Andy Kaufman Net Worth

Andy Kaufman Net Worth 2023: Wiki Biography, Married, Family, Measurements, Height, Salary, Relationships

Andy Kaufman net worth is
$3 Million

Andy Kaufman Wiki Biography

Born Andrew Geoffrey Kaufman on the 17th January 1949 in New York City, USA, and was a comedian and actor, probably best recognized for starring as Foreign Man in the TV show “Saturday Night Live” (1975-1982), and appearing in the role of Latka Gravas in the TV series “Taxi” (1978-1983). Andy passed away in 1984.

Have you ever wondered how rich Andy Kaufman was? According to authoritative sources, it was estimated that the total size of Andy’s net worth was as high as $3 million, an amount accumulated through his successful career in the entertainment industry, which was active from 1971 to 1984.

Andy Kaufman Net Worth $3 Million

Andy Kaufman grew up in Great Neck, Long Island, raised with two younger siblings in a Jewish family by his father, Stanley Kaufman, a jewelry salesman, and his mother, Janice Bernstein, who was a former fashion model, and housewife. When he was only nine years old, he started with performances at friend’s birthday parties as a stand-up comedian. During that period, he wrote not only stories, but also poetry, and later became known as an author of the unpublished novel “The Hollering Mangoo”. He attended Saddle Rock Elementary, and later Baker Hill Elementary school, and then Great Neck North High School. Upon matriculation in 1967, he enrolled at Grahm Junior College Kaufman in Boston to study television and radio production. Subsequently, he started performing in local clubs, and soon founded his own college TV show, entitled “Uncle Andy’s Fun House”, and his professional career began. After graduation, Andy began performing stand-up comedy at nightclubs on the East Coast.

Slowly he became more popular, and after appearing as a guest in such variety shows as “The Dean Martin Comedy World” (1974), and “The Joe Franklin Show” the same year, he was called up by Lorne Michaels to appear in the first episode of “Saturday Night Live”. His character, the Foreign Man, was a smashing success, Kaufman having previously honed the act during his nightclub performing days. He continued to appear as a cast member until 1982 when the SNL viewers booted him off the show via a call-in poll. Parallel with his stint on “Saturday Night Live”, Kaufman appeared with another iteration of the Foreign Man character in the ABC sitcom “Taxi” (1977-1983), going on to portray Latka Gravas over the course of five seasons. While Kaufman wasn’t much of a sitcom fan, he was persuaded by his agent to stick with the show in order to gain fame, and later start his own act. The role of Latka also brought him two nominations for Golden Globe Awards.

During his time on “Taxi”, he premiered another character, his alter-ego Tony Clifton, who was actually signed on as a separate actor, to play the role of Louie’s brother on the show. However, due to Clifton’s trademark rudeness and obnoxious behavior, he was finally replaced, however, Tony Clifton may be Kaufman’s best-known character, even though he wasn’t played exclusively by him, but also by his writer, Bob Zmuda. In many ways, Clifton was the opposite of Foreign Man – vulgar, loud and abusive towards his audience. He continued to appear on shows long after Kaufman’s death, portrayed by Zmuda.

Apart from “Taxi” and “Saturday Night Live”, Kaufman is mostly known for his guest starring roles, appeared playing his various characters in shows such as “Last Night with David Letterman”, “Good Morning America”, and “The Merv Griffin Show”. Additionally, he released an ABC special entitled “Andy’s Funhouse” (1979), as well as “The Andy Kaufman Show” (1983). He ventured briefly onto the big screen, starring as Armageddon T. Thunderbird in the comedy film “In God We Tru$t” (1980), alongside Marty Feldman, Louise Lasser and Peter Boyle, and played the main role in the romantic science fiction comedy film “Heartbeeps” (1981), opposite Bernadette Peters.

Kaufman also tried his hand at wrestling, which first started as a parody of the over-the-top wrestling personas presented by professional wrestlers. He first started to wrestle women and invented his own Inter-Gender Championship. Later, he appeared on “CWE Wrestling” (1983), squaring off against Jerry “The King” Lawler. It wasn’t until almost ten years after Kaufman’s death, that it was revealed that their feud and the matches were staged and that Kaufman and Lawler were actually good friends.

