35 (passed away May. 16th, 1984)
Jan. 17th, 1949
New York City, New York, USA
Andy Kaufman's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles1976 - God Told Me To
Guest TV Roles
Himself - Special Guest
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.
- On the DVD "Best of R.E.M., The" (2003), Kaufman appears on the videos "The Great Beyond" (originally released in 1999), and "Man On The Moon" (originally released in 1992).
- 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).
- 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).
- 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.
- Son of 'Stanley Kaufman (II)' (qv).
- During the height of his _"Taxi" (1978)_ (qv) fame, he worked part-time at "The world famous Jerry's Deli" on Ventura Blvd. in Los Angeles as a busboy just to stay grounded.
- 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.
- Was once a contestant on _"The Dating Game" (1965)_ (qv).