HOLLYWOOD – The world of show business was in tatters last night as it was revealed that Andy Kaufman had in fact faked his death and had been living ever since under the assumed name Sir Ian McKellen as part of an elaborate prank.

Kaufman’s death in 1984 from cancer was reported and widely believed though rumors that he might have staged his death were even referenced in the Milos Forman biopic starring Jim Carrey Man in the Moon. A few months later Ian McKellen, a previously unheard of actor, stepped for the first time onto a stage in London’s West End and took the world of acting by storm. His meteoric rise took many by surprise including Shakespearean scholar Jonathan Tate:

McKellen sprung forth from the very loins of theatre-dom fully formed. His Richard III, his Lear and later his Gandalf and Magneto were the product of a prodigious talent. Now we finally can see that this was actually Kaufman who had honed his acting chops on the set of Taxi

IMDb are currently retrospectively reapportioning film credits over the next few days. When asked about his motivation for pretending to be the British thespian, Kaufman said:

I thought it would be funny. Then I just got carried away. 

A director’s cut of Man in the Moon featuring a 3 hour long alternative ending will be released in 2014.

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