Courtesy of John Rojas

Hollywood Undead

Island living and eternal existence

When a beloved celebrity passes on, people react in their own ways. Some will push forward, some will cry for a long while and some will create a new fan blog about how their fave is still alive on an island. There are infinite theories concerning celebrities who didn’t really die, but these are a few of the most well known.

First off, everybody knows Tupac died too young, but is he actually gone? His cremation was ordered the very next day after he died, which many people considered more than suspicious. Some say he was killed in an FBI coverup regarding East Coast vs West Coast gang wars. Within the past year, Suge Knight Jr. has claimed via Instagram that Tupac is still alive in Malaysia and that he’s going to be back in the studio again soon. However, the fan-favorite theory still remains the same—he’s chillin’ on a beach somewhere in Cuba with Biggie.

People were also doubtful of Michael Jackson’s death in 2009, because he was rumored to be running from bankruptcy and hoping for an even greater comeback than what he planned in 2012. Although it has been a decade now since he died, new talk has begun to circulate as recently as this February. A tweet came out claiming that, of all people, “Akon said he believes Michael is in hiding and will be coming back one day.” Several people previously connected to Michael Jackson, such as his hairstylist and former producer, supposedly have tweeted new information about where he is and when he’s coming back. 

Regardless of how real and certain death can be, social media speculation has a great power of revival. Unreliable news sources collect tweets and Facebook posts, connecting little red lines between them, weaving a shaky story. One such shaky story involves the death of Amy Winehouse. She died of alcohol poisoning, but a few weeks later, her father began to get strange calls about Amy being on a secret island somewhere, saying she missed him. Without the lens of conspiracy, this would clearly be a cruel hoax to torture Amy Winehouse’s father. But according to messages gathered by The Mirror, and a video from The Sun, it’s so obvious that she’s still alive, hanging with Biggie and Tupac, doing fine. 

Probably the most famous “fake death” story of them all is also the most convoluted one—Elvis Presley. So many potential hypotheses have been considered, the most popular being him trying to escape the limelight. However, one theory stood out from all the rest. According to Elvis is Alive, Elvis was a part of the DEA, the FBI and the Mafia. Apparently, he was hired directly by Nixon to be a DEA special agent, because he was known to be such a “fighter against communism and drug use.” On an undercover job in the late ‘70s, he got tied up with the Mafia and found himself in a situation that he couldn’t get out of alive, at least publicly. Some say he went into witness protection and has been living out the rest of his life peacefully, but the above website claims he is still alive today fighting crime for the United States Government. Born in 1935, he would be 84 this year, which makes the crime-fighting seem a bit improbable. Unless, you know, he was never capable of dying to begin with…

Sure, we feel these infamous celebs “didn’t really die,” but what about those that are rumored to be eternal and undying? Many celebrities have been deemed immortal by various social media platforms, but justifications as to why tend to really differ. For instance, Keanu Reeves is supposedly immortal because he appears to be aging slowly, both in this century and in the centuries before. There are multiple portraits and drawings from hundreds of years ago that you look at and say “Oh, that’s Keanu Reeves.” The site Keanu is Immortal goes on to claim that, back in 750 CE, Keanu was Charlemagne.

Anne Hathaway, of Oceans 8 and Princess Diaries, also hasn’t seemed to age a day in the past 20 years. But has it been 20 years, or actually been much, much longer? Anne Hathaway’s husband Adam Schulman bears a striking resemblance to the famed English playwright Shakespeare. And what was Shakespeare’s wife’s name back in the 16th century? Anne Hathaway, spelled the exact same way.  

Some immortal celebs are considered “older” or “younger” than others based on personality alone. Take for instance, John Mulaney and Hozier, who have been known to play along with the conspiracies surrounding them. Theories all over Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr argue that Mulaney is a young immortal born in the early 1900s. Because this conspiracy is so popular, it has made its way back to Mulaney. Since finding out about his supposed immortal status, he has posted a black and white picture on his Instagram, captioned: “Running for Governor of Louisiana in 1932” as ‘proof’ of his immortality. 

Hozier, on the other hand, has been here for millennia. His mystical music along with his gentle giant personality can only hail from an immortal god of the forest. In an interview, he was asked if he was “otherworldly” or a “creature of the fae,” and he responded “I would avert you to my legal team on that one, and I will not comment. I refuse to comment.” Then, when asked about his age over Twitter, he jokingly said “3000+ years.” 

Not every immortal celebrity is willing to play along and acknowledge their extensive past for our entertainment. For example, Nicolas Cage seemed to have his photo taken in Tennessee around 1870, but when he was asked about the image on Letterman, his explanation was that he wasn’t a vampire, citing his reflection in a mirror and his lack of blood drinking as proof. He didn’t say that he wasn’t in the picture or that he wasn’t immortal, just that he wasn’t a vampire. Was Cage making fun of this impossible theory or working around the truth? 

Diving further into the depths of the internet, you can find offhand theories and photo comparisons with no attempt at proving themselves to be true. Various one-line posts argue that Jeff Goldblum goes all the way back to biblical times. Tumblr user wombatking even states that he “may or may not be King Solomon.” However, Goldblum has never discussed his immortality, even to refute it. And regarding photo comparisons, a particularly good one is that of Shia LaBeouf to a young Albert Einstein.There is no shocking conclusion posted alongside or proof that they have lived the same life, but they look remarkably similar side by side. What does it all mean?

It means people like to have fun. Sometimes that “fun” was cruel to the families of the deceased and in poor taste. Sometimes, that “fun” requires hours of research, just to keep some people laughing and engaged. We know Elvis is dead, and we know Anne Hathaway has not been the same Anne Hathaway since the 16th century, but suspending your disbelief in magic, aliens and the occasional conspiracy theory tends to keep life just a little bit more interesting.