50 Totally Absurd Celeb Rumors That Some People Really Believe
From faked deaths to secret twins to radical beauty regimens, stars have dealt with some wild theories.
There's a reason supermarket tabloids and gossip sites are so popular. We can't help but wonder what our favorite stars' real lives must be like, since they're practically in a different world than the rest of us. But that doesn't mean we should believe everything we read. For every celebrity news report that's accurate, there are plenty more that are completely fabricated. We've rounded up some of the most absurd celeb rumors out there, from reports that Tom Cruise is an alien to Lindsay Lohan having a secret, deceased twin. You won't believe what you're reading—and you shouldn't. For celebrity stories that actually do hold up, check out 50 Celebrities Whose Real Names You Never Knew.
Keanu Reeves is immortal.
Does Keanu Reeves have the secret to eternal life? The aptly named site KeanuIsImmortal.com claims that Reeves hasn't aged, one sign of "evidence" in support of the theory. (If that's all the proof we need, Paul Rudd is definitely immortal, too.) To prove its claim, the site also uses images of various men throughout history who do, admittedly, look like Reeves.
Of course, having a historical lookalike doesn't prove immortality, though Reeves doesn't seem to mind the suggestion. When Jimmy Fallon brought the theory up to the actor in 2017, he joked, "We're all stardust, baby!"
Stevie Wonder isn't blind.
This conspiracy theory is offensive to people who are blind and all kinds of disrespectful to legendary singer Stevie Wonder. But some people really do believe it's true.
The reality is that Wonder was born six weeks premature. His time spent in an incubator resulted in retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a condition in which the retinas to detach, so he became blind. And then one of the most influential artists in history. For music facts that will surprise you, check out 20 Songs You Totally Misunderstood, Explained.
Avril Lavigne died and was replaced by a lookalike.
Some fans are just determined to believe that their favorite stars have been replaced by lookalikes. Avril Lavigne is one of the more well-known victims of this kind of theory, even though the "evidence" is nonexistent.
As the story goes, her stand-in is named Melissa Vandella, and she replaced the singer after Lavigne's supposed death in 2003. But in 2018, Lavigne revealed in an open letter to her fans that she has been battling Lyme disease for the past few years. "I had accepted death and could feel my body shutting down," she wrote. Those conspiracy theorists should feel pretty bad right about now.
Andy Kaufman faked his death.
Strangely enough, this theory has actually been propagated by Andy Kaufman's own brother. And the comedian is well known for committing to some pretty absurd, long-running bits. But if you take a look at the Kaufman's death certificate, it's hard to believe that the comedian didn't really die in 1984, as reported. And for stars you won't believe were overlooked, here are 20 Surprising Celebrities Without Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Katy Perry is JonBenét Ramsey.
Child beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey was brutally murdered when she was just six years old in one of the most publicized unsolved cases of all time. But some conspiracy theorists believe that her death was faked, and she grew up in hiding, eventually becoming one of the world's biggest pop stars: Katy Perry. Though there may be the slightest resemblance, this theory has no credence, and it's not exactly respectful to Ramsey and her grieving family.
Mama Cass choked to death while eating a sandwich.
Cass Elliott, one of the singers of the popular folk group The Mamas & The Papas, died from a heart attack. But many believe things went down differently, thanks to a ham sandwich on a nearby table and a doctor who speculated about the cause of death before an autopsy was performed. The persistent rumor is rooted in body shaming and spotlights the prejudice Elliott also faced in her career.
Marisa Tomei didn't really win her Oscar.
When Marisa Tomei won an Academy Award in 1993 for My Cousin Vinny, it was a big surprise, as she was up against more established actors, like Vanessa Redgrave and Joan Plowright. Presenter Jack Palance initially struggled to read the winner's name, and then seemed to arbitrarily shout, "Marisa Tomei." It wasn't long before rumors circulated that she didn't really win. Though the Moonlight/La La Land snafu that took place just a few years ago should prove that the Academy wouldn't let someone who didn't win keep an Oscar just to save face, some people still believe this nasty rumor to this day.
