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

(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."

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Showing 3 of 14 comments
Nov 15, 2013 8:15 AM CST
Saw the original headline, and didn't even bother to read the story because it was so obviously B.S. Seriously, people fell for this? SMH
Nov 14, 2013 11:11 PM CST
Andy Kaufman in the wrestling match yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Nov 14, 2013 4:59 PM CST
So easy for so many to accept that a claim of being Andy Kaufman's daughter is a lie. Yet they bridle at the thought that maybe the claim that the story is a lie is false. Where is the proof that, in fact, the lady in question is an actress named Alexandra Tatarsky? imdb, which has an immense background in material from movies and television, recognizes Aleksandr Tatarskiy, an animator, but not Alexandra Tatarsky. Whoever “recognized” “Ms. Tatarsky” from “her profile” had some weird source for that “profile” but apparently not a legitimate one.