A woman claiming to be the comedian's daughter made a surprising announcement at the Andy Kaufman Awards.


Is Andy Kaufman still alive? If you believe a woman claiming to be his daughter, he could be.

Conspiracy theorists have long posited that the comedian, who died in 1984 at 35 of lung cancer, faked his death. And an announcement at the annual Andy Kaufman Awards, held in New York, has brought the theory back into the public eye.

The woman told the audience — gathered to celebrate performers who embody the spirit of the comedian — that her father was still very much alive and that he had faked his death to escape the limelight and be a stay-at-home dad for her and her siblings. She also said he wanted to make an appearance at the awards ceremony, but ended up deciding not to come. TMZ has video of the talk.

"I don't know how much longer he can keep everything away," she said.

She appeared on stage with Kaufman's brother, Michael, who asked her questions as she happily responded, repeatedly pushing her brown hair behind her ears.

Michael also reportedly told a story about his brother reaching out to him in 1999 to meet for dinner, but he was stood up at a restaurant — with the exception of a note that revealed Kaufman had faked his death. It's unconfirmed whether Michael definitively believes his brother is alive or dead, but reports say Michael concluded at the end of the story that his brother is alive.

Kaufman has one known child: daughter Maria Colonna, who lives in upstate New York, according to The Huffington Post, and occasionally consults about her late father's death. But it appears she was not involved in this announcement.

The woman reportedly claimed to be 24 years old — if you do the math, it puts her birth years after Kaufman's death. She's also reportedly a theater student, according to People magazine.

Kaufman was famous for his work on Saturday Night Live and Taxi, but also for odd behavior. He also reportedly spoke often of faking his own death.

No one has confirmed that this woman is actually Kaufman's daughter, nor that her story is truthful.