked?

Monday's finale scored the show's biggest audience of the season.

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Find out who else isn't dead in our Alive & Kicking: Celebrity Death Hoaxes gallery.