Mister Rogers wore those sweaters to cover up tattoos on his arms.
If you grew up watching Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, you might have since heard talk that the friendly faced TV host had tattoos from his time as a Navy Seal. But the truth of the matter is, Fred Rogers never served in any war, according to History.com. Actually, they report, he "was a devoted Presbyterian minister who neither smoked nor drank." So it's pretty unlikely he had any tattoos at all. For real celebrity facts, here are 25 Stars You Didn't Know Got Their Start in Commercials.
Gene Simmons had a cow tongue grafted onto his own.
The KISS singer is known for his fairly large tongue, but it sounds like he came by it naturally. As Snopes explains, Gene Simmons wrote about the origins of his extra-long tongue in his autobiography. "I was oblivious, for the first thirteen years of my life, that I was endowed with a large oral appendage, my superlong tongue," he wrote. "It really was longer than everyone else's."
Beyoncé kidnapped Sia and kept her in a basement.
The rumor seemed to have started because of a misinterpreted 2015 article in Billboard, in which Sia said that collaborating with Beyoncé is "like a writing camp." She was probably referring to the fun kind of camp—not being held against her will.
Taylor Swift is the clone of a former Satanic leader.
When an image cropped up online of a woman named Zeena LaVey—a high priestess of the Church of Satan—it was hard not to notice her striking resemblance to Taylor Swift. It wasn't long before rumors started swirling, including one that Swift is a clone of LaVey. "The conspiracy theory is that Swift was taken and replaced by the Illuminati with a clone of LaVey, who is apparently a member of the secretive cult," according to BuzzFeed. Swift and LaVey, who is still alive, have yet to debunk this rumor. But you can assume that it doesn't check out. For real star roots, here are 25 Celebrities You Didn't Know Had Famous Parents.
Marilyn Manson starred on The Wonder Years as a child.
Marilyn Manson does resemble Paul from The Wonder Years, but he didn't play the iconic TV character. Paul was actually played by Josh Saviano, who now works as an attorney. According to Snopes, he's regularly asked if he's Manson, whose real name is Brian Hugh Warner. "No, of course not," he said. "I find it humorous. … It doesn't upset me, nor does it offend me. I just take it as a joke."
The "Mikey Likes It" kid died from eating soda and Pop Rocks.
John Gilchrist starred in Life cereal commercials in the 1970s as the iconic "Mikey Likes It" kid. He became the subject of an unfortunate rumor shortly thereafter that he'd died from eating Pop Rocks and soda. (At the time, the urban legend was that the candy and soda could explode in one's stomach.) But in reality, Gilchrist is still very much alive.
Justin Bieber is a reptilian.
Conspiracy theories about so-called "lizard people" have been around for a while now, and recently, Justin Bieber was sucked into the mix. As BuzzFeed reported in 2017, an Australian article appeared that quoted people saying they'd seen Bieber shape-shift into a lizard form. Of course, there's no evidence—not to mention the fact that the idea of a lizard person is biologically impossible.
Michael J. Fox's middle name is "Jello."
As the story goes, Michael J. Fox's parents let him pick his own middle name when he was six, so he chose to honor his favorite treat. As much as we wish it were true, sadly, it's not the case. The actor was born Michael Andrew Fox, but when he registered with the Screen Actors Guild, there was already a Michael Fox, so he decided to get creative and choose another middle initial. The "J" is an homage to legendary character actor Michael J. Pollard, according to Fox's foundation's website. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Tom Cruise is an alien.
Tom Cruise is one of the most famous members of the Church of Scientology. And though there is plenty of mystery surrounding the church, one of the biggest is about galactic ruler Xenu, who figures into their mythology. According to The Washington Post, Scientologists believe that "Xenu once expelled humans to Earth from another planet, and their disembodied spirits live in everyone." With that in mind, then it seems like yes, Cruise is part alien spirit—at least according to the church's beliefs.
