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Andy Kaufman Biography

Birth Name:
Andrew Geoffrey Kaufman
Birth Place:
New York, New York, United States
Actor, comedian

Fast Facts

  • While studying at Boston's Grahm Junior College, starred in his own campus TV show, Uncle Andy's Funhouse
  • In 1969, he and girlfriend Martha Bellu gave up for adoption the only child the comedian would ever have
  • The girl, Maria Bellu, only discovered the identity of her biological father several years after his death
  • Despite getting his start on Saturday Night Live in the show's late-'70s heyday, he was banned from the program years later as the result of a rare viewer phone-in poll
  • Rose to fame playing beloved mechanic Latka Gravas on the classic sitcom Taxi (1978-83)
  • At the curtain of a sold-out 1979 Carnegie Hall performance, invited the entire audience to load onto buses and join him for a midnight snack of milk and cookies
  • Famously offered $1,000 to any woman who could pin him in a wrestling match, and took on over 400 female challengers without ever being defeated
  • Publicly feuded with professional wrestler Jerry "The King" Lawler after Lawler challenged him to a match
  • Years after Kaufman's death, it was revealed to be an elaborate hoax
  • Died of lung cancer at the age of 35, though he had never smoked cigarettes; at the time, many considered his death to be just another stunt
  • Was the subject of 1992 R
  • E
  • M
  • song "Man on the Moon," and was portrayed by Jim Carrey in the 1999 film of the same name