35 (passed away May. 16th, 1984)
Jan. 17th, 1949
New York City, New York, USA
Andy Kaufman's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles1989 - I'm from Hollywood
1976 - God Told Me To
Guest TV Roles
Himself - Stand-up Act
Referred to by some as a dadaistic comedian, Andy Kaufman took comedy and performance art to the edges of irrationality and blurred the dividing line between reality and imagination. Born in New York City on January 17, 1949, the first son of Stanley and Janice Kaufman, Andy grew up on New York in the town of Great Neck. He began performing for family and friends at the age of 7, and by the time he was 9 was being hired to entertain at children's parties. After a year at a Boston junior college, Andy began performing his unique brand of stand-up comedy at coffee shops and nightclubs on the east coast. Discovered by Improvisation comedy club owner Bud Friedman, Andy quickly earned a reputation as a talented, yet eccentric performer. Impressed by his abilities, Lorne Michaels asked Kaufman to appear on the inaugural broadcast of Saturday Night Live (October 11, 1975). Best known for his work as Latka Gravas on the TV sitcom Taxi, Andy appeared in several TV shows and movies, on Broadway, did a one man show at Carnegie Hall, enjoyed a brief professional wrestling career and performed in concerts nation-wide.
- Was piledriven twice by 'Jerry Lawler' (qv)
- His Tony Clifton character was supposed to appear on the Christmas episode of _"Taxi" (1978)_ (qv) as Louie De Palma's brother, but "Tony" repeatedly pushed everyone's buttons and slowed down production until he was replaced (much to Andy's delight).
- To play up the feud between himself and wrestler 'Jerry Lawler' (qv), Kaufman did several public service announcements in which he proceeded to teach Southern people how to bathe, brush their teeth, and so on.
- Was once a contestant on _"The Dating Game" (1965)_ (qv).
- _"Saturday Night Live" (1975)_ (qv) viewers voted him off the show forever in a call-in poll in 1982.
- Was working on a novel loosely based on his life that weaves in and out of reality titled The Huey Williams Story but had to stop because of his illness.
- Diagnosed with a rare, large-cell, carcinoma lung cancer on December 11, 1983.
- According to 'Jim Carrey' (qv) as stated in _A Comedy Salute to Andy Kaufman (1995) (TV)_ (qv), Kaufman created and originally played the "Tony Clifton" character. The secret kept for 15 years (according to Carrey) was that he did so only briefly and the character was soon passed off to 'Bob Zmuda' (qv) (Kaufman's writer). Most of the TV appearances of Tony Clifton are actually Zmuda, not Kaufman.