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Andy Kaufman’s Brother Says He’s Still Alive

Rumors have long floated around that Andy Kaufman—the famed, brilliant, eccentric comedian whose life was made famous by virtue of the very good 1999 Jim Carrey film Man on the Moon—faked his own death. Such rumors are par for the course of any beloved celebrity taken too soon, but these ones had particular weight as Kaufman had frequently talked about faking his own death. Still, there was a (closed casket!) funeral and an official death certificate, so it all seemed pretty cut and dry. Until this weekend, at the Andy Kaufman Awards, where Andy’s brother Michael told a very strange story. He said he received an essay, written in Andy’s hand, detailing his faked death and giving instructions on when and where to meet him on Christmas Eve in 1999. Michael followed the instructions and did not find Andy, but did receive a typed letter from a stranger, allegedly sent by Andy, in which he claimed to be alive and well, living with a woman and raising their daughter. As if that’s all not wild enough, Michael then introduced a young woman claiming to be Andy’s daughter. She went by the surname “McCoy,” was shy, dressed in black and said her father is healthy and happy. She said the recent passing of Andy and Michael’s father made him want to reach out to let him know he was OK.

Of course, it’s all probably bogus. The story’s only real credulity is lent by the fact that, truly, it’d be very in keeping with everything Kaufman ever did. He was famous for wild stunts in his lifetime, such as taking entire audiences out to ice cream or sometimes simply reading The Great Gatsby to them. But, hey, if he is still alive, we wish him all the best …

Update: As expected, it’s a hoax. The woman claiming to be Kaufman’s daughter is Alexandra Tatarsky, an actress in New York who met Michael Kaufman and decided to pull of a Kaufman-esque stunt.

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