The most popular conspiracy theory concerning Andy Kaufman’s death is that the comedian masterminded the whole thing himself as a hoax. This theory was one of those notoriously pushed in the 2014 book “Andy Kaufman: The Truth, Finally,” which was written by Kaufman’s former girlfriend Lynne Margulies and his writing partner Bob Zmuda. According to the New York Post, Zmuda claimed that Kaufman told him in 1982 of a plan to fake his own death using the body double of a cancer patient.
“If I was going to be a little boy about it, I’d go into hiding for one or two years,” Zmuda quotes Kaufman as saying. “But if I was going to be a man about it, it’d be 20 or 30 years … Bob, it’s who I am and what I do. Nothing could ever top it. I’ve given it great thought. Besides, I’m getting psyched. I’m starting an entire new life.” Of course, the 30-year mark passed in 2014, the same year the book was released, without a miraculous reappearance from Kaufman.
“Andy loved to say, ‘You never know,'” Kaufman’s brother, Michael, told EW that year. “Even when we were talking about death and all that stuff, or just anything that seemed unbelievable … I almost think it’s my birthright that I have to say there’s a glimmer [of hope].”