Alfonso Ribeiro is not dead, as the actor best known for playing Carlton Banks on the hit television show “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” reassured his fans via Twitter Saturday.
Ribeiro is just the latest actor said to be dead in what is beginning to seem like an unending number of celebrity death hoaxes that gain traction online through social media. A Facebook page called “R.I.P. Alfonso Ribeiro” surfaced this week, and by Saturday the questions had swelled to the point where Ribeiro had to answer them.
The news that Ribeiro hadn’t died follows the false rumors that rapper 50 Cent and comedy superstar Eddie Murphy had also died. Actor Morgan Freeman is the most recent example of a celebrity death hoax that’s gotten out of hand online, with multiple Facebook pages providing an echo chamber for the non-news.
Murphy was said to have been killed in a snowboarding accident in Switzerland, while 50 Cent was said to have been killed in a brutal car wreck: Both stories originated at the fake-news site Global Associated News, the origin of many death hoaxes.
It wasn’t long before people took toYahoo! Answers to try to find out the truth, and to pay respect in the event that the man who played the beloved Carlton Banks had really perished.
“Nope, proceed to do the Carlton,” one fan wrote, using the opportunity to reference the popular goofball dance Alfonso Ribeiro (as Carlton Banks) would always break into during episodes of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”
“I guess FB has a page saying I died. I wonder what people are gonna say at my funeral?” Ribeiro tweetedSaturday. Ribeiro also tweeted a message to Joey Fatone, of ‘N Sync fame, reassuring the former pop star that in the event of his death Fatone would be the first to know.
Rihanna, Bill Nye, Bill Cosby, Taylor Swift, Reese Witherspoon, and countless other celebrities all have been falsely rumored to have died in recent weeks.
Check out the following video shot this year when Ribeiro broke into the dance that made him famous while leading a flash mob in Hollywood, Calif.