Andy Kaufman's Daughter Hoax

Andy Kaufman's Daughter Hoax

Updated Mar 04, 2014 at 12:42AM EST by Brad.

Added Nov 14, 2013 at 05:41PM EST by Don.

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Andy Kaufman’s Daughter Hoax was a ruse perpetrated by New York-based actress Alexandra Tatarsky, who claimed to be the daughter of deceased American comedian Andy Kaufman and asserted that he was still alive during the closing ceremony of the 9th Annual Andy Kaufman Awards held in November 2013. Though eventually revealed as a hoax, Tatarsky’s claim quickly rekindled the enduring celebrity rumor that the comedian never died of lung cancer and faked his own death in May of 1984.[3]


On November 11th, 2013, Michael Kaufman read a letter allegedly written by his brother Andy at the Andy Kaufman Awards in New York City, claiming that he was still alive and living in seclusion with a woman with whom he’d had a daughter. Kaufman subsequently invited Tatarsky onstage, who claimed to be the daughter of Kaufman and that the comedian had staged his own death before going into hiding in May of 1984.

Notable Developments

On November 12th, Andy Kaufman Awards finalist Killy Dwyer posted a Facebook status update commenting on Tatarsky’s appearance at the award show, referring to it as a “mindfuck.”

The same day, the comedy news blog The Comic’s Comic[5] published an article about the event. On the following day, the celebrity news blog TMZ[4] posted a video of Tatarsky speaking at the Andy Kaufman Awards.

Identity Revealed

On November 14th, The Smoking Gun[2] reported that Tatarsky was an actress recruited by Kaufman to pose as his brother’s daughter after the pair met earlier in the year at a Manhattan art gallery exhibition featuring artifacts from the late comedian’s life. In the coming days, several news sites reported on the hoax, including Gawker,[1]USA Today,[6] Fox News,[7] New York Daily News,[8] Snopes[10] and The Daily Mail.[11]

Michael Kaufman’s Response

Also on November 14th, The Hollywood Reporter[9] published an article about the hoax, which included a quote from Michael Kaufman claiming he had been “misquoted.”

“I think I’ve been misquoted, OK? I never came out with, ’He’s alive.’ I’m as skeptical as anybody else.”

External References

Recent Videos 1 total

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Top Comments


If Andy was alive and active today he would have a whole section of this website devoted to him. Andy was the kind of guy that would be spawning memes, viral videos, etc. right and left had he be around for the internet age.


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