It's also been rumored that Cruise built an alien bunker at his Colorado estate, out of fear that Xenu would attack again. When it comes to this absurd alien theorizing, we may never know the whole truth. Perhaps, we just can't handle it.
Walt Disney's body was frozen and it's somewhere on the Disneyland grounds.
Walt Disney is a legend in the entertainment industry, so it's no wonder he's been subject to some weird rumors, including that he was cryogenically frozen and his body is in Disneyland, under the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
In reality, the creator of Mickey Mouse was cremated, Mental Floss explains, and his ashes are in a Glendale cemetery.
Lindsay Lohan had a twin, who was murdered.
While plenty of actors have played twins on screen using doubles and special effects, there are some conspiracy theorists who believe Lindsay Lohan was actually acting alongside her real twin sister, Kelsey, in 1998's The Parent Trap.
As Babe.net explains, the theory goes that Kelsey was murdered before The Parent Trap premiere, and that Lindsay had a breakdown after starring in I Know Who Killed Me in 2006, because its tale of long-lost twins was a case of art imitating life. Though few things surprise us when it comes to Lohan, this one is a doozy, and pretty much impossible. For more actual Hollywood pairings, here are 60 Celebrities Who Share an Ex.
Cher had two of her ribs removed to shrink her waistline.
One pervasive absurd celebrity rumor is that female celebrities have removed their ribs to shrink their waists, including Cher. Vanity Fair mentioned the theory in a 1990 profile of the diva, but Cher denied "all but breast, teeth, and nose work." So yes, she did have plastic surgery, but definitely no rib removal.
And Dolly Parton did, too.
Like Cher, Dolly Parton's been subject to ridiculous rumors about her tiny waist. But she clarified that she's never undergone any such surgery during a 2014 interview with Woman's Day. "I went into a restroom in Los Angeles years ago, and this girl said, 'Oh, I want you to tell me, does that really hurt?' I was like, 'What? Does what hurt?' She said, 'Like, when they take your ribs out,'" Parton recounted. "'Take my ribs out? I was just gonna order ribs for dinner! What are you talking about?' And then she said, 'Wait, didn't you and Cher have your ribs taken out to make your waists look little?' I said, 'No, my waist is little because nothing grows in the shade!'"
Jay-Z is a member of the Illuminati.
The Illuminati secret society allegedly pulls plenty of strings in the entertainment industry, and Vulture did a deep dive into this ubiquitous rumor about Jay-Z back in 2014. Conspiracy theorists use images, such as the head of a goat in some of his music videos, to prove their point. But there's no evidence that he—or his wife—are actually a part of the organization. As Beyoncé famously says in her song "Formation," "Y'all haters corny with that Illuminati mess."
Ronan Farrow is Frank Sinatra's son.
For years, people have said that journalist Ronan Farrow's father is Frank Sinatra, not Woody Allen. Even Allen has fanned the flames, saying in 2018, "In my opinion, he's my child … but I wouldn't bet my life on it." According to James Kaplan's biography of Sinatra, the singer was impotent at the time he was conceived by actress Mia. In 2013, Ronan himself addressed the rumor to Vulture, saying, "You know, I wasn't there, so I don't have a lot more to offer than you."
Cameron Diaz washes her face with Evian.
In 2011, PopSugar asked Cameron Diaz what the weirdest rumor she'd heard about herself was, and she said: "It's that I only wash my face with Evian water."
But she had a theory as to where that idea came from. "We live our lives in trailers. [Actors are] like circus folk; people don't realize that it's super-unglamorous, and the water [in the trailers] comes from tanks they put chemicals in so that it doesn't freeze. It's like an antifreeze," she said. "You would never wash your face with it. So anyone who washes their face at work would have to use bottled water to wash their face. There's a grain of truth in everything that someone has taken it and just spoiled it."
Paul McCartney died in a 1966 car crash and was replaced by an impersonator.
This might be one of the most absurd celebrity rumors of all time. As the theory goes, Paul McCartney died in a car crash, and the remaining Beatles members decided to replace him with a lookalike so that his death wouldn't affect the band's future.
