57 Mysterious Celebrity Disappearances That Can't Be Explained

By Jack Ripley | April 5, 2024

Andy Kaufman

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(The Hollywood Reporter)

This one's a little different. Andy Kaufman, renowned comedian, died in 1984 at age 35. The cause of death was lung cancer, and his official death certificate confirming his death and burial was released. Yet many of those closest to him refused to believe he was dead. Kaufman was known for his pranks, and many family and friends - notably his brother - insisted that his death was just one of them, and that Andy was simply in hiding.

Kaufman had apparently talked about elaborately faking his death for years beforehand, so they assumed it was finally happening. In 2014, Bob Zmuda, Andy's long-time friend, and Lynn Marguiles, released a book titled Andy Kaufman: The Truth, Finally, which asserted that his death was a hoax, and that he would be coming out of hiding imminently as Kaufman had claimed that the time limit on the prank was 30 years. He still has not reappeared.

Amelia Earhart

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Born in 1897 in Atchison, Kansas, Amelia Earhart was a groundbreaking pilot and feminist icon. She set numerous altitude and speed records throughout her career in the aviation world, and was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. In June 1937, Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, set out on a 29,000-mile journey to travel across the globe - a voyage they would never finish. In July, while attempting to locate the remote Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean, contact with Earhart's plane was suddenly lost.

Despite extensive search efforts, no trace of Earhart and Noonan was ever found. One theory is that they crash-landed into the pacific and drowned; another is that they made an emergency landing on the nearby uninhabited island of Nikumaroro, eventually succumbing to the elements. The discovery of various artifacts on the island, such as clothing remnants, has lent credence to this theory, but nothing conclusive has been found.