Regarding his personal life, Andy Kaufman never married, however, he was in a relationship with actress Lynne Margulies. He had a daughter from an early relationship, who was put up for adoption. During his life, Andy enjoyed practicing Transcendental Meditation. He passed away on the 16th May 1984 in Los Angeles, California, USA from lung cancer at the age of 35. However, due to his showmanship and pranks, there are rumors about him faking his own death as a part of a grand hoax. Also, his alter-ego Tony Clifton continued to appear in comedy clubs, after Andy’s death.

Full NameAndy Kaufman
Net Worth$3 Million
Date Of BirthJanuary 17, 1949
DiedMay 16, 1984, West Hollywood, California, United States
Place Of BirthNew York City, New York, U.S.
Height1.85 m
EducationGrahm Junior College, John L. Miller Great Neck North High School
ChildrenMaria Colonna
ParentsJanice Bernstein, Stanley Kaufman
SiblingsMichael Kaufman
PartnerLynne Margulies (19??-1984)
NominationsGolden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries, or Motion Picture Made for Television, TV Land Most Wonderful Wedding Award, TV Land Favorite Elvis Impersonation Award
MoviesHeartbeeps, In God We Tru$t, God Told Me To, The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show, Stick Around, The Real Andy Kaufman, Andy Kaufman: The Midnight Special, Cutting Edge Comedians of the '60s & '70s, Andy Kaufman: The Andy Kaufman Show: Soundstage
TV ShowsTaxi, Saturday Night Live, Van Dyke and Company
1His character Tony Clifton
2Usually played an unnamed character called Foreign Man, who soon evolved into Latka Gravis, the guy from Taxi. Likes to play with the audience's heads like reading The Great Gatsby instead of performing. Doesn't like to break character, even when he's not filming.
1I just want real reactions. I want people to laugh from the gut, be sad from the gut, or get angry from the gut.
2I never told a joke in my life.
3What's real? What's not? That's what I do in my act, test how other people deal with reality.
4While all the other kids were out playing ball and stuff, I used to stay in my room and imagine that there was a camera in the wall. And I used to really believe that I was putting on a television show and that it was going out to somewhere in the world.
5They say, "Oh wow, Andy Kaufman, he's a really funny guy." But I'm not trying to be funny. I just want to play with their heads.
6Whenever I play a role, whether it's good or bad, an evil person or nice person, I believe in being a purist and going all the way with the role. If I'm going to be a villainous wrestler, I believe in going all the way with it and not breaking character and not giving away to the audience that I'm playing a role. I believe in playing it straight to the hilt.
7Pure entertainment is not an egotistical lady singing boring songs onstage for two hours and people in tuxes clapping whether they like it or not. It's the real performers on the street who can hold people's attention and keep them from walking away.
8There's no drama like wrestling.
9There's no way to describe what I do. It's just me.
1Andy's Army, a group of friends and family of Andy Kaufman, helped induct him into the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame by using #AK4WWEHOF2014 in various forums, pod-casts, blogs and tweets to WWE. It was a surprise for everyone when a Tony Clifton Flashmob suddenly showed up and wrestled Jerry Lawler, Royal Rumble-style.
2Laid to rest at Beth David Cemetery (Elmont, Long Island, NY).
3In 1980, Andy wrestled stunt woman Marian Green in a playful mud wrestling bout at Chippendales in Los Angeles.
4Wrestled Playboy playmate Susan Smith in a match for the intergender championship of the world" belt. Although Smith clearly bested Kaufman in this fierce bout, he was nonetheless declared the winner. There was a pictorial of this match in the February 1982 issue of "Playboy".
5Son of Stanley Kaufman.
6Often read from the the book "The Great Gatsby" at performances. But, unlike the movie, never made it further than the second page of the first chapter.
7Despite their publicized, but fake, feud, Kaufman was actually a great admirer of Jerry Lawler.
8To play up the feud between himself and wrestler Jerry Lawler, Kaufman did several public service announcements in which he proceeded to teach Southern people how to bathe, brush their teeth, and so on.
9Scored a zero on the psychological portion of his Army entrance test, thereby classifying him as ineligible for military service.
10He once skipped a photo shoot for TV Guide with the Taxi (1978) cast to see a The Three Stooges midnight showing with good friend Eva-Marie Fredric.
11Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume One, 1981-1985, pages 441-442. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.
12During the height of his Taxi (1978) fame, he worked part-time at "The world famous Jerry's Deli" on Ventura Blvd. in Los Angeles as a busboy just to stay grounded.
13Was the world's very first inter-gender wrestling champ. Had a perfect undefeated track record and took home the belt.
14He once joked about faking his own death and returning 20 years later. In 2004 several of his friends threw a "Welcome back Andy" party. He didn't show up.