Of course, truthers believe that a bunch of audio clues appear in The Beatles' music. Like, if you slow down "Strawberry Fields Forever," you can apparently hear John Lennon saying what sounds like, "I buried Paul."
But in 1969, McCartney put the rumors to rest, telling Life magazine: "The people who are making up these rumors should look to themselves a little more. There is not enough time in life. They should worry about themselves instead of worrying whether I am dead or not."
The Beatles smoked marijuana before meeting the Queen.
Although this rumor isn't as absurd as the one about McCartney's supposed replacement, it's still just an urban legend. As the Liverpool Echo explained in 2015, rumors started that The Beatles had lit up before becoming Members of the Order of the British Empire in 1965, via none other than John Lennon. But as George Harrison later clarified in the Beatles Anthology documentary, the group only smoked cigarettes before meeting Her Majesty.
"We never smoked marijuana at the investiture," Harrison said. "We were so nervous that we went to the toilet. And in there we smoked a cigarette. … Years later, I'm sure John was thinking back and remembering, 'Oh yes, we went in the toilet and smoked,' and it turned into a reefer. Because what could be the worst thing you could do before you meet the Queen? Smoke a reefer! But we never did."
Keith Richards had a blood transfusion to beat his drug addiction.
This is another case of the truth getting seriously twisted. After kicking his heroin addiction in the 1970s, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards was continuously asked how he did it and finally, he just made something up. "Someone asked me how I cleaned up, so I said I had my blood completely changed," Richards told The Age in 2005. "I was ****ing sick of answering that question, so I gave them a story." In his 2011 memoir, Richards cleared up once and for all that he didn't actually have a blood transfusion.
Beyoncé has been cloned.
Beyoncé has been the subject of every kind of absurd celebrity rumor there is, from death hoaxes to cloning. The Daily Dot outlined the Beyoncé clone theory in 2016, but it just doesn't hold water. (One of the photos that supposedly shows the differences between the singer and her "clone" is the fact that she's "not smiling as much" in one photo as she is in another.)
Khloé Kardashian is O.J. Simpson's daughter.
For years, the Kardashian family has been plagued with rumors that Khloé Kardashian's father wasn't actually the late Armenian-American attorney Robert Kardashian, but instead O.J. Simpson, whom Kardashian represented. The family put the rumors to rest on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, though. A DNA test showed that Khloé is of Middle Eastern descent, as are her sisters, confirming that she isn't Simpson's child.
Ted Cruz is the Zodiac killer.
Texas senator Ted Cruz himself has even joked about this ridiculous rumor. The Zodiac killer was active in the 1960s and 1970s, and his identity is still unknown. Of course, there's no evidence to suggest Cruz is in any way linked to the crimes—in fact, an exhaustive investigation by The Washington Post reveals that Cruz was born in 1970, while the Zodiac Killer's first confirmed murder occurred in 1968. But even math hasn't stopped the theory from making its way around the internet.
Macaulay Culkin died in 2014…twice.
Some people just can't get enough of celebrity death hoaxes, and even the beloved star of Home Alone was the subject of not just one, but two rounds of rumors in 2014.
Plenty of fans tweeted their condolences for Culkin in April and November of that year. But he's still alive and well. In fact, Culkin and his bandmates decided to have a little fun with the rumor, posting a Weekend at Bernie's-style photo of him pretending to be lifeless.
Britney Spears's breakdown was orchestrated by George W. Bush.
Remember the whole head-shaving, paparazzi-umbrella-bashing incident with Britney Spears in 2007? Well, some people apparently believe that the pop star's actions—which appear to have stemmed from her emotional and mental state—were orchestrated by then-president George W. Bush.
The morning before her breakdown, Bush had announced the reformation of Al-Qaeda, according to Vice. Conspiracy theorists also note that in Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, Spears "voices unwavering support of the president, [which is] further proof that she was in his pocket." Well, considering that the episode lost Spears control of her career and money, this one seems unlikely. Fortunately, the singer seems much happier and healthier today.
