Actor Andy Kaufman returns from the dead?-Fiction!

Actor Andy Kaufman Returns From the DeadFiction!

Summary of eRumor:

Stories and emails are circulating on the Internet that claim that actor Andy Kaufman, who died in 1984 of lung cancer, is alive.
They refer to a website at that has allegedly been set up by Kaufman to announce his return.

The Truth:

There is no evidence that Andy Kaufman is alive.
Rumors to the contrary are based on the appearance of a website, a fund-raising event by one of his friends, and a news release…all on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of his death.

Andy Kaufman was the quirky actor who played Latka Gravas on the sitcom “Taxi.”
He was portrayed by Jim Carrey in the film Man on the Moon.
Kaufman was known for outlandish antics and faking his own death is something that he once mentioned.
Long time friend and fellow pranskster Bob Zmuda told the LA Weekly that Kaufman first talked about the idea back in 1980. 
“Andy said, ‘You know if some celebrity really did this, do you know big it would be? How legendary it would be?”
He mused about reappearing 20 years later.
Zmuda has a non-profit organization called COMIC RELIEF that sponsored a “welcome back” party on May 16, 2004, the 20th anniversary of Kaufman’s death at the House of Blues in Los Angeles.
It was a $250 per plate fund-raiser.
Everybody who participated in it did so as a tribute to Kaufman and to raise funds for COMIC RELIEF.
There was a twinkle in each person’s eye and no serious expectation for him to appear.

Then the website appeared.
It claims to be set up by Kaufman and anticipating his making an appearance.
It originally predicted he would appear on the 16th and said that DNA tests had been done on Kaufman to prove he was alive, results that were certified by the Ernst & Young accounting firm.
A press release announcing the website also said he’d been interviewed by ABC.
A subsequent statement on the website, however, backpedals about the Ernst & Young involvement as well as the ABC interview.

Kaufman died in Los Angeles but is buried in Beth David Cemetery, in Elmont, New York.
His funeral was on May 18th, 1984 in Great Neck, New York.
Ever mindful that Kaufman was a prankster, several guests who attended the open-casket service said they nudged or poked the body just to make sure he was not faking it.

Kaufman’s death certificate is posted online at

Updated 5/21/04