15One of his most famous performances was on the 1975 summer replacement show Van Dyke and Company (1976), hosted by Dick Van Dyke. As his "Foreign Man", he did two very poor celebrity impressions, and then broke into a dead solid perfect impression of Elvis Presley. After the audience gave him thunderous applause, he replied, in his "Foreign Man" voice, "Thenk yew veddy much!" The audience went into hysterics.
16He was such a hardcore Elvis Presley fan that he drove into a town that had an Elvis movie playing, with a TV set, so that he could plug in the set somewhere to see the movie on television!.
17Was working on a novel loosely based on his life that weaves in and out of reality titled The Huey Williams Story but had to stop because of his illness.
18The video "The Great Beyond", which originally featured clips of Jim Carrey performing as Kaufman in the movie Man on the Moon (1999), was modified on the DVD "Best of R.E.M., The" (2003) by clips of the original Andy Kaufman.
19On the DVD "Best of R.E.M., The" (2003), Kaufman appears on the videos "The Great Beyond" (originally released in 1999), and "Man On The Moon" (originally released in 1992).
20Before Andy Kaufman, there was no real way to describe what he did. Now it has been coined as "performance art" and many people imitate his style of "entertainment."
21He was the original creator of the format TV show Andy's Funhouse (1979) which has later re-vamped by Paul Reubens (aka Pee-Wee Herman) into Pee-wee's Playhouse (1986). Reubens got permission from Kaufman himself right before his death.
22His Tony Clifton character was supposed to appear on the Christmas episode of Taxi (1978) as Louie De Palma's brother, but "Tony" repeatedly pushed everyone's buttons and slowed down production until he was replaced (much to Andy's delight).
23His style of entertainment is now known as "performance art."
24Was once a contestant on The Dating Game (1965).
25According to wrestler Jerry Lawler, when they cleaned out Andy's house after his death, many uncashed checks from Mid-South Wrestling promoter Jerry Jarrett were found. These were given as payment for his stint as a wrestler, and made many conclude that he didn't wrestle for the money, but rather for the love of it.
26Was the subject of the song "Andy Kaufman" by punk band The Bunkers. [1995]
27Diagnosed with a rare, large-cell, carcinoma lung cancer on December 11, 1983.
28Had one granddaughter, Brittany Colonna, who played his younger sister as a child in Man on the Moon (1999).
29Despite having his neck broken by Jerry Lawler's Piledriver, he still won the match they had (the Piledriver was illegal where they were wrestling, so Lawler had gotten disqualified, giving Kaufman the win).
30Was piledriven twice by Jerry Lawler
31Shared the same birthday with Jim Carrey, who plays him in the film Man on the Moon (1999).
32Lip-synched the "Mighty Mouse" theme on the first episode of Saturday Night Live (1975).
33Kaufman and Jerry Lawler's famous feud, including their infamous Late Night with David Letterman (1982) appearance, was all later confirmed by Lawler to be a setup and not real as many believed.
34Many people doubted Kaufman's death, thinking it was just another gag.
35When trying to bring his wrestling women act into the world of mainstream pro wrestling, Kaufman wanted to wrestle at Madison Square Garden for the World Wrestling Federation, but his good friend Bill Apter, a head editor for several wrestling magazines, told him that Vincent McMahon would never go for such a thing, so they tried to talk to Apter's friend Jerry Lawler, which led to Andy's infamous feud with Lawler from 1982-1983.
36Along with his writing partner Bob Zmuda, he wrote "The Tony Clifton Story", a full-length feature film about the adventures of his alter-ego Tony Clifton. However after his movie Heartbeeps (1981) tanked at the box office, it was scrapped by the studios.
37Although he died of lung cancer, he led a very healthy lifestyle. He didn't drink regularly and was a vegetarian. Although he had smoked when he was younger, he hadn't done so in years; even when doing his Tony Clifton character, he never inhaled the smoke.
38Museum of TV and Radio presented 90-minute film of Kaufman highlights to honor him posthumously in New York and L.A. in October 1999.
39Kaufman was renowned for bizarre stunts that were part of his stage performances, such as the time he took his entire Carnegie Hall audience out for milk and cookies, via 35 waiting buses.
40Interred at Beth David Cemetery, Elmont (Long Island), New York, USA.
41According to Jim Carrey as stated in A Comedy Salute to Andy Kaufman (1995), Kaufman created and originally played the "Tony Clifton" character. The secret kept for 15 years (according to Carrey) was that he did so only briefly and the character was soon passed off to Bob Zmuda (Kaufman's writer). Most of the TV appearances of Tony Clifton are actually Zmuda, not Kaufman.
42R.E.M. wrote a song about him for their 1992 album "Automatic for the People" called "Man on the Moon".
43Of all Elvis Presley impersonators, he was the REAL Elvis' favorite.
44Maria was put up for adoption, but later reunited with Kaufman's family, after tracing her biological parents in 1992.
45Daughter, Maria Colonna, was born when Andy was 20, and his girlfriend was 17.
46Saturday Night Live (1975) viewers voted him off the show forever in a call-in poll in 1982.
47Attended Boston's Grahm Junior College.
48Graduated from Great Neck North High School in 1967.
49Taxi (1978) co-star Jeff Conaway decked him after the 1979 Golden Globes, when he insulted his co-stars.


