Elvis Presley's death on August 16, 1977, was a blow to fans of the King of Rock and Roll. At least, it was a blow to those who believed the gyrating crooner had truly died. There have been many others who believe Presley faked his demise on the bathroom floor of his Graceland mansion and continues on.
The film Bubba-Ho-Tep uses this conspiracy as a plot device, Men In Black added to the mystique by saying Presley was actually an alien and many others have claimed he was spotted walking around in normal clothing, a specter of his glamorous, popular days. And according to an article by Vice music writer Dan Ozzi, Presley had a small cameo in the airport scene from Home Alone.
Ozzi isn't the first to point out the "cameo," but he did give a deep dive into the conspiracy and why people believe it is Presley. Even director Christopher Columbus discussed the theory with Macaulay Culkin during the director's commentary on the film, finding it quite humorous.
"They are convinced, these people, that this is Elvis Presley," Columbus said. "That he's faked his death, and because he still loves show business, he's an extra in Home Alone...Look at this guy, he's not Elvis Presley!"
Columbus would later tell USA Today that if Presley were indeed an extra in the film, he would have known and it wouldn't be a mystery. In an article for Skeptical Inquirer, Benjamin Radford also added that appearing in a movie is a poor idea for someone who faked their death.
"Why fake your death and then turn up as an extra in a popular movie? How could the cast and crew have failed to notice the presence of one of the most famous figures in the world?" Radford wrote. "Even if he looked very different could he have disguised his voice and mannerisms?"
In a follow-up article from July 2018, Kenny Biddle tracked down the name of the actual actor from the scene in the hopes of putting the theory to rest. Biddle reached out to the family of Garry Grott, confirming that he was indeed the bearded gentleman in the scene.
"Since he is no longer with us and since you've somehow deduced that it was he who appeared in the scene, after consulting with my mom, I feel comfortable confirming your theory for you," Grott's son confirmed. "My dad, Gary Richard Grott, was indeed the extra in the airport scene of Home Alone. He knew [director] Chris Columbus personally and Columbus used him in a number of his movies as an extra, most notably in Home Alone."
Grott passed away from away from a heart attack in February 2016, sharing a somber connection with the man he was confused for over so many years. Still, the idea that Presley is still alive and out enjoying his tender years away from the spotlight does persist.