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.
- Diagnosed with a rare, large-cell, carcinoma lung cancer on December 11, 1983.
- Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume One, 1981-1985, pages 441-442. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.
- 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.
- Wrestled "Playboy" Playmate 'Susan Smith (II)' (qv) in a match for the "intergender championship of the world" belt. Although Smith clearly bested Kaufman in this fierce bout, he was nonetheless declared the winner. There was a pictorial of this match in the February, 1982 issue of "Playboy".
- He was the original creator of the format TV show _Andy's Funhouse (1979) (TV)_ (qv) which has later re-vamped by 'Paul Reubens' (qv) (aka Pee-Wee Herman) into _"Pee-wee's Playhouse" (1986)_ (qv). Reubens got permission from Kaufman himself right before his death.
- Had one granddaughter, 'Brittany Colonna' (qv), who played his younger sister as a child in _Man on the Moon (1999)_ (qv).
- Was piledriven twice by 'Jerry Lawler' (qv)