CinemaBlend is reporting that this is all probably a hoax, but the story is too crazy not to share, regardless. According to new reports, legendary comedian Andy Kaufman may actually be alive, if you believe a nameless woman who is claiming to be his daughter.
Here's the original story: During the 9th annual Andy Kaufman Awards which were held at the Gotham Comedy Club in NYC on Monday night, Kaufman's brother, Michael, appeared on stage to discuss the legacy his brother left behind—before admitting that he doesn't know if Andy is alive or dead. From CinemaBlend:
He then told a story about how back in 1984 he was going through his brother's things and discovered an essay written by Andy about how he would go about faking his own death. The piece said that he would eventually reappear on Christmas Eve 1999 at a particular restaurant, and when that date came Michael went to the place to find out the truth. While Andy was a no-show, that night he was given a letter from a stranger that turned out to be a letter addressed to him from Andy. In the letter the comedy legend explained how he wanted to have a normal life and that "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."
For the record, Andy Kaufman is said to have died in 1984, at the age of 35, of kidney failure caused by a rare form of lung cancer. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Al Parinello even commented that he'd seen Kaufman's body during the funeral: "It was a closed casket...only the family [and myself] actually saw the body. Andy was an aficionado of meditation. 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."
Despite this, Parinello claims to believe the story of Kaufman being alive because of what happened next at the show: A 24-year-old woman, claiming to be Kaufman's daughter, came up on stage. There are pictures of her at the event, as well as videos of her talking about Kaufman:
According to THR, no one knew the woman's first name—but she apparently went by the surname "McCoy," which is the name that Kaufman used when he checked into hospitals. Also suspect: Apparently, when asked about the woman by THR, Michael Kaufman "said that the woman claiming to be Kaufman's daughter was impossible to reach, for reasons he would explain later...he then excused himself, saying he had a dinner date with his wife."
In the hours since the original reports and footage surfaced, a few sources—namely CinemaBlend—have begun bringing up the name of NYC theater actress Alexandra Tatarsky, who looks strikingly similar to the woman in the video, and is apparently inspired by "Russian absurdism" in her work. Kaufman, of course, was inspired by absurdism as well. A photo of Tatarsky:
As of now, it's not clear if the woman is really Tatarsky, but either way—it does speak to Kaufman's genius that even now, 29 years after his death, he can have us all wondering whether he actually faked his death or not.
Do you think Kaufman could possibly still be alive? Sound off in comments.