The life of a celebrity is constantly reported on by the media and obsessed over by fans. Their every move from what they wore to what they ate is discussed and broken down. Often their relationships, marriages and divorces are at the center of attention. However, in some cases even after a celebrity dies the media and their fans won’t let their memory fade away. Sometimes their fans or the general public can’t accept a celebrity’s death. Conspiracy theorists believe that some of the most famous celebrities faked their death. Most of the general public assumes that these celebrities are in fact dead. Some celebrities have died years ago or even decades ago and many still speculate the celebrity is alive and well. Perhaps some of these theories are right; maybe they’re just on some beach somewhere sipping on daiquiris, or maybe they’re definitely dead.
There are many factors, situations and incidents that can fuel speculation around a celebrity’s death. Maybe they died very young, their death was suspicious or vanished without a trace. Some celebrities would openly talk about their death in their writing, music or in interviews. Some celebrities seemed so uncomfortable with the fame they gained that they had to figure out a way to escape. This would further fuel many conspiracy theories. Some are convinced that these dead celebrities went to great lengths to fake their deaths but are still alive someplace in this world. Here is a look at 15 Celebrities That Conspiracy Theorists Believe Faked Their Own Death.
15. Whitney Houston – 1963-2012
Whitney Houston is widely regarded as one of the greatest solo artists of all time. She is one of the best selling artists and has released several memorable albums, such as Whitney Houston, Whitney and My Love Is Your Love. She also appeared in the film The Bodyguard and released the song, “I Will Always Love You”. Whitney Houston had many personal issues and struggled with drug addiction. Her relationship with Bobby Brown was highly publicized and she would often find herself at the center of controversy. Whitney Houston died on February 11, 2012 at the age of 48. She accidentally drowned in her bathtub with cocaine and heart disease contributing to her death. There are several conspiracy theories regarding her death. One includes that she was actually killed by Jay Z and Beyoncé as a sacrifice to Satan to save Blue Ivy. Other conspiracy theories suggest that she faked her death to go into hiding in an attempt to revitalize her brand, to increase record sales and to escape from the intense spotlight.
14. Heath Ledger – 1979-2008
Heath Ledger died on January 22, 2008 from an accidental intoxication from prescription painkillers at the age of 28. Heath Ledger is an Academy Award winning actor that appeared in several films, such as 10 Things I Hate About You, Lords of Dogtown and Brokeback Mountain. At the time of his death he just finished shooting his most iconic role as The Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. It’s been reported that he was obsessed with the role as The Joker and even turned his apartment into a Joker shrine. Almost immediately after the announcement of his death, conspiracy theories started swirling around. Several conspiracy theorists have speculated that he was murdered or had committed suicide. Eventually several conspiracy theorists began to speculate that he faked his own death. This gained traction when several people began reporting Heath Ledger sightings. He was reportedly seen walking around Manhattan and hanging out at cafes. Some even speculated that it wasn’t Heath Ledger but his unknown twin brother…
13. Richey Edwards – 1967-2008 (Disappeared in 1995)
Richey Edwards was a member of the alternative rock band Manic Street Preachers. He was the guitarist and lyricist for the band with his lyrics being highly praised. He disappeared on February 1, 1995, at the age of 27. He was missing for 21 years and was presumed legally dead on November 23, 2008 at the age of 40. His sudden disappearance remains a mystery but that has fueled many conspiracy theories. The last two weeks of his life are filled with unexplained actions and decisions. His car was discovered near the Bristol Suspension Bridge, which is known to be a location with a high rate of suicide. Many speculate that he might have committed suicide but many of his close family and friends dispute that theory and claim he was never the type to even consider suicide. Several conspiracy theorists believe that he vanished in order to fake his death. Many speculate that he is still alive and there have been several Richey sightings over the years. He was apparently spotted on the Islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. There was also a sighting of Edwards at a market in Goa, India. The true fate of Richey Edwards remains a mystery.
12. Jimi Hendrix – 1942-1970
Jimi Hendrix is widely regarded as the greatest and most influential guitarist. He released several critically and commercially acclaimed songs, such as “Hey Joe” and “Purple Haze”. Jimi Hendrix died on September 18, 1970 at the age of 27. He choked on his vomit in his sleep and he was intoxicated with barbiturates. At the time of his death his health was in bad shape. He was suffering from fatigue due to a major lack of sleep. He also enjoyed drugs and alcohol to a great degree, he mostly enjoyed doing acid. It was also noted that when he would get drunk he would turn into an angry and mean person despite being full of love when sober. Many speculated that he had attempted suicide but there isn’t enough evidence to prove that. Regardless, that doesn’t stop the many conspiracy theories from swirling around. Several conspiracy theorists believe that he faked his death to get away from the pressures of fame and the intense spotlight.
