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 the world's very first inter-gender wrestling champ. Had a perfect undefeated track record and took home the belt.
- He was such a hardcore 'Elvis Presley' (qv) fan that he drove into a town that had an Elvis movie playing, with a TV set, so that he could plug in the set somewhere to see the movie on television!.
- 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.
- Often read from the the book "The Great Gatsby" at performances. But, unlike the movie, never made it further than the second page of the first chapter.
- Of all 'Elvis Presley' (qv) impersonators, he was the REAL Elvis' favorite.
- 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.
- The video "The Great Beyond", which originally featured clips of 'Jim Carrey' (qv) performing as Kaufman in the movie _Man on the Moon (1999)_ (qv), was modified on the DVD "Best of R.E.M., The" (2003) by clips of the original Andy Kaufman.
- Although he died of lung cancer, he led a very healthy lifestyle. He didn't drink regularly and was a vegetarian. Although he had smoked when he was younger, he hadn't done so in years; even when doing his Tony Clifton character, he never inhaled the smoke.