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Comedian Andy Kaufman buried on Long Island

GREAT NECK, N.Y. -- Andy Kaufman was remembered at funeral services as a comedian who brought laughter to millions but did not let fame discourage him from taking risks.

'He was extremely devoted to his family and involved them as much as he could in his public life,' said Rabbi Jerome Davidson, who delivered the eulogy Sunday at services at Temple Beth-El.

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'He really did lead a happy life. Though brief, in many ways it was very full,' Davidson said.

The rabbi said Kaufman, 35, who died of lung cancer Wednesday in Los Angeles, 'was courageous enough to do what he wanted to do even though it was sometimes risky. His own instincts were the ones he would choose to follow.'

Kaufman's parents, his sister, Carol, and brother, Michael -- who also spoke at the ceremony -- were among those at the half-hour service. Burial followed at Beth David cemetery in Elmont.

Davidson played a tape of one of Kaufman's appearances on NBC's 'Saturday Night Live' in which he led the audience in a sing-along.

'His success never turned him away from the human qualities that were really basic of him,' said the rabbi. 'He was always a very gentle, sensitive, warm and caring person.'

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A memorial service for Kaufman, known for his bizarre nightclub routines and for his portrayal of the mechanic, Latka, on the television series 'Taxi,' will be held in Los Angeles later this week.

Kaufman's sometimes crude comic routines were often controversial, such as his challenge to wrestle women on television.

His death of lung cancer, diagnosed five months ago, surprised some colleagues. He did not smoke and had a reputation as a health food fanatic.

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