A bizarre death hoax is sweeping across social media saying that the star of Rocky and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot has passed away. The unfounded rumor that Sylvester Stallone, 71, first appeared on February 19 and is thought to have originated with this Facebook post:
There is no evidence that Stallone has died or is suffering from prostate cancer. The images from the above post come from Stallone’s role in the upcoming Creed II movie. Those pictures just happened to have appeared the day before the death hoax. The movie’s plot deals somewhat with the fictional character of Rocky Balboa dealing with cancer. The Oscar winner’s brother, Frank Stallone, took to Twitter to dispel the rumor saying, “Rumors that my brother is dead are false. What kind of sick demented cruel mind thinks of things like this to post? People like this are mentally deranged and don’t deserve a place in society.” Frank tagged conservative hosts Sean Hannity and Greg Gutfeld as well as Fox News in the posts.
According to Snopes, Stallone was the victim of a similar death hoax in September 2016 that was spread by a fake news website that deals almost exclusively in death hoaxes. That hoax report was linking users to an article about the tragedy of Stallone’s son, Sage, who died in 2012 after suffering from heart disease at the age of 36. That hoax was accompanied by this purported screengrab from CNN: