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Chumlee lives! ‘Pawn Stars’ cast member victim of death hoax

  • The Kansas City Star
  • Published Thursday, March 13, 2014, at 9:57 a.m.
  • Updated Thursday, March 13, 2014, at 1 p.m.

We cried when a Facebook friend posted the news on Wednesday: Chumlee is dead. Now who feels stupid?

Austin “Chumlee” Russell, our favorite dude on the History channel hit TV show “Pawn Stars,” is actually alive and well, he wants everyone to know.

“May we live long, Rich forever,” he tweeted on Wednesday when people started sending out condolences on social media.

The rumor of his death apparently came from a story posted on a website called EBuzzd. The story, later recanted, said that Chumlee died of an apparent heart attack at the age of 31.

At least they got his age right.

Chumlee’s boss at the family-run Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, Rick Harrison, also tweeted about the hoax, noting that his co-star has actually lost 101 pounds and is in the “best health of his life.”

"Breaking news: CHUMLEE IS ALIVE & WELL! He is actually filming today but we all really appreciate everyone's concern!" Harrison tweeted Wednesday.

Ironically, formerly chubby Chumlee is taking better care of himself these days, going to the gym six days a week and drinking smoothies for breakfast. The death of his father lit a fire under him, he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in January.

“My dad died from pancreatic cancer at 54 … I'm making sure I'm eating my vegetables and staying away from the red meat,” he said.

Sniff, sniff. Crying again.

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