DENVER - Despite rumors circulating on the Internet that Austin "Chumlee" Russell of the hit show "Pawn Stars" had died, he took to Twitter to prove he is very much alive.
"May we live long, Rich forever," he tweeted Wednesday afternoon in response to a wave of condolences swirling on social media.
The website EBuzzd was one of the first to circulate the hoax via an article posted Wednesday.
The article stated that "Austin Russell, also known as Chumlee, star of History's reality series 'Pawn Stars,' has died from an apparent heart attack, sources confirm to eBuzzd. He was only 31 years old."
The website later recanted its report saying, "UPDATE: We'd like to update our story covering the "passing of Chumlee". It appears that our sources were incorrect and as fans of Chumlee, we are happy to report that he is alive and well."
Rick Harrison, Russell's boss and co-star on the History Channel show, also tweeted out a response to the death rumors saying, "Breaking news: CHUMLEE IS ALIVE & WELL! He is actually filming today but we all really appreciate everyone's concern!"
The rumors were fueled by Russell's significant weight loss as of late. According to an earlier tweet Wednesday by Harrison, Russell has already lost 101 pounds and is "in the best health of his life!"
In January, Russell told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he had lost 75 pounds up to that point and was going to the gym six days a week.
"I'm eating right. Well-balanced diet. I drink a juice smoothie every morning," he said.
Russell told the Review-Journal that the loss of his father was also an inspiration for him to slim down.
"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.
"Pawn Stars," which follows some of the daily business of the family-run Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, is one of the network's highest rated shows. It debuted in summer of 2009.
Below, view some of the tweets that circulated Wednesday about the hoax:
May we live long, Rich forever.— Austin Russell (@chumlee_) March 12, 2014
Breaking news: CHUMLEE IS ALIVE & WELL! He is actually filming today but we all really appreciate everyone's concern!— Rick Harrison (@GoldSilverPawn) March 12, 2014
.@chumlee_ is ALIVE & WELL! He is 101 lbs down & in the best health of his life! Thanks for your concern! He is filming today at GS Pawn— Rick Harrison (@GoldSilverPawn) March 12, 2014
RIP chum lee #chumlee for life— francow (@cowz28) March 13, 2014
THAT IS NOT FUNNY, INTERNET! #Chumlee— Sean Gallagher (@SPGallagher2) March 13, 2014