20 Craziest Celebrity Rumors of All Time

Scientific studies have routinely showed that gossip is actually a force for good in society—that it’s fundamental purpose isn’t to tear people apart, but to help them come together, communicate more freely, improve, and cooperate. By that measure, Hollywood, California, is the friendliest and most cooperative place on earth. Nowhere else will you find such a prolific, profound, and utterly bonkersrumor mill.
For proof, here are 20 of our favorite rumors and scandalous gossip from the world of music, TV, sports, and music. So read on, and wonder… What if?!! And for more great bogus trivia, don’t miss the 28 Most Enduring Myths in American History.


Walt Disney’s body is in a cryogenic chamber somewhere under Disneyland
THE RUMOR: Hey, if you were an iconic mastermind like Walt Disney, wouldn’t you have your body cryogenically frozen after your death and stored beneath Cinderella’s castle in the Magic Kingdom until such a time that modern science makes reanimation possible? Wait, never mind, don’t answer that

IS IT TRUE?: His family says no, insisting his ashes were scattered at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. His daughter went on record saying, “There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that my father, Walt Disney, wished to be frozen.” We have to take her word for it… at least until a re-animated Walt Disney with a robot body greets us during our next trip to EPCOT. And for more on the Magic Kingdom, here are 20 Secrets Disney Employees Don’t Want You to Know.
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Marilyn Manson was a child actor in The Wonder Years
THE RUMOR: The next time you watch reruns of the coming-of-age TV drama The Wonder Years, take a closer look at the geeky next door neighbor, Paul Pfeiffer. Does he look familiar? Believe it or not, he grew up to become the goth rocker and self-appointed Antichrist Superstar, Marilyn Manson.

IS IT TRUE?: Sorry, no. Paul was actually played by actor Josh Saviano, who now works as an attorney and says he gets asked all the time if he’s really Marilyn Manson. Even Wonder Years star Fred Savage has had fun with the rumors. “I met (Manson) once,” he told reporters. “He came up to me, and he goes, ‘You know, we worked together.’ I was like, ‘I do. I do know that.’” And for more hilarious trivia, check out these 20 Funny Things to Ask Your Amazon Alexa.




The CIA killed John Lennon
THE RUMOR: Mark David Chapman wasn’t just a deranged fan who murdered John Lennon in 1980. He was actually a Manchurian Candidate-style assassin, brainwashed by the CIA to kill Lennon for his “radical leftist” ideologies. Even an NYPD lieutenant went on record saying, “Chapman looked like he could have been programmed.”

IS IT TRUE?: Chapman, who’s still in prison, called his crime “premeditated, selfish and evil,” but never admitted being on the CIA payroll


Mikey from the Life commercial was killed by junk food
THE RUMOR: Little Mikey, the commercial mascot from the 70s who hated everything but Life cereal, became a cautionary tale when rumors of his death began to circulate. According to reliable sources—like that kid who heard it from his older brother—John Gilchrist, the child actor who played Mikey, consumed the deadly combo of Coca-Cola and Pop Rocks, and then BOOM, all of that carbon dioxide caused the poor guy’s insides to explode.

IS IT TRUE?: Nope. And not even possible, according to our friends at Mythbusters. Gilchrist is very much alive and well, and we can only assume avoiding junk food entirely. Like any of these 40 Most Unhealthy Foods If You’re Over 40.


Gene Simmons has a cow tongue
THE RUMOR: The KISS bassist has one of the most famous tongues in rock n’ roll, but it might not be his own. Legend has it that the God of Thunder had a cow’s tongue grafted over his own, giving him an extra-long oral appendage to wag at fans during concerts.

IS IT TRUE?: Simmons insists that his “super long tongue” (his words) has been with him since birth. In his autobiography, he claims he was just a kid when he realized his tongue “was longer than everyone else’s, and I was soon to find out that having a long tongue came in handy with the girls.” Wow. The tongue-grafting story is actually less disturbing than that mental image.



Phil Collins wrote “In the Air Tonight” about a drowning victim
THE RUMOR: Phil Collins’ most haunting song, with lyrics like “Well if you told me you were drowning, I would not lend a hand.” Some have speculated that it’s about a real occurrence, in which Collins, as a boy, witnessed a man watch someone drown in a river and refused to help the victim. Collins later found the man, invited him to a concert, and then shined a spotlight on him while singing the song directly to him, before declaring, “I know what you did!”

