Dead or Alive


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Connect the dots so Andy can get home!

This blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only.
Nearly all the information on this site has been published somewhere.
Internet, newspapers, magazines, books, podcasts, videos, etc.
Go ahead and look.

Andy Kaufman told at least FIFTEEN people that he planned to fake his death:

Bob Zmuda
Michael Kaufman
Carol Kaufman
George Shapiro
Lynne Margulies
Bob Tischler
Barry Blaustein
David Sheffield
John Moffitt
Jack Burns
Jeff Conaway
Alan Abel
Bob Pagani
Jerry Lawler
Mimi Lambert

Most of his closest friends think he could have.
Some of these people say they helped him do it.

Is Bob pulling one over on us?
Is Bob pulling one over on us?

Andy Kaufman, The Truth Finally

Andy was diagnosed with large cell carcinoma in November 1983.
This form of lung cancer is aggressive with high mortality rates.
Andy was a non-smoking vegetarian health nut since his 20s.
He told friends it was eating chocolate that gave him cancer.
When asked if he was really sick, he never gave a straight answer.
He didn’t tell his family until near the very end.

He visited a quack clinic in a Hollywood strip mall that was open only a few years.
The holistic doctors allegedly treated his left arm with radiation.
He said he was told to flush out the disease with tea and fasting.
He consequently lost many pounds, looking like a typical cancer patient.
His girlfriend Lynne admits she shaved his head. He kept his chest hair.

In March, Andy flew to the Philippines for psychic surgery.
It has been debunked as medical fraud, entirely placebo effect.
A healer claims to remove disease from the body with his hands.
It is a sleight-of-hand trick using chicken blood and guts as tumors.
Andy was obsessed with magic, carnival, and illusion.
He learned to levitate, swallow swords, and more.
He had to know that this was fake.

Jun Labo performing
Jun Labo performing “psychic surgery”
Are you buying it??

Dr. Rubins projected that he would not live past 1984.
Andy had a passport that did not expire until 1986.
This should have been sufficient for his trip, which was only a few weeks.
Canceled early, the replacement was good until 1994, another ten years.
His death certificate says he passed on May 16, 1984 at Cedars Sinai Hospital.

Canceled in '84 but good until '86

Good until '94
He needed one to last ten years after he was expected to die?  For a short trip?

Four years before he announced his illness, he wrote a screenplay where his character dies of cancer in Cedars Sinai Hospital and reappears alive at the end. He pitched the movie to Universal Pictures, but eventually got dismissed.

The Tony Clifton Story Script

Andy Kaufman’s social security number is not listed in the Social Security Administrations death index.
His SSN is still active and has listed many addresses over the past thirty years.
None of these belong to his relatives, their companies, or the family estate.

death certificate

>>> Death certificates are occasionally used to fake a person’s death for insurance fraud and to evade law enforcement officials or irate relatives. “Official” Los Angeles County death certificates, for example, were readily available in the mid-1990s for between $500 and $1,000 each. For fraudulent purposes, people have often used death certificates from remote nations and from countries in turmoil. <<<

“Andy changed the face of comedy forever by lurching across boundaries that no one knew existed. He was the boy who made life his playground and never stopped playing, even when the games proved too dangerous for others.  And in the end he would play alone, just as he had when it was all only beginning.

In Lost in the Funhouse, Bill Zehme sorts through a life of disinformation put forth by a master of deception to uncover the motivation behind the manipulation.”


His career includes a series of pranks and hoaxes.
He was always looking to be legendary.
What is real? What is fake?
That’s the Andy way.

You can keep your warped sense of humor here for a few years, YOU BUM!


Various Girlfriends

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In February 1981, Kaufman hosted Fridays, a sketch comedy show like SNL.
He invited singer Kathie Sullivan on stage to sing a few gospel songs with him.

Kathie Sullivan
He announced that the two were engaged to be married, and that he was converting religion.
Throughout the next few months, he arranged many public outings with her.
This was also a hoax. 

The 2 carat engagement ring he gave to Sullivan
The 2 carat engagement ring

Andy was friends with Ron Jeremy (porn star), Hugh Hefner (Playboy), and Dennis Hof (Bunny Ranch Brothel).
He allegedly slept with all the 42 girls at the Mustang Ranch Brothel.