11. Bruce Lee – 1940-1973
Bruce Lee was a martial arts instructor, actor and founder of Jeet Kune Do martial arts. He is widely regarded as a cultural icon. He is credited with bringing martial arts to the US and making it popular. He starred in several films, including Fist of Fury, Way of The Dragoon and Enter The Dragon. Bruce Lee died on July 20, 1973 at the age of 32. He died from cerebral edema (which is a build-up of fluid around the brain). Many speculate this was caused by a negative reaction to painkillers. He was in the middle of shooting a film at the time of his death. At the time rumors began to circulate that the Triads were behind his death. Others believed that Lee and his family were actually cursed but it didn’t gain major traction until his son, Brandon Lee, accidentally died during the filming of The Crow. Many conspiracy theorists believe Bruce Lee faked his death to get out of the spotlight and avoid media attention. Those same conspiracy theorists also believe that Brandon Lee faked his death for similar reasons.
10. Notorious BIG – 1972-1997
The Notorious BIG is considered one of the greatest rappers of all time. He is credited with reviving East Coast hip-hop. Notorious BIG released several memorable albums before and after his death, including Ready to Die, Life After Death and Born Again. Biggie was murdered on March 9, 1997, in a drive-by shooting at the age of 24. The killer or killers have never been caught. At the time he was involved in a feud with fellow rapper Tupac Shakur. Tupac was murdered in a similar fashion months earlier in Las Vegas. Possibly because of its link to Tupac’s murder there are several conspiracy theories swirling around regarding his death. One of the famous theories is that Tupac faked his death to murder Biggie. However, others believe that Biggie faked his death as well. There have been several reported sightings of the iconic rapper.
9. Jim Morrison – 1943-1971
The iconic Jim Morrison was the lead singer of the legendary rock band The Doors. Morrison was known for his wild and charismatic personality. He was also known for his unique stage performances. The Doors and Jim Morrison were highly influential in music history. Jim Morrison died on July 3, 1971 in Paris, France at the age of 27. His long-term companion Pamela Courson, found him in a bathtub. There is no official cause of death because no autopsy was performed. This has lead to many rumors that he actually died of a heroin overdose. It was well known at the time that he struggled with alcoholism. Conspiracy theorists suggest that Morrison faked his death to escape from the public eye. There have been many sightings of Morrison in Oregon, Paris and the Bahamas. In 2009, a video surfaced of a homeless man that many believe is Jim Morrison. However, the homeless man claims to not even now who Jim Morrison or The Doors are. Several people suggest that he faked his death because he had three paternity tests pending and wanted to avoid possible jail time.
8. Amy Winehouse – 1983-2011
Amy Winehouse is a critically and commercially acclaimed singer and songwriter. Prior to her death she released two critically acclaimed albums, Frank and Back To Black. At the 2008 Grammy Awards she won five awards, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Amy Winehouse died on July 23, 2011 from alcohol poisoning at the age of 27. Her bodyguard found her unresponsive in her home. After an autopsy it was revealed that her alcohol level was five times over the legal driving limit. She had struggled with drug abuse, an eating disorder and mental illness. She dealt with her drug habit but eventually developed an alcohol dependency. Several conspiracy theorists believe that she is still alive and faked her death. Her father, Mitch Winehouse, received messages from people claiming that she had faked her death and is actually alive. They also told him that she was living on an island with Tupac and Michael Jackson.
7. Michael Jackson – 1958-2009
Michael Jackson is widely regarded as a pop icon and one of the most influential artists of all time. Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 from an acute benzodiazepine and propofol intoxication at the age of 50. His death was ruled a homicide and his personal physician Conrad Murray, was charged with involuntary manslaughter. Michael Jackson was constantly touring and released several groundbreaking albums, including Thriller and Bad. The media often speculated on his relationships, changing appearance and he was accused of child sexual abuse. Much like his life, his death has been surrounded in controversy and mystery. Several conspiracy theorists and fans believe he faked his death to escape the constant spotlight and media attention. Several people believe that he was seen exiting the coroner’s van at the time of his death. There have been several additional sightings, including in Spain, the backseat of Paris Jackson’s car and sitting behind his father at the BET awards. None of these sightings have ever been confirmed.
6. Paul Walker – 1973-2013
Paul Walker appeared in several films, such as She’s all That, Varsity Blues and Flags of Our Fathers. He is best known for his starring role in the Fast and The Furious franchise. Paul Walker died in a single-vehicle collision on November 30, 2013 at the age of 40. He died in the middle of shooting Furious 7. After leaving a charity event, Walker and his friend Roger Rodas, were in an accident while in Rodas’ Porsche Carrera GT. The car was driving at a high speed (possibly as high as 100 miles per hour). Speed mostly likely played a large role in the accident. However, even a straightforward accident can still get fans questioning his death. Several conspiracy theorists believe that Walker faked his death. The theory suggests that Fast and the Furious executives forced Walker to fake his death in an attempt to reinvigorate the Fast and Furious franchise because of all the attention it would gain. Several people claim they spotted Walker after his funeral. They claim to have seen him walking around Hollywood wearing a green wooly hat.