Fried: The Autobiography of Louie B. Mayer2013completedTony Clifton
My Breakfast with Blassie1983Andy Kaufman
Taxi1978-1983TV SeriesLatka Gravas / Vic Ferrari / Arlo / ...
Super Bowl XVII Pre-Game Show1983TV MovieLatka Gravas (uncredited)
The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show1982TV MovieTony Clifton (as Tony Clifton)
Saturday Night Live1975-1982TV SeriesForeign Man Elvis British Man
In God We Tru$t1980Armageddon T. Thunderbird
Stick Around1977TV ShortAndy, the Robot
God Told Me To1976Police Assassin


Man on the Moon1999performer: "One More Song for You" 1979, "Rose Marie" 1924 / writer: "Oh, the Cow Goes Moo"
The Andy Kaufman Show1983TV Special performer: "One More Song for You", "Hi to You & Hi to Me", "Blue Moon of Kentucky"
Late Night with David Letterman1982TV Series performer - 1 episode
Dinah!1979TV Series performer - 1 episode
Saturday Night LiveTV Series 1 episode, 1975 performer - 4 episodes, 1975 - 1977


I'm from Hollywood1989Documentary uncredited
The Andy Kaufman Show1983TV Special uncredited
Andy Kaufman Plays Carnegie Hall1980Video documentary
Andy's Funhouse1979TV Movie


Andy's Funhouse1979TV Movie


Andy's Funhouse1979TV Movie producer


Bloody Bobby2016thanks
No More Funny Show!2013Video documentary inspiration
Funny Show Part Two: The Video - Movie2012Video inspiration
The Most Annoying Greek Youtube Star of the Year2012Video short inspiration


Kaufman LivesDocumentary filmingHimself
I'm from Hollywood1989DocumentaryHimself
Elayne Boosler: Party of One1985TV MovieHimself (voice)
Superstars of Comedy Salute the Improv1984TV MovieHimself
The Top1984TV MovieHimself (Host)
The Rodney Dangerfield Special: I Can't Take It No More1983TV MovieHimself / Various / Dr. Vinnie Boombatz
CWA Wrestling1983TV SeriesHimself
Late Night with David Letterman1982-1983TV SeriesHimself
The Andy Kaufman Show1983TV SpecialHimself - Host / Various
Saturday Night Live1975-1983TV SeriesHimself / Himself - Stand-up Act / Himself - Special Guest / ...
An Evening at the Improv1982TV SeriesHimself - Comic / Himself
Catch a Rising Star's 10th Anniversary1982TV SpecialHimself - Comedian
Hour Magazine1982TV SeriesHimself
The John Davidson Show1982TV SeriesHimself
Good Morning America1979-1982TV SeriesHimself
The Merv Griffin Show1979-1981TV SeriesTony Clifton / Himself
Fridays1981TV SeriesHimself - Host / Himself - Recorded Apology / Himself - Guest Host
The Midnight Special1972-1981TV SeriesTony Clifton / Himself / Himself - Host
The David Letterman Show1980TV SeriesHimself
Andy Kaufman Plays Carnegie Hall1980Video documentaryHimself / Tony Clifton
Johnny Cash Christmas1979TV MovieHimself
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade1979TV SpecialHimself
Dinah!1977-1979TV SeriesTony Clifton Foreign Man
Andy's Funhouse1979TV MovieHimself Latka Gravas Tony Clifton (as Tony Clifton)
Tomorrow Coast to Coast1979TV SeriesHimself
V.I.P. Night on Broadway Benefit1979TV MovieHimself - Performer
Cher... and Other Fantasies1979TV MovieHimself
Live Wednesday1978TV SeriesHimself
The Dating Game1978TV SeriesHimself - Participant
The Mike Douglas Show1977-1978TV SeriesHimself - Comedian / Himself
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson1976-1978TV SeriesHimself
The Johnny Cash Christmas Special1977TV MovieHimself
Redd Foxx1977TV SeriesHimself
The Hollywood Squares1977TV SeriesGuest Appearance
The 2nd Annual HBO Young Comedians Show1977TV SpecialHimself / Tony Clifton
Van Dyke and Company1976TV SeriesHimself / HimselfElvis Impersonator / Regular / ...
The Lisa Hartman Show1976TV MovieHimself
Monty Hall's Variety Hour1976TV MovieHimself
The Joe Franklin Show1974TV SeriesHimself
The Dean Martin Comedy World1974TV SeriesHimself

