Cult comedy star Andy Kaufman faked his own death in 1984 and is still alive, his brother has claimed.
Kaufman, best known for playing the incompetent Latka Gravas on the 1970s sitcom Taxi, officially died from lung cancer in 1984.
But, appearing at an award show named in Andy’s honour, Michael Kaufman said he received a letter from his brother, confirming he was alive, in 1999.
He then introduced a woman who claimed to be Andy’s 24-year-old daughter.
Her age would mean she was born five years after his death.
“He just wanted to be a stay-at-home dad, that’s why he wanted to leave the showbiz,” she explained at the New York event.
“He’s pretty much a great dad, and raised us. My mom has her own business… He helps her with that kind of thing, paperwork and stuff, so he can work from home and he doesn’t have to be hiding out [or] concealing himself.”
“He just makes us food and takes care of the house.”
It has since been claimed, however, that the mystery woman is in fact a New York actress whose father is a doctor.
According to website The Smoking Gun, Alexandra Tatarsky was recruited by Michael Kaufman earlier this year to play his alleged niece.
Audience ‘freaked out’
The woman’s arrival on Monday night had been preceded by a long anecdote, in which Michael described how, many years ago, he discovered an essay in which Andy detailed plans to fake his death.
It was accompanied by a note, saying the comedian would reappear on Christmas Eve 1999, in a specific restaurant.
Although Andy failed to show up, Michael was handed a letter explaining that his brother had gone into hiding to live a normal life, and now had a wife and daughter.