Playboy or Hopeless Romantic?
Womanizing Playboy or Hopeless Romantic?

Zmuda says that Andy preferred bigger, muscular girls who were more equipped for wrestling.
He also speculates that it satisfied Andy’s gay fantasies. Andy’s last girlfriend also said he was bisexual.

Mimi was featured in his promo against Lawler
Andy’s Wrestling Promo
Mimi wrestled Andy on SNL
Mimi wrestled Andy on SNL

Toward the end of his career, Andy started wrestling women in the south.
He dated Mimi Lambert, the Florida woman he wrestled on Saturday Night Live.

“If I do go ahead with my plan, I will do so by pretending to have cancer,” Andy said to her and others.

It was informally called the “National College Sex Concert Tour” by his partner, Bob.
He offered between 500 to 1000 dollars, as well as his hand in marriage, to any woman who could pin him.

'Andy Kaufman: I Hate Your Guts!' is available on Amazon.
‘Andy Kaufman: I Hate Your Guts!’ is available on Amazon.

Female wrestler Deena Zarra is reported to have pinned Andy during the Carnegie Hall show.

Wrestler Deena Zarra
Wrestler Deena Zarra

Playmate Susan Smith
Playmate Susan Smith

He wrestled Playboy playmate Susan Smith and mud wrestler Robin Kelly (Red Snapper).

Red Snapper aka Ruby Tuesday
Red Snapper aka Ruby Tuesday

Ronnie Sigmond
Ronnie and Andy in the mud

He beat five women, then lost to Ronnie Sigmond during a non-title bout held at Chippendale’s in Los Angeles.

Teaneck Tanzi Promo: Debbie Harry (Blondie) wrestling Andy
Teaneck Tanzi Promo: Debbie Harry (Blondie) wrestling Andy

Journalists Margaret McMullan and Cindy Flanagan Lamb said they beat (and dated) him too.

Margaret McMullan (author):

Andy went on dates with Glamour editor Margaret McMullan in late 1983 while he was staying with his parents because his mother was ill.

“He challenged me to a wrestling match. Not on stage, but privately, backstage, behind the bleachers, not in front of anyone. I pinned him midway. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t difficult either. I straddled him, holding him by his wrists for a long time. He asked if the recorder was still on. I said yes. He reached over and turned it off. He said I had to promise I wouldn’t tell anyone about this.”

So ferocious!
So ferocious!

“He looked pale. He kept coughing. He said he didn’t want to meet anyone and he stuck his head inside my over-sized bag.”

“He said he had come by to take me to tea. He said he had a cold and a cough and he was fasting. He said he was purifying himself. A yogi in LA taught him to fast flues out. But he could have tea.”

“He said then that he was going somewhere, on a trip, to the Philippines perhaps, and that I should go with him. He looked me in the eye as he spoke.”

“Was the illness or the treatment wreaking havoc on his moods? Not long after tea with Andy, I read in Page Six that he beat up a photographer, or was it a fan? His anger came quickly and out of nowhere, I could see that.”

Still undefeated
World Intergender Wrestling Champion: Still “Undefeated”

Elayne Boosler (comedian):

Andy dated Elayne in his early days of stand-up at The Improv in New York. He later brought her onto his television special, where they got in an argument about their past that seemed real in parts, but was obviously staged.

“Andy was amused that so many people took the news of his illness as just another Kaufman put-on. I asked him to tell me that it was. Men. They never tell you what you want to hear.”

“Andy never gave up hope. He didn’t intend to die. Near the end he took to sleeping with his eyes open just to make sure. When death came, early in the twilight of a warm Los Angeles evening, it was met with two unflinching eyes. When the nurse tried to close them, they just opened again. I remembered a reviewers words: ‘This guy doesn’t know when to get off.’ I laughed.”

Elayne and Andy in Coney Island
Elayne and Andy in Coney Island

Laurie Anderson (musical satirist who later married Lou Reed) once dated and collaborated with Kaufman in the late 70s and has mentioned him in her spoken word poetry and songs.