Nicolas Cage is a vampire.
This theory started because of a photo from the 1800s that shows a man who admittedly looks a whole lot like Nicolas Cage. So, obviously, he must be a vampire, right?
In reality, Cage does seem to have a 19th century doppelgänger, but neither of them are vampires. Cage addressed the rumor in 2012, telling David Letterman, "I don't drink blood and the last time I looked in the mirror I had a reflection." Case closed!
Kim Kardashian faked her Paris robbery.
Whatever your opinion on the Kardashian-Jenner family is, suggesting that someone would fake such a traumatic experience is pretty harsh. Kim Kardashian herself addressed the theory on Keeping Up With the Kardashians. "Why would I say my ring got stolen and then never be able to wear my ring? Why would I want to look unsafe for more people to target me?" Kardashian said on the show. Hopefully, that's a valid enough point to explain why all of the theories about her faking the robbery are just plain absurd.
Tupac is alive.
While plenty of celebrity hoaxes focus on false reports about stars' deaths, this absurd celebrity rumor goes the opposite direction. Tupac Shakur died in 1996, but that hasn't stopped people from claiming they've seen the late rapper since then. Honestly, can't the man just rest in peace?
Jennifer Lopez has her butt insured for $27 million.
Jennifer Lopez denied the longstanding rumor that she had her butt insured during an appearance on James Corden's "Carpool Karaoke" in 2016. "There is no such thing as that," Lopez said. She and Corden proceeded to joke about what exactly butt insurance would cover. "Something happens to it? It disappears? Somebody steals it?" Lopez joked. It's safe to say, she doesn't have her bodily assets insured with their own policy.
Jennifer Lawrence faked her fall at the Oscars.
Notoriously clumsy actress Jennifer Lawrence was the subject of a rumor that she faked her fall in 2013 when she won the Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook. Lawrence actually came out and denied the rumor in a 2014 interview with Marie Claire. "Trust me, if I was going to plan it, I would have done it at the Golden Globes or the SAGs," she said. "I would have never done it at two Oscars in a row. I watch Homeland—I'm craftier than that!"
Billy Idol played Eddie Munster on The Munsters.
Although not as popular as the theory about Marilyn Manson and The Wonder Years, there's a similar (and similarly untrue) rumor about 1980s rocker Billy Idol playing Eddie Munster on The Munsters. In reality, Butch Patrick played the role.
Paris Hilton was stabbed while in jail in 2007.
In 2007, a fake website created to look like CNN "reported" that Paris Hilton, who received a 45-day sentence after a DUI and reckless driving, had been stabbed in jail. But as Snopes explains, this is another case of fake news.
A man named Michael Burke had created the site, which apparently received almost a million hits in the three days it was up. Even staff at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department received calls about the report. Luckily for Hilton, she only served half her sentence and emerged unscathed.
Steve from Blue's Clues died of an overdose.
After Blue's Clues actor Steve Burns left the children's show, rumors about him spiraled out of control. It turns out, Burns left the show because he was losing his hair, as HuffPost explains. But the internet claimed it was because he died of an overdose. The good news is, your pal Steve is alive and well—and pursuing a music career.
Elvis Presley is still alive.
Legendary musician Elvis Presley died in 1977, but some fans refuse to accept it. As Time reported in 2017, there are those who insist they've seen Presley. Though the King really has left this world, some are holding on to the latest rumor that he signed his own death certificate.
Beyoncé faked her pregnancy with Blue Ivy.
Beyoncé can't catch a break from the rumor mill, but this one might be the worst. Speculation made its way around the internet that she faked her pregnancy with her first child, Blue Ivy.
As TMZ outlined in this video, a clip showing Beyoncé sitting down led some conspiracy theorists to believe that she wasn't really pregnant because her stomach supposedly folds in a little. According to the ridiculous theory, it was to hide the fact that she and Jay-Z were reportedly using a surrogate. "It wasn't hurtful, it was just crazy," the singer later said, according to the Daily Mail. "[It was] a fabric that folded—does fabric not fold? Oh my gosh, so stupid."
