Update: Stan Lee has died at age 95.
Is Stan Lee really dead?
This week, a viral report spread through Twitter that the comic book legend had kicked the bucket, but like nearly all celebrity death reports of late, it was actually just a hoax originating from a site intended to fool readers.
The reports of the Marvel Comic book writer came from a site called Cult of Buzz and was worded in a way to make readers think Lee had died.
The site boasted that Lee had “dyed”… his hair, Snopes shared.
“Legendary Marvel Comics Writer Stan Lee, 93, Dyes Peacefully In His West Hollywood Home
“In a press release from his wife Joan Clayton Babcock Lee, it has been confirmed that the dark streaks you see in Lee’s hair are not natural.
“‘Stan adores the public and loves all the fans. That being said he doesn’t like to discuss the fact that his hair is completely white now.'”
Though the story was obviously fake to those who read it, not everyone read it and many took to the internet to share their sadness and disbelief that Stan Lee was dead.
NO! STAN LEE CANT BE DEAD— Clay Nucup ???? (@PizzaGamesBands) May 24, 2016
The 93-year-old Stan Lee is actually still alive and kicking, making appearances and cameos in his comic book company’s many movies. But he did recently announce that he’ll be slowing down, with his upcoming appearance at the 2016 Comic-Con in New York being his final one at the conference.
Lee didn’t mention any major health problems, but did say he’s been having issues with his hearing and vision, the Independent reported.
“My eyesight has gotten terrible and I can’t read comic books anymore. I can’t even read a script. I come up with ideas for stories and somebody writes an outline for me – but I can’t read it. I have to hope it’s good. If something is very important, they print it in very big type for me to read – but that’s all I can do. I have the same trouble with hearing. It’s awful to feel a thousand years old.”
Stan Lee is far from the only celebrity to suffer a viral death hoax. In the last five years or so, it’s become something of a sport for websites to publish reports of a tragic celebrity death in the hope of making it go viral. Some of these come from official-looking news sites designed to fool readers and others are attached to more obvious satirical sites, in the vein of The Onion.
One of the most recent victims — who has actually been hit with death rumors a number of times — is Adam Sandler. A report from a site called Linkbeef went viral last year and then again this year with a report claiming that police found Sandler dead inside his home, the victim of an apparent suicide.
“Sandler had recently returned to a rehabilitation centre to ‘fine-tune’ his sobriety, the Los Angeles Times reported in July.
“The local Sheriff’s office said Sandler was found unconscious and not breathing at his home near Tiburon, north of San Francisco.
“‘At this time, the Sheriff’s Office Coroner Division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia, but a comprehensive investigation must be completed before a final determination is made,’ police said in a statement.”
The report even went so far as to include a fake quote from Sandler’s wife claiming that she was “heartbroken” and asking for privacy.
“This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken,” the outlet said in a quote attributed to Sandler’s wife.
“On behalf of Adam’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Adam’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”
Fans who may have been stressed about the report that Stan Lee is dead can rest easy, and can even see the Marvel Comic legend in this week’s X-Men: Apocalypse, where he will make another cameo.
[Photo by Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images]