The entertainment industry is notorious for spawning theories about deceased stars. For instance, Tupac Shakur is said by some to be alive and well despite his high profile murder in the late nineties.
The latest theory surrounds Chris Farley and the star of the recent "Ghostbusters" remake, Melissa McCarthy.
Many Twitter users, and even recent tabloid blurbs, have been speculating that actor Chris Farley, who was reported in 1997 to have died from a drug overdose, in fact never passed. Not only that, but internet theorists say Farley's acting career is flourishing.
How has Farley continued acting without more notice? And what does any of this have to do with McCarthy?
According to speculators, Farley faked his death in 1997 so he could reinvent himself as a more respectable female comedian, and thus had a clandestine sex change operation and changed his name to Melissa McCarthy.
Before Farley's alleged death, he had expressed regret that his comedy was perceived as nothing more than "fatty-fall-down" humor. Propagators of the sex change rumors cite this fact as evidence, as well as McCarthy's more clever and less slapstick breakout role as Sookie St. James on the television show "Gilmore Girls" three years after Farley's death.
"Imagine the impact that a role on 'Gilmore Girls' would have had on Chris Farley's career," says Ben Harrington, writer for The National Enquirer. "He would have killed for the opportunity to portray a character like Sookie. Did Sookie ever have to break a table with her back for a laugh?"
According to Harrington, the identity of 'Melissa McCarthy' allowed Farley a brief respite from the roles he was being typecast into. "Unfortunately," says Harrington, "the reinvention was short-lived, and now we can see McCarthy being thrown around an alley by a over-charged laser beam in 'Ghostbusters' just like Farley used to do."
Known of late for her outlandish characters and use of physical comedy, McCarthy has responded to the rumors on her Twitter account, calling them "crazy" and "completely unfounded."
She dismisses the similarities of physical appearance, Irish Catholic upbringing, and especially comedic style.
"If you think I do the same comedy as Chris Farley," McCarthy Tweeted, "go watch Tommy Boy and Tammy back to back."
McCarthy later Tweeted, "You know what, not Tammy. Maybe Identity Thief, or Spy. Or just watch Gilmore Girls. Yeah, stick to Gilmore Girls."
There have also been speculations that the Farley-sex-change rumors are what caused the "Gilmore Girls" reboot to snub McCarthy entirely, leaving her conspicuously out of the project despite her recent career successes. The show's creator could not be reached for comment.