Sylvester Stallone is not dead, but the Rambo star is apparently under attack online with a viral report claiming that the actor was found dead in his home.
The hoax started circulating in late August but gained steam at the beginning of September, with a link to the story about his alleged death spreading on Facebook. The story claims that Stallone was found dead near a number of prescription drugs and points to a site made to look like CNN.
But as Snopes found out, the Sylvester Stallone death story really just directs to a website notorious for its past hoaxes and eventually sends readers to a story about the death of Sylvester’s son, Sage.
This is actually not the first time a death hoax has targeted the star of Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Back in 2015, a separate death hoax spread, claiming that he had died in a serious car crash. As the International Business Times reported, the story was really just a ruse to get Facebook users to click on a button claiming to show video of the crash, which then gained access to their personal information.
That Sylvester Stallone death hoax was actually not the first targeting the actor. Back in 2013, a site called Global Associated News claimed that Stallone was killed in a snowboarding accident.
“Witnesses indicate that Sylvester Stallone lost control of his snowboard and struck a tree at a high rate of speed. Sylvester Stallone was air lifted by ski patrol teams to a local hospital, however, it is believed that the actor died instantly from the impact of the crash. The actor was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident and drugs and alcohol do not appear to have played any part in his death.” the report read.
The article had a disclaimer telling readers that the story is “100% FAKE!” but there were other signs that the story was bunk. For one, the “famous actor killed in snowboarding crash” is actually a boilerplate of celebrity death hoaxes, with others including actor Will Smith falling victim to this viral report.
Stallone is among a growing group of celebrities to fall victim to numerous death hoaxes. Will Smith, Morgan Freeman, Macaulay Culkin, and Brad Pitt have all been targeted several times, with different reports claiming that they fell victim to sometimes outlandish circumstances.
Adam Sandler is one of the most popular victims, with the same story actually going viral twice in the span of just a few months. Both reports actually came from the same site, a hoax-generating outlet known as Linkbeef, and claimed that Marin County Police found Adam Sandler’s body inside his home.
The report claimed that Sander had taken his own life and borrowed some details from the death of Robin Williams the previous year.
While Sylvester Stallone is not dead, the Rocky star did recently pay tribute to an actor made famous in part through the boxing movie series. Actor Tony Burton, who played trainer Tony “Duke” Evers in the Rocky franchise, died earlier this year at the age of 78.
Stallone took to Instagram to share a picture of himself with Burton.
“Tony Burton who played the character of Duke brilliantly in all six Rocky movies… Rest in peace,” Stallone wrote.
Stallone has actually been quite active on Instagram in the last few days, further proof that he is not dead.
While the Sylvester Stallone death hoax was confined mostly to Facebook, the story did spread a bit to Twitter, where it was met with a mixed reaction. Some users expressed condolences to the actor after being fooled by the report, while others tried to clear the air and warn others that there was no truth to the rumor.
[Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP Images]