A flurry of confused fans breathed a sigh of release last week when a report that actor Charlie Sheen had died was revealed to be nothing but a mere internet rumor. The inaccurate reporting of Sheen's demise, which was the result of a malware scam, came just hours after word spread that Playboy founder Hugh Hefner had died. (Both men quickly took to Twitter to confirm that they were, in fact, alive.) The speed with which the false news took off reflects a web culture obsessed with celebrity and death, but death rumors aren't just a product of the digital age. Here, a look back at some the most notable celebrity death rumors throughout history:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- Mike Huckabee's head-scratching advice to Christian voters
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- How Scotland's independence movement lost the vote and still won everything
- 6 super-helpful iOS8 tricks you probably don't know about
Subscribe to the Week