Andy Kaufman (born Andrew Geoffrey Kaufman January 17, 1949 New York City, New York, U.S. died May 16, 1984 West Hollywood, California, U.S. aged 35) was a popular and eccentric American entertainer, actor and performance artist. While often referred to as a comedian, Kaufman did not consider himself to be one. He disdained telling jokes and engaging in comedy as it was traditionally understood, referring to himself instead as a "song-and-dance man." Elaborate ruses and pranks were major elements of his career. His body of work maintains a cult following and he continues to be respected for his original material, performance style, and unflinching commitment to character.