Andy Kaufman 'Alive' Tale Falls Apart Quickly

His supposed daughter is really an unrelated actress

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 14, 2013 2:41 PM CST

(Newser) – Sorry, Andy Kaufman fans. The story that sounded too good to be true—he's alive!—was, in fact, a hoax, reports the Smoking Gun. A woman who came forward this week claiming to be his daughter and alleging that he had faked his own death in 1984 is actually an actress named Alexandra Tatarsky, says the website. (CinemaBlend also was quick to spot the woman's resemblance to Tatarsky's profile photos.) Her father is a New York City psychologist, and Gawker points out that her bio says she is inspired by "Russian absurdism," something Kaufman would surely appreciate.

TSG reports that Tatarsky hatched the hoax with Kaufman's brother Michael, after the pair met at a gallery featuring an exhibition of the comic's life. As for Michael—who read a letter supposedly written by his late brother at the Andy Kaufman Awards on Monday night—he seems to be backtracking quickly, notes USA Today. "I think I've been misquoted, OK?" he tells the Hollywood Reporter while postponing an interview. "I never came out with, 'He's alive.' I'm as skeptical as anybody else."

Comic Andy Kaufman in a frame grab from YouTube.
Comic Andy Kaufman in a frame grab from YouTube.   (YouTube)
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