Jim Carrey is not dead... despite a Facebook page claiming otherwise.
Breathe a sigh of relief, Jim Carrey fans: The Dumb & Dumber star is alive and well. On Thursday, a Facebook page titled "R.I.P. Jim Carrey" went viral after it falsely claimed that the actor had "passed away due to a fatal plane crash." That puts the In Living Color alum — who is alive and well — in rarefied company: From Mark Twain to Paul McCartney, there have long been false accounts of celebrities' deaths. But the rise of the internet — and particularly Facebook and Twitter — has made it much easier for the hoaxes to go viral. Here, some of the most memorable celebrity death hoaxes in recent memory:
1. Jim Carrey
The "R.I.P. Jim Carrey" page has just a few hundred "Likes" on Facebook, but rumors of the actor's death spread quickly and widely enough that news outlets took the time to report the story as false. "Fret not," says Rebecca Macatee at E! Online. "Carrey's rep tells E! News the page is fake and the Mr. Popper's Penguins star is fine. Phew." (via E! Online)
2. Johnny Depp
Unlike most death hoaxes, which are deliberately perpetuated by pranksters, recent reports of Depp's death on the set of The Lone Ranger seem to have come from a simple misunderstanding: The 49-year-old actor is alive and well, but a 48-year-old crewmember died on the set of the film in September. (via Hollywood Life)
3. Morgan Freeman
Blame Facebook for the rapid spread of the Morgan Freeman death hoax in September. An "R.I.P. Morgan Freeman" page earned more than 60,000 followers, prompting a representative for the actor to release a statement advising fans to "stop believing what you see on the internet." (via International Business Times)
4. Vanilla Ice
When a fake post claiming that Vanilla Ice had died in a car crash went viral in June, the rapper turned to Twitter to prove the report was false. "I don't know who's spreading this rumor about me dying in a car crash — but IM ALIVE!" tweeted the "Ice, Ice Baby" rapper. (via MSN)
5. Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A May 2012 rumor about the death of Colombian novelist and Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez came from an unusual source: a Twitter account that claimed to belong to author Umberto Eco. "A false account," tweeted @ElGabo — the real account of Marquez — in reply. (via The Guardian)
6. Jon Bon Jovi
A false news report on the Daily News Blog International led many to believe that the popular rocker had passed away in December 2011. After attempting to quell the rumor with a Facebook post, Jon Bon Jovi later joked about it at a concert by pretending to take phone calls from frantic friends. (via Los Angeles Times)
7. Jeff Goldblum
A false report in 2009 on Global Associated News gave Jurassic Park brainiac Jeff Goldblum a particularly gruesome end, claiming that he "fell more than 60 feet to his death on the Kauri Cliffs" in New Zealand. The news spread so quickly that Goldblum made an appearance on The Colbert Report to prove the report false. And Goldblum is in good company; the "cliffs of New Zealand" claim has also been made about Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, John Cena, and Robert Duvall. (via The Huffington Post)
8. Britney Spears
After gaining access to the pop star's Twitter account in June 2009, a prankster changed her avatar to a picture of a cross and tweeted, "Britney has passed today. It is a sad day for everyone. More news to come." Though the tweet was quickly deleted, it still reached a portion of Spears' millions of followers. (via Mashable)
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