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Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number (That I Made Up)

September 21, 2015

Lots of people lie about their age, for various reasons. Here are some famous who did it…and then got caught.

Felicity's Riley Weston

  • Actress and screenwriter Riley Weston got her start with bit parts playing teenagers on sitcoms in the 1980s—she looked young and was physically quite small, standing less than 5 feet tall and weighing about 90 pounds. By 1998, Weston wasn’t getting cast much anymore, and turned to screenwriting, landing a job on the drama Felicity. However, she got the job by saying she understood what the college-age characters’ lives were like because she was a recent high school graduate. But Weston was 32. Nevertheless, the story about the 19-year-old screenwriting made its way through the media and she was hailed as a prodigy. The ruse was discovered after just a few months. Weston went on to become an a songwriter and novelist.
  • Rebel Wilson is an Australian comic actress best known for the Pitch Perfect movies and her own TV show, Super Fun Night. In 2015, a very weird scandal involving Wilson emerged: An Australian tabloid claimed that Wilson was lying about both her age and name. She had claimed to have been born in 1986 with the birth name Rebel. A records search confirmed that her real name was Melanie and that she was born on March 2, 1980. (Her siblings, however, do have real, untraditional birth names: Ryot and Liberty.)
  • Writer/director Cameron Crowe fudged his age, but he did it for art. Oddly, after being a 15-year-old music reporter in the early 1970s (the basis of his film Almost Famous), in 1980, he posed as a student at Clairemont High School in San Diego to research his book Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He’d later adapt it into a movie. His real age when posing as a teenager: 23. 
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