Rumors about celebrities have existed since there were… well, celebrities. But the increased volume of tabloids and the ability to publish anything on the Internet with the press of a button has definitely increased the number of those rumors, along with the difficulty in deciphering fact from fiction. It seems like there is a new fake celebrity death staged online and spread around social media like wild fire. Even some of the most credible news sources and affiliates have fallen victim to believing the myths. But how about you? Do you know fact from fiction? Read on for 10 interesting celebrity urban legends and whether they are true or false.
10. Mr. Rogers Was A Navy SEAL
False. It’s unclear where the rumor that Mr. Rogers was a member of the elite Navy SEALs team and that he always wore long-sleeved sweaters to conceal the tattoos while he got during his service, but the Navy SEALs has directly debunked both claims stating, “We have to state it is false. Mr. Rogers never served in the military”
9. Michael Jackson And Janet Jackson Were The Same Person
False: Okay, so this one is kind of a n0-brainer (or, at least, most of us would assume). But, in the late 1980s, whether or not Michael and his sister, Janet Jackson were the same person was a very real rumor being bounced around.
8. Tom Hanks Is An Ancestor Of Abraham Lincoln
True. Four score and seven years ago, big-time Hollywood actor, Tom Hanks did some research into his ancestry and discovered his ancestor, John Hanks is actually the great-great grandfather of Abraham Lincoln. This is definitely something Hanks’ should brag about.
7. Jennifer Lopez’s Booty Is Insured For $1 Billion
False. Jennifer Lopez’s derriere quickly became just as famous as the actress herself, when she rose to popularity in the nineties. In 1999, there was a pretty wide-spread rumor circulating that she decided to protect her money-maker by insuring it. Reports varied, with policies that ranged from $1 million all the way up to $1 billion. But Lopez has denied the claims from the very beginning. “I don’t know where it came from,” she said, “but I thought it was funny.” At least JLo got a good laugh from the rumor.
6. Marilyn Manson Was Paul Pfeiffer On The Wonder Years
False. Back when Marilyn Manson shook the world up like a snowglobe, when he hit the scene with a super creepy version of Sweet Dreams, rumors about the shock rocker quickly began to swirl. One rumor in particular was that he was the nerdy kid who played Paul Pfeiffer on the 80s hit sitcom, The Wonder Years. The only problem with this rumor is that it’s so easily debunked by simply looking up the cast of The Wonder Years. Unshockingly enough, it wasn’t him. Paul Pfeiffer’s real name is Josh Saviano. Manson’s real name is an underwhelming Brian Warner.
5. Mama Cass Died Choking On A Ham Sandwich
False: When Mama Cass died suddenly, the common belief was that she died by asphyxiation while eating a ham sandwich. Some people found some irony in this rumor, considering that Cass was a rather large woman. But, aside from being completely insensitive to laugh at, the rumor was started with a mean-spirited comment by her own doctor. After her death, the physician who treated Cass told a reporter that she had “probably choked to death on a sandwich.” In reality, Cass’ autopsy report shows that she died of a heart attack, with no mention of a sandwich of any kind.
4. Richard Gere Had To Have A Gerbil Removed From His… Rear
False. Most good looking actors have faced rumors of homosexuality at one point or another. But Richard Gere’s rumors went as far as to say that he was admitted to the hospital to have a gerbil surgically removed from his rectum. The rumor continues to haunt him decades later. But, Gere doesn’t really seem to care very much, since he has neither confirmed nor denied the claim. But, there is not one single shred of evidence to show that this story is true, and it’s not for a lack of trying. Even National Inquirer reporter, Mike Walker admitted that he dug deep to uncover the truth for months. “I’ve never worked hard on a story in my life,” Walker said, but he never found a single credible piece of evidence to support the claim. Further rumors claim, however, that the source of the rumor itself came from Sylvester Stallone, who hated Richard Gere and spread the story in hopes of ruining his career.
3. Julia Child Was A Spy
True. Yes, the clumsy chef that graced television sets around the country through the eighties was a real-life spy. Julia Child worked for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II, as an intelligence officer. Her job was to organize and funnel information to allies from around the world. With such a stressful job, it’s no wonder she decided to retire by drinking her way through cooking wine on television.
2. Elvis Died On The Toilet
Probably True. Although people have tried to debunk this long-standing rumor about The King dying on his proverbial throne, all reports of his death mention that Elvis was found dead on his bathroom floor in the area of the toilet. The belief is that he died while sitting and then subsequently fell over where he was found.
1. Ozzy Osbourne Bit The Head Off Of A Bat On Stage
True. As gross as it may sound, this story is completely true. Ozzy Osbourne even admitted to it. Apparently, though, it was an accident. Fans would often throw things on stage while his band, Black Sabbath performed. When a fan threw a live bat at his feet, Osbourne assumed it was rubber and bit the head off as part of his theatrics. He quickly realized his mistake, however, and he was rushed to the hospital for examination and rabies shots.