Archive Footage

Kaufmania!2016Documentary filmingHimself
3rd Indie Fest of YouTube Videos 20152015TV MovieHimself
Entertainment Tonight2015TV SeriesHimself
The Voice Over Show No.2: Borat's Songs2015VideoHimself
It's Good to Be the King: The Jerry Lawler Story2015VideoHimself
Saturday Night Live: 40th Anniversary Special2015TV SpecialHimself - Guest Performer (In Memoriam)
2nd Independent Video Film Festival of Youtube 20142014TV MovieHimself
WWE Hall of Fame2014TV SpecialHimself
The Improv: 50 Years Behind the Brick Wall2013TV Movie documentaryHimself
1st Independent Video Film Festival of Youtube 20132013TV MovieWinner of Golden Prize Alien for contribution to Comedy
Video Compilation: Top Ten Best Videos 2007-20122013DocumentaryHimself
WWE: Top 50 Superstars of All Time2010VideoHimself
WWE Raw2010TV SeriesHimself
A Day in the Life of a Professional Wrestler2010DocumentaryAndy Kaufman
The Tragic Side of Comedy2009TV Movie documentaryHimself
Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America2009TV Series documentaryHimself
The Death of Andy Kaufman2008Video documentaryHimself
100 Greatest Stand-Ups2007TV Movie documentaryHimself
WWE Legends of Wrestling2007TV SeriesHimself
101 Most Unforgettable SNL Moments2004TV MovieHimself
100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time2004TV Mini-SeriesHimself #33
When Stand-Up Comics Ruled the World2004TV Movie documentaryHimself (uncredited)
The Best of R.E.M.: In View 1988-20032003Video documentaryHimself (segments "Man on the Moon" and "The Great Beyond")
Biography1999-2000TV Series documentaryHimself
Saturday Night Live 251999TV Special documentaryHimself (uncredited)
SNL: 25 Years of Music1999TV MovieHimself
E! True Hollywood Story1998TV Series documentaryHimself
Classic Stand-Up Comedy of Television1996TV Special documentaryHimself
R.E.M. Parallel1995VideoHimself (segment "Man on the Moon")
A Comedy Salute to Andy Kaufman1995TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Best of Taxi1994TV MovieLatka Gravas
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson1992TV SeriesHimself
Saturday Night Live: 15th Anniversary1989TV SpecialHimself
Pro Wrestling Illustrated presents Lords of the Ring: Superstars & Superbouts1985VideoHimself

Nominated Awards

2007TV Land AwardTV Land AwardsFavorite Elvis ImpersonationSaturday Night Live (1975)
2006TV Land AwardTV Land AwardsMost Wonderful WeddingTaxi (1978)
1981Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for TelevisionTaxi (1978)
1981Stinker AwardThe Stinkers Bad Movie AwardsWorst ActorHeartbeeps (1981)
1981Stinker AwardThe Stinkers Bad Movie AwardsWorst On-Screen CoupleHeartbeeps (1981)
1981Stinker AwardThe Stinkers Bad Movie AwardsMost Annoying Fake Accent: MaleHeartbeeps (1981)
1979Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Actor in a Supporting Role - Television SeriesTaxi (1978)

Known for movies

IMDB Wikipedia

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