Chumlee, the fan favorite on the History Channel’s hit show Pawn Stars, is a wanted man. His fans want to know the truth after a false report of his untimely death hit cyberspace yesterday, March 12, 2014. The announcement of an apparent heart attack that took the young 31 year old star’s life, turned out to be a hoax first published by a fake website. It later was updated and corrected to reveal that Chumlee is not dead and is most certainly still alive.
After a multitude of saddened fans posted condolences, both Chumlee and Rick Harrison tweeted that the rumor was false. For a few hours, however, many people were shocked and surprised to hear that Chumlee may have died. Happily, the news was corrected, as Chumlee obviously has a huge following. People wanted the truth and were especially enlightened by Chumlee’s own tweet, “May we live long, Rich forever.”
It is true, though, that the disappearing act of Chumlee is taking place before our very eyes. Growing up as best friends with Corey Harrison, the third in line to the throne at the pawn shop, Austin Russell, aka Chumlee, earned a spot in the family business. The roly-poly guys of the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop of Las Vegas all have been losing weight over the last few years, as their wallets have been growing bigger. The success of the show has refined these men into much more than your everyday pawn shop dealer.
Russell is simply known as Chumlee, nicknamed long ago by his father for the cartoon walrus who wore a tuxedo. Slimming down from his past blubbery figure, Chumlee no longer fits that nickname perfectly. It is much too late for a name change, though, as his face and name are well recognized on T-Shirts, posters, bobble heads and other paraphernalia.
Chumlee has become a vital fixture in the pawn shop and on the show. His love for video games, vintage pinball machines and sneakers, makes him an expert in weird and unusual items. His humor, wit and crazy antics keep the show quite entertaining, as he plays dumb but really knows his stuff. He has developed his skill at haggling as he has made a name for himself.
His personal success has earned him the ability to enjoy the finer things of life and his net worth is reported being close to $5 million. A collector in his own right, Chumlee prefers his set of 150 pairs of sneakers and cars such as a Range Rover and a Rolls-Royce Phantom, over an antique vase or a historical painting.
Pawn Stars features the business dealings of the shop as it peers into the lives of the men that make it all work. Often shown eating, the stars are becoming more aware of their weight and talking about better food choices has been worked into the conversation. As the Old Man, Richard Harrison, still prefers his pies and donuts, Rick, Corey and Chumlee have all pared down the calories.
Rick Harrison was married last year and lost some pre-wedding weight. Corey went under the knife with lap-band surgery and lost over 100 pounds. Chumlee joined the fat disappearing act soon after he started dating Tany Hyjazi, a chef for a major Vegas casino. With her encouragement and cooking skills, Chumlee has been eating all of his veggies and working out six times a week. At this point he has lost about 100 pounds, with a few more to go.
Thus the alarming false story that was made up about his death, centering around him losing too much weight too fast. Now that his well being has been confirmed, Chumlee is happily wanted by his employers, his fans and his girlfriend. He is looking slim and trim and is getting into great shape with a new outlook on his health. He is alive and well. His heart should be happy to know how many people really care and love him, despite being the goofy guy with the goatee.
By: Roanne FitzGibbon