“We used to go out to Coney Island to work on stuff. I was his straight man, and I used to tag along with him because I adored him. I was just a major fan. So we would go out to the ‘Test Your Strength’ booth and we would stand around and just make fun of everyone who was doing it. I was supposed to beg him for a stuffed bear. And after a while, people would get sick of his taunting and say, ‘Well, why don’t you try it?’ And he tried it and hit, like, level one of 20. And then he would start complaining, ‘This is rigged. I want to see the manager!’ It was really very funny.”

“I have never been one that hoped that Elvis is still hanging around somewhere, hiding, but I will probably always expect to see Andy reappear, someday.

Laurie Anderson blazing her own trail
Laurie Anderson blazing her own trail

He dated Elizabeth Wolynski (photographer in Las Vegas) for a while. She took the portrait of Andy in the hooded sweatshirt. This print was given as a prize for the Andy Kaufman Award 2013, when the “daughter” hoax occurred.

Wolynski’s Blog and Photos

Her story about Kaufman meeting Andy Warhol, Woody Allen, and Salvador Dali.

Andy took her to Coney Island as well
They went to Coney Island also

Andy fathered a child with Gloria Acre (Schwartz) when he was in college.
Andy and his parents proposed a shotgun marriage, but the Acres were not pleased.
The infant, Maria Colonna, was given for adoption shortly after birth.
She later reconnected with the Kaufman family, but after Andy’s passing.

Maria Bellu-Colonna
Maria Bellu-Colonna and her deadbeat dad

Gloria Jean Schwartz Obituary:

It was reported that Andy continued having relations with Gloria all throughout his career.

It was also suggested that he was seeing his assistant Linda Mitchell. He stayed at her apartment often.

Beverly Bloomberg (Cholakian)
Beverly Bloomberg

Bev Cholakian (Bloomberg) is Andy’s unrequited love from Detroit,” Zmuda says. “She didn’t, couldn’t put up with his philandering.”

She got him the job at Posh Bagel. Beverly would remember, “Andy went beserk and screamed, ‘How could you do that to me! I could have gotten laid!’ I mean, can you believe that? He had never talked to me like that before. So I ran to the back of the deli and locked myself in a room while he kept screaming. Then we saw him drive off in a rage, swerving and screeching like a madman.” And, of course, they mended again, for a while again, since she wanted to marry him and all.) Bev later worked as a screenwriter and actor, and is now an author. 

Kathy Utman
Kathy Utman

Kathy Utman–she was a roommate of Prudence Farrow’s–and her spritely air and small mellifluous voice enchanted him completely. He had never met such a blissful being–even among all of the other blissful ones. Diminutive, childlike, she seemed to sprinkle love petals wherever she stepped; he often compared her to a pixie named Piccoli from some story he knew–“He said I was like this little fairytale pixie person who came to earth and her job was to make people love each other more and to especially teach all the little boys how to love,” she would recall, giggling. He also said that she reminded him of Little Eva from Uncle Tom’s Cabin and sent her the book with all of the Little Eva parts marked up. He wrote her fanciful, delirious letters–signed them I could just eat you up or MBFUA!!! (“He said that was the sound of a kiss.”) She was a cloud; she loved him back like a cloud might love, couldn’t fully commit because she knew he couldn’t either really–“I was a little bit careful,” she said. But they would play together–when on park lawns he insisted they run in slow motion toward each other with open arms flapping–and she would come to New York early on to see his act at the Bitter End et al. and they maintained an understanding that she, as a cloud, would sweetly hover nearby throughout his life, which she in fact did, more or less, even when she married other guys and in between those marriages as well.

“He always said we would live together when we were old.
He also said that he heard bells whenever he stood near me.”

Andy dated artist/actress Lynne Margulies (Osgood) during the last two years of his life. They had an open relationship.
She accompanied him to the Philippines for his psychic surgery cancer treatment by Jun Labo

Lynne Margulies

“When we moved into the house in Pacific Palisades in 1984, Andy suggested we get married. I told him we should wait until he got better.” – Lynne

Andy and Lynne in Baguio
Andy and Lynne in Baguio