Another episode in the continuing saga of non-death rumors.
Andy Kaufman passed away at the age of 35 from cancer — but at the Andy Kaufman Awards in NYC on Nov. 11, Andy’s brother, Michael Kaufman, gave a speech and ended it with a claim that he discovered a letter from Andy that said he planned to pull off faking his own death. Andy also allegedly said that he was in love with a woman and they were raising a daughter together — and the night got even more strange when Michael welcomed a girl onstage who said she was the daughter from the letter!
In Michael’s closing speech, he stated that he received a letter from Andy by way of having to mysteriously go to a certain restaurant in 1999 and then received another letter from an anonymous person, which is the one he referenced at the awards.
If he had disappeared under different circumstances (not cancer), who knows. It would be something to consider plausible, but is this claim? I doubt it. It sounds more like people enhancing the legend that he wanted to fake his own death. See this piece by the Smoking Gun:
In news that should shock nobody, the woman who appeared onstage this week claiming Andy Kaufman was alive–and that she was his daughter–is a New York actress whose actual father is a Manhattan doctor, The Smoking Gun has learned.
The woman, Alexandra Tatarsky was recruited by Michael Kaufman to play the role of Andy Kaufman’s daughter.
Maybe real death got in the way of the hoax and yet this comedy skit lives on.
[Al] Parinello, who met Kaufman when they were undergrads at Grahm Junior College in Boston, says he is convinced of the story’s veracity, even though he attended Kaufman’s funeral and saw his body with his own eyes.
“It was a closed casket,” he recalls. “Only the family [and myself] actually saw the body.” How then does he reconcile Monday’s events? “Andy was an aficionado of meditation,” he explains. “One of the things Andy was taught at the highest level was a process where one could slow down his breath to a point where you can literally fool anyone that you may be dead when in fact you are alive. So that’s the one thing that Michael checked for.”
Last year he was supposedly spotted in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Before that, back in 2004, there was the infamous Andy Kaufman Returns blog which hasn’t been updated since 2008.
Read more about Andy Kaufman hoaxes over at Snopes.
After almost 30 years out of the spotlight wouldn’t it be very unlikley NO ONE ever saw him? Took a picture? Getting caught on a security camera? Kaufman died on May 16, 1984 in Cedars Sinai Hospital, California. Death Certificate
You can even look up his grave. People will believe, no matter what.