Actor Andy Kaufman poses for a portrait in circa 1979. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) Andy Kaufman Credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

 

OK, what?

 

Andy Kaufman, one of the fathers of modern comedy, was known for straight-faced disguises and pranks so elaborate that they rose to the level of performance art. Sadly, he passed away in 1984 at the age of 35 from a rare form of cancer, bringing his celebrated career to an end.

 

Orwasthat his last performance?

 

At Tuesday's Andy Kaufman Awards, honoring up-and-coming young comedians, Andy Kaufman's brother Michael says he's often asked if Andy's still alive — and revealed that he doesn't know. According to Sean McCarthy of the blog The Comic's Comic, who was in attendance, Michael Kaufman found a letter from his brother in which he promised to reappear on Christmas Eve in 1999 at a certain restaurant. Andy didn't turn up that night, but someone handed Michael Kaufman another letter, in which it was claimed that Andy had faked his death and was living in anonymity with his wife and daughter. The letter claimed Andy would reappear after their father had passed away.

 

The Kaufman patriarch died last year, and though Andy Kaufman has yet to reappear in the public eye, the young woman claiming to be his daughter did turn up at the awards show. You can see some of her appearance below. She does have the Kaufman cheekbones.

One of the comedians in attendance said that he recognized the woman, and that she was an actress — but that he'd never met her father. So the mystery continues.