Andy Kaufman’s self-proclaimed daughter once announced her death was fake
Andy Kaufman passed away in the late ’80s. However, many who knew him thought that maybe he had planned his death and that he could be in the world, live his life.
“Taxi” actor Andy Kaufman wowed audiences with his hilarious comedy routines, celebrity knockoffs, and knockoff accents, most notably his “foreign man” character.
However, at the age of 35, Kaufman was diagnosed and later died of a rare form of lung cancer. According to Bob Zmuda, a close friend of the star, his illness came as a surprise as he was a health fanatic who neither smoked nor drank and was a vegetarian.
So when the comedian developed a slight cough, he went straight to the hospital to have her examined. The doctor ordered a biopsy, and soon he was diagnosed and said he had four months to live.
Kaufman had told people several times before that he wanted to fake his death, and that would involve cancer. So when he lost a considerable amount of weight and was bald, people thought it was part of an elaborate death routine for his comedy shows.
Rumors and speculation that Kaufman was in the world living a double life were sparked again when his brother Michael Kaufman revealed he had met Kaufman’s daughter at an awards ceremony.
THE ALLEGED DOUBLE LIFE OF KAUFMAN
In 2013, The Hollywood Reporter reported a detailed account of Michael introducing a woman who claimed to be the daughter of the late Andy at the Andy Kaufman Awards which are held annually at the Gotham Comedy Club.
A longtime friend of the comedian, Al Parinello, relayed details of what Michael, whom he described as “an account” and reluctant to believe in hoaxes, said of his late brother during the show. price reduction at the point of sale.
At the awards ceremony, Michael spoke about how years before he discovered an essay in which Andy detailed plans to fake his death, and months before the awards ceremony he had met the girl. de Kaufman and made him agree to attend the ceremony.
Michael told the audience that he followed the trial’s instructions to meet Kaufman at a specific restaurant on New Years Eve in 1999. However, when he arrived at the restaurant, a stranger handed him a letter, not Kaufman.
“It was too much pressure to be Andy Kaufman. I just wanted to be Andy,” Michael read in the letter. He explained that Kaufman felt his illness was a way for him to change quickly and completely.
The letter stated that the comedian had fallen in love with a woman and had welcomed a daughter and a son together. Michael then revealed that the girl, now 24, had contacted him several months earlier, a month after her father died.
She knew specific things from their childhood, like a special handshake the brothers had and Kaufman used to laugh at him for being “too nice a guy.” So Michael felt she could tell the truth.
This alleged girl then graced the scene in a black dress. Parinello said no one knew her first name, but her name was “McCoy,” a name Kaufman would use to register in hospitals at the time.
TMZ later shared a video from the event, which showed the woman addressing the crowd. She said her alleged father was alive and had quit show business to be a stay-at-home dad.
At the time, comedy club manager Ed Cavanagh said during the introduction Michael looked moved by the words of Kaufman’s alleged daughter, as he put it:
“You could see by the look on [Michael’s] face that this had an emotional impact on him.
However, Cavanagh was unsure if the woman’s story was true and said he was unsure if someone was ripping off Michael or if it was real.
Comparatively, Parinello, who knew Kaufman as an undergraduate student at Grahm Junior College, was convinced of the veracity of the story despite attending Kaufman’s funeral and seeing his body.
At the time, the outlet contacted Michael and he said the woman who claimed to be Kaufman’s daughter was impossible to reach. He then apologized for attending a dinner with his wife.
However, a few days later, Kaufman told The Hollywood Reporter that he was as skeptical as anyone else. He then told CNN he thought he was the victim of a hoax as he said,
“Now that it’s Thursday, plus Monday, I think I’m part of a hoax.”
He told CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” that he did not believe the young woman was working independently. He also reiterated that he was not involved in the hoax. However, others believe he was involved in the fraud.
According to The Smoking Gun, the alleged daughter was a woman named Alexandra Tatarsky, whose father was a psychologist. Additionally, the outlet reported that Michael had met her at a Manhattan gallery and recruited her to play the role of Kaufman’s daughter.
To silence rumors that he was alive after the alleged daughter was announced, the Los Angeles County Coroner reissued his death certificate and said: “Andy Kaufman is dead.”
George Shapiro, Kaufman’s manager, who was by his side at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center on the day of his death, told CNN that while he was alive in everyone’s hearts, he didn’t think his body was there.
Likewise, Kaufman’s girlfriend at the time of his death, Lynne Margulies, showed up and told TMZ that she had seen him die with her own eyes, and if they had changed bodies, she would l ‘would have known.
She told the outlet that she believed the 24-year-old was “attracting an Andy” and that her brother was most likely in the gag too, to continue Kaufman’s legacy and his fake death routine.
Additionally, Margulies insisted that Kaufman only had one daughter. He abandoned a 17-year-old, who was in his forties by then, and had children. Margulies had met her, as had Kaufman’s father.
Stanley, the comedian’s father, met Kaufman’s daughter over 20 years ago. When Stanley was diagnosed with cancer, the two became very close and she became his confidante. He described it as the most incredible gift Kaufman has left him.
Besides rumors that he is alive, Kaufman’s legacy also continues in Bob Zmuda’s film, “Man on the Moon” (1999), which is a biography on Kaufman and stars Jim Carrey in a book that Zmuda wrote on him.
Zmuda wrote the book and created the film as he promised Kaufman on his deathbed that he would produce both to share his story with the world and continue his legacy.
In the book “Andy Kaufman: The Truth At Last”, Zmuda further hinted that Kaufman’s death was rigged, while Margulies suggested the comedian was bisexual and died of AIDS, not lung cancer.
A year later, Michael shared his views on the book, which the family did not allow. He called it a novel because he felt it was not an exact biography of his brother.
Additionally, he said Margulies’ relationship with Kaufman was short. He was disappointed that Zmuda, who knew the state of their relationship, sided with Kaufman’s girlfriend and not the family.
Despite the so-called hard facts of Kaufman’s death, Michael and many others still have a silver lining that their Kaufman somewhere is living his life in peace.
The beloved comedian was best known for his character in “Taxi”, Latka Gravas, a foreign man who struggled with English and suffered from several personality disorders.