Kanye Lives! And So Do These Other Hoaxed Celebs

Fake rumors of celebrity death from Kanye West to Frank Sinatra
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2009 4:26 AM CDT
Paris Hilton was widely rumored to have been killed by a fellow inmate when she was serving jail time in 2007.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
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(Newser) – We're happy for you Kanye, but Paul McCartney's may have been the best celebrity death hoax of all time. An elaborate Internet hoax fooled many into thinking Kanye West had been killed in a car crash yesterday, prompting the Los Angeles Times to look at other celebs who fell victim to great exaggeration.

  • A 1966 rumor that Paul McCartney was dead and had been replaced by an impostor had hordes of fans searching Beatles records for clues for years afterward.

  • Tom Hanks was widely rumored to have plummeted to his death from cliffs in New Zealand in 2006, sparking angry denials from his staff. The rumor was recycled using Tom Cruise last year and Jeff Goldblum this summer.
  • A widely circulated fake AP story in 2006 claimed that Jaleel White, "Steve Urkel" from Family Matters, had killed himself, leaving a note with Urkel's catchphrase: "Did I do that?"
  • Frank Sinatra really is dead, but he wasn't in 1945 when anxious fans flooded switchboards following rumors of Ol' Blue Eyes' demise.
Click the link below for the full list.