Social media hoaxes involving celebrities usually have something to do with an actor or singer dying, when they're very much alive. Remember the news about the untimely death of Cher or Carlos Santana, who online rumors said was found slumped over in his car, dead? Or, that rapper Eminem was killed in a car crash?
There are so many death rumors on social media now that even true reports about a celebrity dying are greeted with skepticism. But skepticism was in short supply when Facebook rumors recently went viral about a Golden Globe-winning actor who wasn't rumored to be dead, but doing a good deed by going undercover to help out homeless people.
This time, though, there was photographic proof that Richard Gere was, in fact, hanging out with homeless people on New York City street. (See the photo below; Gere with Ben Vereen.) Gere, who is best known for starring in movies like "Pretty Woman" and "An Officer and a Gentleman," was said to be handing out $100 bills to homeless people, and even provided a heartwarming quote.
"When I went undercover as a homeless man, no one noticed me. I felt what it was like to be a homeless man." He went on: "So many times we forget how blessed we are. We shouldn't take that for granted."
News outlets like ABC channel 2 in Baltimore picked up the story. They showed pictures of Gere, unshaven and wearing dirty clothes. The one-time heartthrob looked terrible, but for the sake of doing a good deed. They said he wanted to experience being homeless for himself, and was handing out money.