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Andy Kaufman: The Truth, Finally [Hardcover]

Bob Zmuda , Lynne Margulies

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Book Description

30 Sep 2014
For the first time ever, the two people who knew Andy Kaufman best open up about the most enigmatic artist of our generation. Comedian and "Taxi" star Andy Kaufman, known for his crazy antics on screen and off, was the ultimate prankster, delighting audiences with his Elvis and Mighty Mouse impressions while also antagonizing them with his wrestling and lounge lizard alter ego, Tony Clifton. In 1984, some say he died while others believe he performed the ultimate vanishing act. At last, in "Andy Kaufman: The Truth, Finally," Bob Zmuda, Andy's writer and best friend, and Lynn Margulies, the love of Andy's life, reveal all, including surprising secrets that Andy made Lynne and Bob promise never to tell until both of his parents had died. Hilarious and poignant, this book separates fact from fiction, and includes a candid inside take on the Milos Forman film "Man on the Moon," which starred Jim Carrey as Andy, Paul Giamatti as Zmuda, Courtney Love as Margulies and Danny DeVito as Andy's manager, George Shapiro. Zmuda and Margulies reveal what was truthful and what wasn't and share their behind-the-scenes Kaufmanesque antics they concocted with actor Jim Carrey, keeping him in character, at times, much to the chagrin of studio chiefs. "Andy Kaufman" also exposes intrigues of some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Finally, Bob Zmuda shares--in detail--the reasons he believes Andy Kaufman did, in fact, fake his own death, including exactly how he did it and when and where Andy will return.

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Review

"Bob Zmuda connects on so many levels with this gripping yet hilarious inside industry chronicle. A great story of unconditional friendship and love framed in a studied portrait of a fascinatingly complex, brilliant, unduplicable anti-performance artist who may well resurrect to blow our minds again." --Dan Aykroyd "Danger. What would've or WILL Andy do next???? We wondered every time we saw him on TV or live on stage. I still wonder. We still laugh. The definition of an enigma, LIKE NO OTHER." --Kathy Griffin "I never worked with Andy Kaufman and I never even watched Taxi. I do like the name Andy, if that's any help." --Paula Poundstone "Bob Zmuda was (is?) Andy Kaufman's partner in all of Andy's reality-bending adventures. Is Andy's death yet another elaborate hoax by the ultimate performance artist? An absolutely astonishing read, Andy Kaufman: The Truth, Finally reveals all. Prepare to be amazed!" --John Landis "I was so fascinated by the melding of Andy's and Zmuda's mind that I spent two years of my life making a movie about it." --Milos Forman

About the Author

Andy Kaufman and his writing partner, Bob Zmuda, changed the worlds of comedy and performance in the 1970s, showing fans and friends alike a determination to follow put-ons into territory no one had ever even considered "comic" before. Their fervor was so intense that when Kaufman passed away suddenly in 1984, it seemed as if his death had been staged, with the reveal soon to come. Zmuda met Kaufman in 1974, when Zmuda was a struggling comic himself. Soon he began writing for Andy until his (supposed) death in '84. Bob also wrote briefly for Rodney Dangerfield and was the late great Sam Kinison's producer, "another gifted provocateur," said Zmuda. For nearly 30 years, Bob Zmuda has been the driving force behind one of America's most beloved charities, Comic Relief, probably best recognized for their telethons on HBO hosted by Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, and Billy Crystal. As president and founder, he has raised over $60 million for those in need. An Emmy and Ace Award recipient for producing and writing, Bob is also a bestselling author. His book "Andy Kaufman Revealed" made top 10 lists nationwide. Two-time Academy Award winning director Milos Forman said, "I was so fascinated by the melding of Zmuda and Kaufman's minds that I spent two years of my life making a movie about them, Man on the Moon." The award winning film starred Jim Carrey as Kaufman and Paul Giamatti as Zmuda. Zmuda also coexecutive produced the film with Danny DeVito and Jersey Films. On television, he has hosted several specials for Comedy Central and A&E. His television appearances include "Saturday Night Live, Late Show with David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Oprah Winfrey Show, " and all the Comic Relief telecasts. His acting credits include "Punchline, Batman, Man on the Moon, D.C. Cab" (which he also wrote), and "The Number 23," again with Jim Carrey. For the last few years, Zmuda has been producing Kaufman's alter ego, international singing sensation Tony Clifton, to sold out audiences. He's currently mounting a live show called "The Man with Liberace's Face" starring Scott Thorson, who was Liberace's lover and was portrayed in the HBO film Behind the Candelabra by Matt Damon. Recently, Drag City released Andy Kaufman's first comedy album, "Andy and His Grandmother," which Zmuda created with Kaufman nearly 35 years ago. The results have created a media firestorm. "Rolling Stone, Time, Spin, " and countless other publications are all praising the work. Lynne Margulies, artist and filmmaker, was Andy Kaufman's partner, caretaker, and the love of his life until his death from lung cancer in 1984. Courtney Love portrayed Margulies in the Kaufman biopic "Man on the Moon" starring Jim Carrey. During the film's production, Margulies worked closely with Carrey, giving him rare insight into the human side of Andy Kaufman. Margulies teaches fine art at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She is the codirector of the documentary film "I'm From Hollywood," which chronicles Kaufman's foray into the world of professional wrestling. Her latest art project is "The Book of Steve," a four-foot by three-foot book which tells the story of her brother's descent into mental illness. Margulies, her musician husband, and their six cats live on the Oregon coast.

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