Will Ferrell died in a paragliding accident.
There was a brief moment in the early 2000s where fans thought Will Ferrell's life had come to a tragic end. As Gawker reported in 2006, a fake press release claimed the comedian had died in a paragliding accident. Fortunately, it was totally made up, and he's still making movies and making us laugh today.
Margot Robbie is lying about her age.
Back in 2016, Jezebel published an article titled "No Offense to Anyone But Margot Robbie Is Not 25." Three days later, the site published a follow-up piece titled "After All That, Margot Robbie Is Definitely 25." It turns out, the actress wasn't lying about her age; she just happens to look more mature than most people her age.
Mario Lopez and Mark-Paul Gosselaar died in a car crash.
Saved By the Bell actors Mario Lopez and Mark-Paul Gosselaar were the subjects of yet another celebrity death hoax, but it's totally bogus, too. Gosselaar can currently be seen on the ABC sitcom mixed-ish, and Lopez is coming back to his roots to star in the upcoming SBTB reboot.
Lopez made a joke about people thinking he was dead in a 2018 tweet, pointing out that not only did Wikipedia list him as deceased, it also thought he was born in 1931. He's looking very good for his age, if that's the case!
Larry King kept a fan under his desk to blow away farts.
Viewers of Larry King Live claimed they heard, during an interview with Star Jones in 2006, host Larry King pass gas. Though obviously this was never confirmed or denied, stories about King began cropping up online.
Gawker unearthed one IMDB comment that read, "Someone who works at CNN told me something pretty funny about Larry King. They said he has a gas problem and farts often. To prevent his guests from being overwhelmed by the awful stench, there is a fan underneath his desk that blows air in the opposite direction of his guests to move the fart smell away from them." We may never know the truth, but we do know this video called "Larry King Farts: LIVE" has over six million views on YouTube.
Jeff Goldblum fell off a cliff in New Zealand and died in 2009.
While Jeff Goldblum is still alive and well, there's one person very close to him who believed the rumor that he died in New Zealand in 2009: Goldblum's mom. The actor later said on Watch What What Happens Live with Andy Cohen that his mom frantically called him after seeing a false report about his death. "She called and was like, 'Jeffrey, are you alright? Are you alright?'" he remembered.
On 9/11, Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marlon Brando fled New York together.
In May 2011, Vanity Fair published an article that claimed Michael Jackson, Marlon Brando, and Elizabeth Taylor all found themselves trapped in New York City after the Twin Towers fell. "Afraid that they would be the next target … [and] unable to fly, they drove out of the city," the story reads. Another source claims Taylor did not travel with Jackson and Brando. But the image of them on a road trip—with "Brando allegedly [annoying] his traveling companions by insisting on stopping at nearly every KFC and Burger King they passed along the highway"—is too good to be true.
These alleged events eventually became the subject of a film called Urban Myths. The title really says it all.
Anna Wintour had an affair with Bob Marley.
Jerry Oppenheimer's 2004 book about the editor-in-chief of Vogue alleged that Anna Wintour was "obsessed" with Bob Marley in the 1970s and, at one point, she "disappeared with him for a week."
But during an appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden, Wintour said that rumor is "fake news." She added: "I've never actually met Bob Marley. I'm sorry to disappoint."
Lorde is lying about her age.
Apparently, some people can't take the fact that Lorde launched a successful music career when she was just a teenager. And they're apparently so bothered by it that there's a conspiracy theory that Lorde is in her 40s. However, Lorde's birth certificate is publicly available, and it states that she was born in 1996.
Demi Lovato had a secret twin sister locked in her basement.
In 2015, Tumblr users started a joke that pop singer Demi Lovato had a twin sister named Poot living in her basement. How'd this one begin, you ask? Well, a photo of Lovato from an odd angle with bright lighting rendered her almost unrecognizable. And the internet started a rumor that it was actually a photo of Poot, who had escaped. Now, she lives on in meme history.