How long could a public figure live without aging past 35 before "the government" got involved?

People joked forever about Dick Clark not aging. It made me wonder, if it was real, when do the jokes stop and the serious examinations begin?

The hypothetical is that this person is effectively immortal but they don’t know it. It’s random. No gamma rays or meteors, and they’ve no reason to suspect anything. They could be hurt or killed, but otherwise they don’t age past 35. Then what?

What’s the timeline of this person’s life likely look like? For example, when they hit 45 or 50 I’d expect there would be People Magazine articles that mention how age-defying they look. We’ve seen those before. But then what? At 60 does it start to get creepy? Would the person artificially age themselves to fit in – like dying hair gray, etc? Would they go into seclusion when they eventually figure out that they haven’t aged a day past 35? If not, is there a point where G men show up and cart them off? In a real world scenario, would that even happen, and if so when?

I remember a TV show like this. It was “The Immortal” and starred Christopher George.

The guy was supposed to be a young looking 41, when he and other employees donated blood to their wealthy, but very ill, employer. The dude revived, it was investigated in house, and George’s character located. His blood would help prevent disease/defy aging, but not with one transfusion. So bad guy employer wanted to keep his lifeline locked up. Guy escapes, and that’s the show, he’s on the run each episode from his nemesis.

If I stopped aging I’d move around a lot, and maybe do some disguise tricks. Not sure what to do about ID and such though.

In the Canadian series “Forever Knight” a vampire worked as a police detective. In one episode, with a flashback to the American Civil war, it was mentioned vampires, who don’t age in appearance, discovered they could have a problem with the advent of photography. Turns out they REALLY don’t like having their picture taken.

I thinking if you owned your own home in a decent sized city you could probably get away with it for quite some time. Avoid neighbourhood social activities and shop around at different businesses so you don’t become a regular that people know.

I think the long-term problem is going to be taxes. I don’t know if the government has an automatic system for detecting frauds but I wouldn’t be surprised if one exists. And at some point they’re going to notice there’s a guy who’s still using the same social security number he was issued in 1935.

Need answer fast?

I agree with Little Nemo…I can easily see a person who doesn’t have many friends or close relatives getting away with it for many decades.

Yeah, but this a public figure, so that’s out. Think at minimum notable politician, regular TV actor, anchorman, known CEO etc. They’ve made their bones by 35, and they likely wouldn’t suspect anything until at least ten years later, right? So if they do go into hiding, when?

So what’s Johnny Depp up to these days? Is he due for the G-Man visit any day now?

Yeah. Julia Louis-Dreyfus may want to be concerned as well. Does she look any older (possibly even younger) than she did on Seinfeld?

Hmmm… I’d say the publicly-prominent Immortal move to a country with a strong rule-of-law and Human Rights record, then begin early on gathering a serious battery of legal counselors to build a case that the state has no right to take him over. Then take ownership of his condition and be the one who initiates the whole outing process – have him at about the 30 years in the public eye with no aging mark step out of sight for a few weeks or months into an accommodating “exclusive” health care facility (with planted tabloid stories, natch) and come out with the announcement that he seems to be experiencing an odd mutation that keeps his body renewing like he was 21. Announce he is joining in with some well-reputed university hospital to be the exclusive site of the research into (Dorian Grey/Lazarus Long/Highlander) Syndrome. Have the professors make very clear in every public statement that as far as they can tell, samples that do not come fresh from a living and, specially, unstressed individual are utterly useless. Go on a huge PR campaign to be everyone’s most beloved unaging human. Become Forever 21’s official spokesperson.

Meanwhile make contacts with the top underground identity-replacement experts and plastic surgeons so that if there’s the slightest hint of heat you disappear into an existence of lying low and changing lives every 25 years…

Just don’t fall down any stairs, or you’ll have to carry cans of spraypaint with you whereever you go.

Apparently one of them was pretty stupid or did not get the memo.

One thing a near immortal would have to do if they came out. I think they would have to make it clear they aren’t interested in amasing absurd amount of money or polical power because that would tend to make the public and the government more jealous and fearful than normal, which would be a very bad thing. If they lived rather modestly and spent their life trying to do good works such as charity stuff or perhaps some sort of important research or even just something that makes people’s lives better in some way I think that would help. Also being the damn nicest and most likeable person on the planet probably would not hurt either.

I seem to recall a SF short story called “Child of All Ages” which was about

an Ancient Greek girl who possessed the knowledge to keep herself immortal, but the problem was that the treatment only worked on prepubertal children, and she thus has lived as a little girl for 2000 years, and we find that she has been drifting around forging paperwork and getting herself admitted to various foster care systems and/or orphanages for the past few years or decades leading up to the time of the story, apparently sometime in the 20th century. She comments that it is becoming more and more difficult to forge the right paperwork. She has had to keep moving every few years because someone who looks like she is 8 but whose paperwork says she is a teen becomes increasingly difficult to explain as she gets older. A 12 year old who looks like she is 8 may be understandable and explained as a late bloomer, but a 17 year old?

The author also demonstrates how awkward she appears sometimes because she is extremely well educated. I believe she is fluent in many ancient and modern languages, learned over the past 2000 years.

I’m going to look that story up!

I’m not sure it’s as much of a problem as you guys seem to think. It’s not illegal to live a very, very long time.

Of course, there’d be a great deal of scientific interest, but let’s assume that this dude (or gal) is just some sort of unreproduceable freak. The interest would wear off over time, with probably some sort of regular monitoring.

There would also be public interest once the ‘secret’ came out, but that would die out over time with periodic visits along the lines of ‘where are they now?’.

They would probably attract their share of loonies, which would be an issue, but again, nothing that the Tom Cruises or ‘Shortest Man in the World’ don’t face.

As others have basically said, avoid attention and you can get away with it for a long time.

Not a public figure, but Ray Bradbury wrote an excellent short story called
HAIL AND FAREWELL about a boy ‘stuck’ at 11 or 12 years old. Published in 1953, so no need to worry about State IDs and such. He just ‘moved’ every 2 or 3 years and found another couple to ‘adopt’ him Clark Kent style. It was in the collection “S is for Space”.

There was that Queen of the Nile ep. of The Twilight Zone–one of their dumber ones, with Ann Blyth as Cleopatra, who kept making movies about Cleopatra, so people were starting to get suspicious.

Another option is to not to hide it, but flaunt it. In Anne Rice’s Queen of the Damned, Lestat the vampire becomes a rock star and tells the world that he’s an immortal bloodsucker. Only his devoted fans took it seriously. Anyone else dismissed it as showbiz posturing. (Well, anyone else other than his fellow vampires, most of whom were upset with the threat to their secrecy.) His wealth and fame took care of such details as paying rent and hiding the bodies.

As others have pointed out, it’s not illegal to live a long time or look really young.

I imagine the government agency most likely to get involved first would be the IRS. At some point the fact that you are 190 years old would probably trigger some red flags. And taking on someone elses identity could be some form of tax evasion or identity theft.

Dick Clark got away with it for fifty years or so.

ETA: Didn’t read the OP carefully enough. smacks forehead

If I were really scared of “the government”, I think I would join the Catholic Church, and become a monk. Then I could claim that the longevity was a miracle, and tell the outside world to go away. Who knows, maybe in time I could get myself elected Pope?

However, I am not sufficiently afraid of the government to take vows of poverty or chastity.

I would probably get a job at a geriatric research hospital. “Give me a steady paycheck, and I will let you have one blood sample every week. And one CT scan per year.” If science could replicate it, I would get a Nobel Prize. If science could not replicate it, I could probably milk the research grants for decades.