I remember a few years ago reading about an American actor who had died of lung cancer despite being just 35, never having smoked a cigarette, and after living a generally very healthy life, including (YMMV) being a vegetarian. His death seemed to have attracted a lot of attention because of these factors, which presumably made it in most people's eyes less easy to explain away and more of a tragedy than if he'd been 95. Sadly, FSUers have recently been reminded that a healthy lifestyle doesn't necessarily keep you healthy, but it remains quite rare to die so young of a cancer which is primarily caused by smoking. I don't think I would ever have remembered his name again (which I'd never heard before and which was doubtless better known to most Americans) unless I'd seen this article. Nonsense? Just a practical joke by his brother and 'daughter'? Could he have faked an illness of this kind - perhaps if he'd paid a few people enough to keep quiet? I've no idea. Interesting, though.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."