UPDATE: STORY BUSTED! The woman who appeared onstage this week claiming Andy Kaufman was alive–and that she was his daughter–is a New York City actress whose actual father is a Manhattan doctor, The Smoking Gun has learned. According to a source familiar with this week’s Kaufman stunt, Alexander Tatarsky met Michael Kaufman (Andy’s brother) earlier this year while working at a Manhattan gallery exhibiting a collection of Kaufman “ephemera and artifacts” from the comedian’s personal and professional life. Tatarsky was recruited by Michael to play the role of Andy Kaufman’s daughter to continue his legacy.
Andy you son of a bitch, even in death you got us again! Well played.
Below is our story as it was originally posted:
This is a different sort of news piece than you’ll usually find on Nerd Bastards–or that I usually write. For one thing, it’s gonna be LONG.
Friends, it seems possible (if not yet likely) that one of Hollywood’s most hotly contended conspiracy theories might actually be true. Brilliant performance artist, breakout Taxi star, and self-described “song and dance man” Andy Kaufman may have actually faked his death by cancer in 1984…and could still be living somewhere out of the public eye.
The original story was first broken by The Comic’s Comic. We begin, appropriately enough, at the 9th Annual Andy Kaufman Awards on Monday–at NYC’s Gotham Comedy Club. Andy’s brother Michael Kaufman took the stage and dropped a bomb on the room: He claimed that he honestly does not know if Andy is alive or dead.
Continuing, Michael told the audience that he found an essay among Andy’s things after his funeral that detailed exactly how he’d fake his death. The essay said he’d re-emerge on Christmas Eve, 1999 at a particular restaurant. Michael went to the location indicated on December 24, 1999.
While Andy was not there, Michael supposedly received a letter from a stranger written by his brother. In it, andy explained that he just wanted to live a normal life, and:
…he’d met and fallen in love with a woman and had a daughter, and that he didn’t want Michael or anyone to say anything while their own father was still alive.
Andy and Michael’s father Stanley did indeed pass away this summer.
Here’s where the plot thickens: One month after the elder Kaufman’s death, Michael claims he received a call from a young woman who told him Andy was alive, and he’d been following the Andy Kaufman Awards from afar, and was very proud of the event. Michael then asked if that young woman was in the audience–and a 24-year-old woman sitting in the back stood and made her way to the stage.
Now, The Comic’s Comic report by Sean L. McCarthy does NOT explicitly state what this woman’s connection to Andy is–or supposedly is. The claim that the young woman is Andy’s daughter was made by an Andy Kaufman Awards finalist named Killy Dwyer on Facebook:
Yeah…I know how she feels.
I’ve been an Andy Kaufman fan as long as I can remember, and I don’t think I’ve ever written a news piece that has affected me so profoundly.
OF COURSE…this entire thing could all be a prank orchestrated in Andy’s name–and unless the man himself makes an appearance, it’s likely that THAT is precisely what this incident will eventually be written off as.
Further info was provided by THR, who obtained quotes from Gotham Comedy Club showroom manager Ed Cavanagh and Andy Kaufman Awards producer Al Parinello. Cavanagh claimed unequivocally:
without a doubt this was not a prank
Parinello was less certain, but reported that Michael Kaufman was definitely emotionally impacted by whatever it was that occured Monday night.
The video below features the woman who claims to be Andy’s daughter having and awkward, and obviously very nervous conversation with her “uncle”…
It’s been suggested to me that her body language betrays her as a liar–but I’m not sure: It’s New York–if they wanted a professional actress that could deliver a convincing performance, they’d have no trouble finding one….
Who or whatever this young woman really is, she is NOT an actress.
Furthermore, while I’m no expert, her face DOES remind me of Andy…this could be me grabbing at straws, however–because I honestly want this to be true.
Of course, we could easily settle this entire matter if only someone would ask Tony Clifton…I’m quite certain he knows the truth.
I’ll leave you with one last video–in Andy’s memory….assuming he’s dead:
Source: Cinema Blend