Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Happy Birthday, Ted Cassidy!

Ted Cassidy as Lurch in The Addams Family


Actor Ted Cassidy was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on July 31, 1932. He played a number of off-beat characters in science-fiction and comedy shows, but he is probably best known for his role as Lurch in The Addams Family television series (1964 -1966).

Apparently, Lurch's signature line, "You rang?", was ad-libbed by Cassidy, but was such a hit that it was thereafter regularly written into the scripts. He suffered from health issues as he grew older, largely due to his unusual size, and died on January 16, 1979, at the age of 46, from complications following open-heart surgery.



30 comments:

  1. Aw, he was my #1 choice for creepy butler, once I bought my mansion :(.

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    1. Yeah, he was the best butler ever, Undergroundfortea Gothic! :)

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  2. A great post dear Lady Emma... He was also the voice on the villain "Black Manta" of the Legion of Doom in the cartoon "Challenge of the Superfriends"....

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    1. Hi Dr. Theda,

      Thank you! :) I only just saw Ted Cassidy playing a genie on an episode of 'I Dream of Jeannie' the other day.

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  3. Those eyes! That sneer! He really is the perfect butler! LOL

    How tall was he, Little Gothic Horrors? I could Google it, but I'm betting you know right off the top of your head... ;o)

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    1. Haha. Um... actually... I do. I'm an Addams tragic, Insomniac's Attic! ;D He was 6 feet 9 inches tall.

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    2. Wow, that is really tall. And I knew you'd know. ;o)

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  4. Aw, poor fella, to die so young. :-(

    Dang, 6'9"???
    Some Dark Romantic

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    1. Hi Mina Lobo,

      Yes, very sad! From what I understand, he never embraced the kooky roles he played. He wanted to be a leading man but his unique look branded him as a character actor. I like to think that if he had lived, he would have come to appreciate what an iconic and beloved character he created in Lurch. :)

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  5. I didn't know that he died so young. I've got to say though, that I too, always enjoyed his "You rang?"

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    1. Hi Nightwind,

      Yes, for a character who barely spoke, Lurch was actually very expressive. "You rang?" has become one of those legendary television catchphrases.

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  6. Awesome blog! All your posts are amazing and dark-interesting. You are great, lady! I wondered how you look... do you ever post pictures with you on this epic blog? :)

    - Greetings from Romania

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    1. Hi Corinne,

      Thank you for your kind words! And greetings from Australia! :D

      My picture was in a joint post that I did with my blog friend, Maynard Morrissey:

      http://littlegothichorrors.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/an-addams-family-collaboration.html

      I know I'm extremely peculiar in this era of "selfies", but I don't enjoy posting personal photos online. It makes me feel self-conscious. :)

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  7. I been called "Lurch" a lot. Therefore Lurch has a special place in my heart. It's always nice to be a teenager trying to date girls and the girls call you Lurch - nice!

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    1. I'm guessing you're a pretty tall guy, Matt? So were the teenage girls into Lurch? I've been putting up a lot of Lurch pictures on Facebook, in honour of Ted Cassidy's birthday, and there's been a very positive response from female followers. Apparently quite a few of them had crushes on Lurch! :)

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    2. I'm quiet and that's why they called me Lurch, it wasn't a compliment! But I only mentioned it jokingly, it didn't scar me for life (although I still remember)

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    3. Yes, teenage girls, in fact teenagers in general, aren't renowned for their graciousness, sadly! High School is its own special version of Hell. I always wonder if High School in America is as horrific as it's portrayed on television and movies? It's bad everywhere, of course, but it always comes across as particularly brutal over there.

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    4. It's probably sensationalized in the movies and the attitudes are a little exaggerated. But the events, at least in the 60s, 70s, and 80s aren't too far fetched. But yeah, I've been getting harassed my entire life, it started at five years old with my Dad. You're never mocho enough over here in America. I was mercilessly harassed in the Marine Corp, but it only served to make me a creepy-loner, like any good geek should be :)

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    5. The college fraternities and sororities in the US also come across as pretty scary institutions to me... at least the way I see them portrayed on screen. We don't have anything like that here, so I really find the whole concept hard to grasp. I can imagine that the Marine Corp would have been tough. We're all cut out for different things in this life, but I guess the military demands a pretty specific, narrow standard.

      If you're a "creepy-loner", then I'll take "creepy-loner" to mean interesting and creative! Yay to creepy-loners, Matt!! ❤

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    6. Thanks Emma! I knew you would accept me :)

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  8. A sad loss and such a wonderful tribute.

    Happy Birthday to dear departed Lurch x

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    1. Thank you, Yvonne! :) Yes, both Ted Cassidy and Carolyn Jones died far too young.

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  9. Happy Birthday Mr.Lurch ^^

    love you!!!!

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  10. A happy birthday wish to the big man who took care of the Addams family..... you rang?

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    1. Hi Julie,

      Yes, how would the Addams clan ever have managed without Lurch and Thing?! And Ted Cassidy was both of them! :D

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  11. Happy belated Birthday, indeed. I've been trying to do that eyebrow thing ever since I saw him The Addams Family. I still can't do it ;-(

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    1. Haha. Yeah, I can't do the eyebrow thing either, Magaly! Although, my kid can. In fact, he can make each eyebrow go up and down alternately. It's rather impressive actually. Makes a mother proud! ;D

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  12. You simply can not, not love Lurch! I wish I could do that "uhhhhuuuu" sound he makes.

    Ali

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    1. I wholeheartedly agree, Ali! I'll accept no excuse for Lurch-hating! ;) He added a whole new depth and dimension to the common groan!

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