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
- Here's proof that Justin Bieber is just as spoiled as you always thought
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Why is American internet so slow?
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- Can Rand Paul avoid the Neville Chamberlain trap?
- Why is it so expensive to build a bridge in America?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Ukraine's fraught relationship with Russia: A brief history
- To build the Death Star, we'll need this space elevator
- How I Met Your Mother's Cristin Milioti thinks your conspiracy theories are 'insane'
Subscribe to the Week