Paul Rudd, Paul Ryan Rudd

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

The actor Paul Rudd has passed away. the actor Paul Rudd is alive and well.

Conspiracy Corner, Comic Con 2009 Brick

No hoax. No joke. All true.

How can this be?

There are, or, rather, were two Paul Rudds.

The first was a noted performer of the 1960s-1980s, who worked in prime time (Knots Landing, Hart to Hart), and on Broadway. He succumbed to pancreatic cancer last Thursday, it was reported over the weekend. He was 70.

As noted by the New York Times, Paul Rudd was no relation to Paul Rudd, the 41-year-old star of Dinner for Schmucks and other movies you can no doubt list.

The elder Rudd retired from acting in 1986 to raise the first of his three children, according to his biography at the New School for Drama, where he taught acting.

When the younger Rudd began his screen career in the 1990s, the elder Rudd still had dibs on the name Paul Rudd, so the upstart actor billed himself by his full name: Paul Stephen Rudd.

As of around 1996, the younger Rudd assumed the professional handle Paul Rudd, and it was the elder Rudd's turn to occassionally be identified by his full name: Paul Ryan Rudd. (At the New School, he was simply Paul Rudd.)

Out of respect for both Paul Rudds, we refuse to declare that either Paul Rudd was ever the other Paul Rudd.

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Remember others we've said goodbye to this year in our Fallen Stars gallery.

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