'Andy Kaufman lives' says close friend and writing partner Bob Zmuda

Friend Claims 'Andy Kaufman Lives'
Friend Claims 'Andy Kaufman Lives'

A friend of Andy Kaufman claims the iconic comedian is still alive. Kaufman's writing partner, Bob Zmuda says 35-year-old Kaufman faked his own death in 1984 and will be returning sometime in the near future. In his new book "Andy Kaufman: The Truth, Finally," Zmuda and Kaufman's former girlfriend, Lynne Margulies, detail the comedian's long-time obsession with the idea of faking his own death.

In the book, Zmuda recounts one night in particular when he received a call at four in the morning from Kaufman, asking him to meet at a Los Angeles diner. It was there Kaufman admitted he thought faking his death would be the ultimate joke, however, it was a joke Zmuda wanted no part of.

Zmuda believes that Kaufman found a body-double who was actually dying of cancer, shaved his own head and lost weight, then switched places with the man after he died.

The only reason he's breaking his "longtime code of secrecy" is because Kaufman hasn't held his end of the deal. In the book's final pages he writes, "The only reason I'm giving it up now is that Andy set a time limit on this one. Thirty years. So I've kept my part of the bargain and kept my mouth shut. But no more. The prank's over. I want him back and he's coming back."

Only the book's co-author doesn't think he'll be coming back. Margulies writes that a friend told her Kaufman moved to San Francisco after faking his death, only to die of AIDS a few years later.

Regardless, Kaufman's prank (whether it happened or not) continues to fool with fans. "Andy Kaufman: The Truth, Finally" goes on sale October 7th.

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