35 (passed away May. 16th, 1984)
Jan. 17th, 1949
New York City, New York, USA
Andy Kaufman's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
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.
- He once skipped a photo shoot for TV Guide with the _"Taxi" (1978)_ (qv) cast to see a 'The Three Stooges' (qv) midnight showing with good friend 'E.M. Fredric' (qv).
- Before Andy Kaufman, there was no real way to describe what he did. Now it has been coined as "performance art" and many people imitate his style of "entertainment."
- Despite having his neck broken by 'Jerry Lawler' (qv)'s Piledriver, he still won the match they had (the Piledriver was illegal where they were wrestling, so Lawler had gotten disqualified, giving Kaufman the win).
- Was once a contestant on _"The Dating Game" (1965)_ (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).
- Along with his writing partner 'Bob Zmuda' (qv), he wrote "The Tony Clifton Story", a full-length feature film about the adventures of his alter ego Tony Clifton. However after his movie _Heartbeeps (1981)_ (qv) tanked at the box office, it was scrapped by the studios.
- Diagnosed with a rare, large-cell, carcinoma lung cancer on December 11, 1983.
- Kaufman was renowned for bizarre stunts that were part of his stage performances, such as the time he took his entire Carnegie Hall audience out for milk and cookies, via 35 waiting buses.