My Seinfeld reruns were almost ruined yesterday when the rumor that Wayne Knight had passed away was going around. Thankfully, it was all a hoax and we can all still say “hello, Newman” without bursting into tears.
Celebrity death hoaxes are nothing new on the world wide web though, and continue to plague many celebrities multiple times over. Here are six celebrities who remain alive and kicking, despite interent rumors that they’re dead as a doornail.
Bill Cosby — falsely declared dead multiple times since 2009.
Let’s start with the first and most obvious one – Bill “NOT DEAD YET” Cosby. Bill Cosby has been dying about every six months since around 2009. Maybe the internet is trying to prepare itself for the day Cosby finally does kick the bucket, or maybe it just likes aggravating the curmudgeonly comedian. In February of 2010, Cosby posted a rebuttal to his death on his personal blog, but that still hasn’t stopped trolls like Jonathan Gorman who created a R.I.P. Bill Cosby page that racked up nearly 250,000 likes. Gorman later gave a half-assed apology according to US Weekly for his attempt at killing-off Cosby.
“My name is Jonathan Gorman and I am the page admin/creator. With the recent slowdown of likes and high amount of attention from news sources. . . I have come to the conclusion that I should tell you all the truth. Bill Cosby is not deceased. I made around 315 THOUSAND people angry. I love you all for making me laugh at your stupidity for the past day and a half. You’re great.”
Morgan Freeman — falsely declared dead multiple times since 2010.
Morgan Freeman is another beloved actor who seems to drop dead about once a year thanks to internet gossip. Freeman’s first death hoax popped up in 2010 when a bogus CNN tweet announcing the actor’s death began making the rounds, and in 2012 a fake memorial page led the actor to fire back at web trolls with a Facebook post proclaiming that he was indeed alive.
Phew! Morgan Freeman should finally be in the clear, right? Nope. When Nelson Mandela died last December, Twitter again exploded with idiots who thought their favorite actor from The Shawshank Redemption had passed away.
Hugh Hefner — falsely declared dead in 2011
Internet pranksters declared Hefner dead of a heart attack in 2011 and the web immediately exploded with farewells followed by jokes about how too much poon can kill a man, because that’s what the internet does. Hefner was of course not dead, and glad to discover that he was still alive from his response to the situation on Twitter.
Bill Nye “The Science Guy” — falsely declared dead in 2012 and again in 2014
Billy Nye death rumors first started flying around Twitter in 2012, shortly after the science guy released a video on YouTube against teach creationism to children. Nye was not dead of course and went on to do a short stint on Dancing With The Stars before dying again according to the internet in 2014.
John Cena — falsely reported dead in 2012
The internet began circulating rumors of Cena’s death in a variety of ways in 2012. Some claimed he died in a car crash, while other perpetuated a rumor that he had been killed while performing a wrestling stunt with Dwayne Johnson. More than simply a hoax, the phony death was also linked to a Facebook scam that linked to malware after unsuspecting users clicked on the “John Cena is dead” headline.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson — falsely reported dead in 2011
Cena isn’t the only wrestler to have felt the Grim Reaper’s touch with a death hoax. In 2011, rumors started making their way across Twitter that Dwayne Johnson had died from falling off a cliff in New Zealand — which is also the same fate that was linked to Jeff Goldblum’s death hoax 2012. (So basically if you’re an actor and happen to be in New Zealand there’s a good chance the internet is going to think you’ve croaked.)
The Rock took to his Twitter page to confirm he was not dead and offer some final thoughts to the troll that started the rumor.
These are just six of the many, many celebrities who have died yet continue to walk among us. May they rest in peace even though they’re not dead yet.