NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Thursday, December 31, 2015, 2:57 PM
Mark McGrath (l.), Paul McCartney (c.) and Carlos Santana (r.) are among the celebs who’ve been victims of death hoaxes.
It’s always shocking to hear when a celebrity has passed away — especially for the celeb in question, who’s still alive and kicking.
The latest “victim” of this is Robert Redford, social media reports of whose death in a golf buggy accident in Santa Monica turned out to be greatly exaggerated on New Year’s Eve.
The original hoax came from a fake Sky Breaking News Twitter feed with just 170 followers – an account that has since been shut down.
Redford is still with us, as are these celebs who’ve also been declared prematurely deceased as the result of odd and memorable hoaxes or mistakes..
In September, CBC journalist Chris Walker tweeted that Santana was found dead in his car by a family member overnight. Walker said he had one reliable source telling him the information.
However, he then began backtracking, first saying he was referring to a different Santana.
Santana’s camp put the rumor to rest, posting on the musician’s Facebook page that he is “alive and well.”
Walker’s tweets about Santana have since been deleted and he has acknowledged his mistake.
Sugar Ray’s front man Mark McGrath was targeted by pranksters when a bizarre press release stated that he had been shot and killed by a masked gunman while filming a TV show back in February.
“McGrath was on set filming the second season of entertainment show ‘Hot Package’ when he was confronted by a masked gunman and shot several times,” the fake press release said. “The former Sugar Ray frontman died in the arms of his co-host Derrick Beckles on the Hollywood set of the show.”
McGrath shot down the rumors with humor, postinga video for the song “Still Alive and Well” by Edgar Winter & White Trash on his Twitter page.
The legendary rocker might have been one of the first celebs to be the victim of a death hoax: During the height of Beatlemania, a widely circulated rumor claimed that the Beatle star had died in 1966 and had been replaced by a look-alike.
The “Paul is dead” rumor has followed him ever since, prompting him to jokingly title a 1993 live album “Paul is Live.”
Several decades later, McCartney would once again falsely be declared dead, this time in March 2012 by a fake tweet.
Like McCartney, the martial arts superstar has been the victim of a death hoax more than once. But Chan has had the misfortune to be declared dead twice in a single year.
In March 2011, the “Rush Hour” star was rumored to have passed away from a heart attack, prompting his reps to post a note to his Facebook page to dispel the rumors. Just a few months later, a Facebook page title “RIP Jackie Chan” sprung up online, causing Twitter to light up with speculation that Chan had died.
Chan was once again targeted by a death hoax in 2013, leading the star to post a Facebook photo of himself holding a newspaper.
“Everybody called me to see if I was alive,” Chan wrote. “If I died, I would probably tell the world! I took a photo with today’s date, just in case you don’t believe me!”
When Cher (pictured) was the victim of a death hoax in 2012, Kim Kardashian was among those taken in by the prank.
When “RIP Cher” began trending on Twitter in 2012, many of her fans reacted with shock and disbelief — including Kim Kardashian.
After a phony tweet pretended to retweet a CNN statement that the Oscar winner had been found dead in her Malibu home, Kardashian tweeted, “Did I just hear Cher has passed away? Is this real? OMG.”
Upon finding out that it was just a hoax, Kardashian wrote, “Can’t believe people would make up a sick joke like Cher died. These people need to get a life! Thanks twitter for clearing that up!”
Just a year later, the Internet feared that Cher had died after misinterpreting a hashtag about the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
The hashtag “#nowthatchersdead” was misread by many as “now that Cher’s dead,” leading Ricky Gervais to take to Twitter to explain the confusion.
The “Home Alone” star had a great sense of humor when he learned about his death hoax.
Culkin, who had been rumored to have been found dead in his New York City apartment last year, responded by posting multiple photos to his Twitter account to prove he was alive and well.
“We’re on tour you silly people, he tweeted, referring to his band Pizza Underground.
One of the photos showed the 34-year-old poking fun at the hoax by pretending to be dead with a friend holding him up.
“Weekend at Bernies,” he captioned the pic, referring to the ’80s comedy in which two men pretend their dead boss is really alive.
Eminem was the victim of two death hoaxes, both of which claimed that he had passed away in grisly fashion.
Slim Shady was the subject of a death hoax in 2000 when it was rumored that he had perished in a car accident, with photos purporting to be the wreckage from his “fatal” crash.
He was a victim of a more ghastly hoax 13 years later, when a Facebook post showed a gory photo of man (purported to be Eminem) getting stabbed. The picture was captioned “left nearly DEAD after being stabbed 4 times in NYC.”
His rep issued a statement to deny the rumors, noting, “He remains unstabbed.”
With Nicholas Parco