CLASSIC HOAXES: Andy Kaufman Faked His Own Death

The rumor is this: Andy Kaufman faked his own death and will be returning to public life on his 30th year death anniversary.

Rumors about Andy Kaufman returning to life are not new. The first time that this claim went out was during Kaufman’s 20th death anniversary in May 2004. It was the perfect time to make this claim as Kaufman used to regularly joke about faking his own death. He also frequently said that he would re-emerge 20 or 30 years later and laugh at the world. It was twenty years since his death and what great timing and prophetic accuracy would it have been to emerge right then.

There was actually a press release that circulated online and a whole new blog set up that announced Kaufman had indeed reappeared and his death in 1984 was just one huge and highly elaborate practical joke.

Andy Kaufman

The press release was from the website PRWeb, which was published on May 19, 2004, exactly 20 years and three days after Kaufman died in 1984. The PR claimed that the whole world bought the idea of Kaufman passing away in 1984 and it was time to reveal that It proceeded on to assert that Kaufman is still alive, he is already 55 years old, and residing in the upper west side of New York City.

The article even cited that with the urging of his family, Kaufman underwent all kinds of physical and biological examinations such as DNA tests, blood tests, and others, and that they were facilitated by a high profile professional auditing firm to prove that it was really him.

Andy’s alleged blog site where he announced his return has a domain name of Just the sound of the URL can tell you that it is not authentic because it was obviously built using a free internet platform. And when you visit it, all your thoughts will be validated as it actually looks like an amateurish site that is created by a prankster who is an obsessive Andy Kaufman fan and does not seem to know anything about website creation or web design and development.

Andy Kaufman

Just recently, Bob Zmuda, Andy’s longtime friend and writing partner, and Lynne Marguilies, Andy’s purported girlfriend, released a book titled “Andy Kaufman: The Truth, Finally” just in time for his 30th death anniversary. Unsurprisingly, the book claims that Kaufman is still alive and that he is preparing to reveal himself to the rest of the world anytime now.
It is ironic that people close to him are using his legendary status as an opportunity to make more money by producing hoaxes out of a fake “fake death.”

Zmuda kept on mentioning in the book that Kaufman had always wanted to fake his death “because no one is ever going to top that.” He said that the fascination was there since Andy was a little boy when his parents lied to him about his grandfather’s death, saying that he just went overseas. Zmuda mentioned that “If his parents could fake his grandfather’s not dying, Andy would just fake himself dying.”

Andy Kaufman

Meanwhile, in November 2013, months before Kaufman’s 30th death anniversary, a young woman went on stage with Andy’s brother, Michael Kaufman, during the 9th Annual Andy Kaufman Awards. She then claimed to be Andy’s daughter, and that he (Andy) is “still very much alive, that he had faked his death to get out of the limelight and be a stay-at-home dad,” much to the surprise of the audience.

However, The Smoking Gun website soon disclosed that the woman was only an actress hired by Kaufman’s brother himself, and that she was really the daughter of a Manhattan physician and is only 24 years old, which would make her too young to be Andy’s daughter as he died 29 years ago at the time she made her claim.

Surely, as popular as Kaufman is, this is not going to be the end of a bunch more of pranks regarding his fake death. Just for the information of everybody, his 30th death anniversary was last May 16, 2014 and he is still very much dead, by the way.

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