5. Kurt Cobain – 1967-1994
The iconic Kurt Cobain was the lead singer and co-founder of the legendary grunge band Nirvana. He died on April 5, 1994 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 27. He was found with a shotgun across his chest and a suicide note nearby. Despite his death being ruled a suicide, fans and conspiracy theorists have a few other theories regarding his death. Cobain struggled with depression, serious health issues and heroin addiction, which most likely contributed to his death. It was also noted that he struggled with the fame and attention he received after Nirvana’s big breakthrough. He was also under a great amount of stress from his relationship with Courtney Love. Some even speculate that Courtney Love may have had something to do with his death but that has never been proven. In fact, many conspiracy theorists believe he faked his death to escape the spotlight, media and Courtney Love. Part of the speculation is fueled by the fact that the only photograph released showing him dead didn’t show his face.
4. Andy Kaufman – 1949-1984
Andy Kaufman was an actor and comedian who enjoyed pulling pranks and elaborate ruses. In fact, Kaufman didn’t consider himself a comedian. He rose to prominence through his stand up that included impressions of Elvis Presley. He also performed as the characters Tony Cliffton and Foreign Man (Latka Graves). He was also known for his role in Taxi and his professional wrestling career. Andy Kaufman died on May 16, 1984 due to lung cancer at the age of 35. However, due to his enjoyment of pulling pranks many conspiracy theorists believe he’s still alive. Many believe that he faked his death in the ultimate prank. In fact, Kaufman had discussed faking his own death as a prank. Further fueling the rumors is the fact that Tony Clifton still performs, however Kaufman’s friend Bob Zmuda most likely portrays the character now.
In 2013, an actress appeared at the Gotham Comedy Club claiming to be Kaufman’s daughter and stated that he was still alive. She claimed the reason he faked his death was so he could be a stay at home dad. However, it was later proven not to be his daughter. Kaufman’s brother Michael, also believes that Andy is still alive and faked his death. He claims that he even received a note from his brother.
3. Princess Diana – 1961-1997
Princess Diana is the mother of Prince William and Prince Harry. She was the first wife of a Prince Charles. She was known for her charity work, devotion to her kids and her incredible beauty. She often found herself in the center of the harsh spotlight. Everything from what she wore to her difficult divorce were constantly reported on by the media. She died tragically on August 31, 1997, in a car crash in Paris. Her death was heartbreaking and devastating to many. At the time she was seeing Dodi Fayed who also died in the accident. There are many conspiracy theories regarding her death. Dodi’s father and many conspiracy theorists believe that Diana and Dodi were murdered. Some have even speculated that the Royal Family and MI6 orchestrated to murder to look like a car crash. However, many conspiracy theorists also believe that Princess Diana faked her death. She did this so she could escape the paparazzi, harsh spotlight and intense media scrutiny. However, that wouldn’t explain how she could leave her two sons behind.
2. Elvis Presley – 1935 – 1977
The legendary Elvis Presley is considered one of the greatest musicians of all time. At the time of his death he had serious health issues, was dangerously overweight and had a pill addiction that most likely attributed to his death. However, that hasn’t stopped conspiracy theories to swirl close to 40 years after his death. Ginger Alden discovered his body on August 16, 1977; he was 42 years old. Instantly many speculated that he had faked his death to escape the spotlight. There are many things that helped fuel the speculation that he’s still alive. For example, there were reports that a black helicopter landed at Graceland the day his body was discovered. This implies that he faked his death and escaped to Bermuda. Also, his middle name is misspelt on his tombstone. Of course, there has also been a plethora of Elvis sightings through the years. He was allegedly spotted in the 1980s in Kalamazoo Michigan. There is also a rumor that he appears as a background character in the 1990 film Home Alone. The most recent sighting was of an elderly man in Graceland that many fans online believe to be Elvis.
1. Tupac Shakur – 1971-1996
Iconic rapper Tupac Shakur died from gunshot wounds on September 13, 1996 but there are several fans and conspiracy theorists that in 2017 believe that he is still alive. At the time of his death he was 25 and in the middle of a feud with fellow rapper Notorious BIG. Tupac was shot on September 7, 1996 in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas after a Mike Tyson fight. The killers have never been found. Some conspiracy theories suggest that Notorious BIG was involved or that Suge Knight was behind the shooting but neither has been proven. Many conspiracy theorists still believe he is alive and faked his death.
There have been Tupac sightings in Cuba and in New Zealand. There are also claims that he is in witness protection and working with the FBI. In 2016, a photo showed up on the Internet of Tupac and Rihanna, however it’s most likely been photoshopped. Another theory suggests that he faked his death in order to kill Notorious BIG months later. Tupac began going by the stage name Makaveli after being influenced by Italian politician and historian Niccolo Machivaelli. In his book, Niccolo advocates faking your own death in order to fool your enemies. Even Tupac himself fueled the rumors with tracks he recorded before his death. He once rapped, “I heard a rumour that I died, murdered in cold blood traumatized. Pictures of me in my final states, you know Mama cried. But that was fiction, some coward got the story twisted.”