December 14, 2006 at 12:00 PM EST

Ever hear the one about Jamie Lee Curtis being a hermaphrodite? Or J.Lo insuring her booty for a cool million? Or Marilyn Manson getting his start by playing the dorky Paul on The Wonder Years? Of course you have! They’re all celebrity urban myths, and has just released a list of their 40 favorite celebrity rumors ever. Ranging from the turn of the century (Clara Bow and the footballers) to last week (Does Suri exist?), each story is a humdinger, and despite being disproven in most cases, they’ve managed to linger around much longer than their subjects would have liked. Case in point: In a recent interview with Ain’t It Cool News to promote Rocky Balboa, Sylvester Stallone brought up Nerve’s No. 1 rumor, only to deny having been the source of it. He was referring, of course, to the urban legend about Richard Gere (pictured) — you know the one. (Stallone told AICN he believes Gere blames him for spreading the tale and still holds a grudge against Stallone for allegedly getting him fired from 1974’s The Lords of Flatbush; Gere has declined to respond to Stallone’s claims.) Anyway, the list makes for an interesting read, not least because Nerve suggests that the era of such whispered myths is over, now that gossip bloggers and YouTube users tend to ensure instant confirmation of the most salacious celebrity rumors. Think that’s true, or can stars still preserve an aura of mystery around their deepest secrets?

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