/ : Andy Kaufman /


Birth Name: Andrew G. Kaufman
Birthdate: January 17, 1949
Birthplace: New York, New York
Date of Death: May 16, 1984
Occupations: Actor, Comedian
Quote: "He's funny, but he's dangerous." - Taxi costar Carol Kane on Kaufman in 1982
 
Andy 
Kaufman Photo
 
 

Claim to Fame: 1978-83: Costarred as Latka Gravas on the sitcom Taxi (ABC, 1978-1982; NBC 1982-1983)

Significant Other(s):
Elayne Boosler, comedian, singer; first met in 1973; had brief romance, then remained friends
Kathie Sullivan, gospel singer; announced engagement in 1981; later separated
Lynn Margulies, editor; met in 1982; together until his death in 1984; made a film about his wrestling career, I'm from Hollywood; also served as an editor for My Breakfast with Blassie

Family:
Father: Stanley Kaufman, costume jeweler
Mother: Janice Kaufman
Brother: Michael Kaufman, born 1951
Sister: Carol Kaufman
Daughter: Maria Bellu, radiation therapist; born in 1969; given up for adoption; mother unidentified

Biography
The inspired lunacy of Andy Kaufman "pushed the envelope" of comedy way beyond the old line that had separated reality from imagination. A risk-taker par excellence, this 20th Century Dadaist made comedy dangerous again, championing a performance art that elicited nervous laughter from audiences never quite sure where the character ended and Andy began. Kaufman's outrageous antics included sleeping through his entire act on stage and reading from "The Great Gatsby" until every last audience member got up and left, but nothing provoked more spectator ire than his "bad-guy" wrestler, arguably the highest expression of his unique brand of absurdist theater. When a rare cancer ravaged him at the end of his tragically short life, and he was bald with chemotherapy tubes hanging off him, comics, assuming it was just another put-on from the legendary prankster, would come up and say, "Andy! You maniac!" There are also those who believe he did not die and is perhaps sharing a trailer with Jim Morrison and Elvis on the outskirts of Kalamazoo.

Filmography
Andy Kaufman: Add the Word "Special"
Andy Kaufman: Tank You Vedy Much! (1999)
The Andy Kaufman Special (1985)
My Breakfast with Blassie (1983)
Soundstage: The Andy Kaufman Show (1983)
Heartbeeps (1981)
Andy Kaufman: The Midnight Special (1981)
In God We Trust (1980)
Andy Kaufman Plays Carnegie Hall (1979)
Comedy Tonight (1977)
Demon (1976)
 

Factoids:
1982: Made last live appearance on Saturday Night Live; phone-in viewer poll voted to ban him for life from ever appearing on the show again (November)

Education:
1967: Graduated from Great Neck North High School, Great Neck, New York
Grahm Junior College, Boston, Massachusetts

 


 

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