IS IT TRUE?: “Unfortunately, none of it’s true,” Collins revealed in an interview with Jimmy Fallon. The song is actually about his divorce and the emotional torment it put him through. “Sometimes it’s like, ‘I love you. Don’t hang up.’ And sometimes it’s like, ‘Well, [screw] you’,” Collins told the talk show host. And if divorce is something you’re having to think about, you might want to read our in-depth and thoughtful guide to ending your marriage with grace and class.



Derek Jeter gives swag baskets his one-night stands
THE RUMOR: He’s not just a legend on the field. According to a 2011 New York Post story, the retired New York Yankee shortstop treats his one-night stands to something special. No, not his phone number or a promise for a second date. How about a gift basket? Yes, sleeping with Jeter purportedly comes with a ride home and a basket of goodies that includes a Jeter-signed baseball.

IS IT TRUE?: “It’s a dumb story,” Jeter responded in an interview. “And you really have to be dumber to believe it.”


Michael J. Fox’s middle name Is “Jell-O”
THE RUMOR: He was just six years old when actor Michael Foxwas given an important responsibility by his parents: “Pick your own middle name,” they told him. He went with Jello, because Jello is awesome, and Michael J. Fox was born.

IS IT TRUE?: We wish, but no. He was born Michael A. Fox, but according to his autobiography, he thought that “sounded uncomfortably Canadian—Michael Eh? Fox.” So he picked “J” as an homage to character actor Michael J. Pollard. Speaking of names: Here are the 30 Best Pop Culture-Inspired Baby Names


Marisa Tomei didn’t really win an Oscar
THE RUMOR: Marisa Tomei was a controversial choice for an Oscar nomination. Her role in My Cousin Vinny was good fun, but was it the best acting of 1993? When Jack Palance gave her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, some suspected that he’d made a mistake, possibly reading the wrong name because he got confused or couldn’t make out the fine print. Nobody corrected him because c’mon, it’s Jack Palance! Just let her have the stupid statue and leave well enough alone.

IS IT TRUE?: Unlikely. Look what happened at last year’s Academy Awards, when the Best Picture was erroneously given to La La Land instead of Moonlight. It’s not like the Academy is above snatching award statues away from embarrassed losers when they’ve made a mistake.



Mister Rogers killed 150 people as a military sniper
Fred Rogers, host of the beloved children’s television show, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, wasn’t always the friendly, gentle soul he appeared to be. During the Vietnam War, he was a sharpshooter for either the Marines or the Navy SEALs, with a record 150 “kills” during his service. Why do you think he always wore sweaters on his show? To cover up all his military tattoos. The dude was hardcore.

IS IT TRUE?: Not even close. The Navy SEALs addressed the rumors directly on their website. In their words: “We have to state it is false.”

Clark Gable’s hit-and-run murder
THE RUMOR: In 1945 (or maybe 1933), movie legend Clark Gable went drunk driving and ran over a pedestrian. MGM Studios, wanting to protect their biggest star, conspired with local police to cover up the crime, pinning it on a lower-level studio executive.

IS IT TRUE?: Unlikely, or so claims just about every Gable biographer. And for more great Hollywood trivia, here are the 30 Worst Movie Endings of All Time.


Frank Sinatra is Ronan Farrow’s real daddy
THE RUMOR: It was always assumed that journalist Ronan Farrow was the love spawn of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen. But in a 2013 Vanity Fair story, Mia hinted that Sinatra could “possibly” be Ronan’s father. Even Ronan has fanned the flames, writing on Twitter, “Listen, we’re all possibly Frank Sinatra’s son.”

IS IT TRUE?: Despite their uncanny resemblance, the answer is no, at least according to James Kaplan’s definitive biography Sinatra: The Chairman. Around the time Ronan was conceived, Sinatra was recovering from gastrointestinal surgery and admitted to suffering from chronic impotence thanks to a “penile implant.” That’s maybe more than we needed to know about Ol’ Blue Eyes.


Beyoncé faked her first pregnancy
THE RUMORBeyoncé and rapper hubby Jay-Z dropped an estimated $1.3 million for the entire fourth floor of a Manhattan hospital, ostensibly so they could have a little privacy. But there were rumors that she actually wasn’t pregnant at all, either having a baby with a surrogate or staging an elaborate ruse so that they could claim Jay Z’s illegitimate child as their own.

IS IT TRUE?: Beyoncé called the rumors “ridiculous and over the top.” Even the hospital denied that the couple rented out an entire floor, claiming in an official statement that they were “housed in an executive suite at the hospital and is being billed the standard rate.” When the time comes for you to make that big leap to parenthood, here are 20 Easy Ways to Be a (Much) Better Father

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