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Ted Cassidy Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (2)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (10)  | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (4)

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (after heart surgery)
Birth NameTheodore Crawford Cassidy
Height 6' 9" (2.06 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Ted Cassidy was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and raised in Philippi, West Virginia. He was a well respected actor who portrayed many different characters during his film and television career. His most notable role was Lurch, the faithful butler on the television series The Addams Family (1964). His most memorable dialogue as Lurch would be, "You rang?", whenever someone summoned him. Due to his large size, (6ft. 9in.) he portrayed larger than life characters. His deep voice, was used for narrations and for dubbing certain character's voices. His acting career spanned three decades. Ted Cassidy died in 1979 from complications following open-heart surgery. His live-in girlfriend had his remains cremated, then buried in the backyard of their Woodland Hills home.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Sujit R. Varma

Theodore Crawford "Ted" Cassidy was born on July 31, 1932 in Pittsburgh, PA, and raised in Philippi, WV. In his youth, Cassidy was academically gifted, beginning high school at an early age, and he was also on the basketball and football teams. Despite this, he was a frequent target of bullying by his much-older classmates, having already reached a height of 6'1". After graduation, Cassidy moved to attend West Virginia Wesleyan College, becoming an member of the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity. He later attended Stetson University, where he was active in the student government and played basketball for the Stetson Hatters, averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds in three seasons (1952-55). In 1952, Cassidy became a member of the Ormond Beach, FL Live Saving Corp, and worked as a lifeguard in the Ormond Beach/Daytona Beach area.

After graduating with a degree in speech and drama, he married Margaret Helen in 1956 and they moved to Dallas, TX. His acting career started when he worked as a mid-day disc jockey on WFAA-AM, and also occasionally appeared on WFAA-TV Channel 8, playing Creech, an outer space creature on the "Dialing for Dollars" segments of Ed Hogan's afternoon movies. (Incidentally, he gave an in-studio report from the WFAA radio station on the day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and was among the first to interview eyewitnesses W.E. Newman, Jr. and Gayle Newman.)

An accomplished musician, Cassidy moonlighted at Luby's Cafe at the Lochwood shopping center in Dallas, playing the organ to entertain patrons. In 1957, his wife Margaret gave birth to their son, Sean, and, in 1960, their daughter, Cameron, was born.

Cassidy's 6' 9" height gave him an advantage in auditioning for unusual character parts, which led to his most famous role as "Lurch" in The Addams Family (1964) (1965-66). Although the character was originally intended to be mute, Cassidy ad-libbed his signature line, "You rang?" The subtle humor and his deep voice was an immediate hit, and thereafter, it was a recurring phrase that was written into the script. Despite being an accomplished organist, the harpsichord was actually a dead keyboard that Ted pretended to play, and the actual music was dubbed by the show's theme composer, Vic Mizzy. When he wasn't on-screen, Cassidy played "Thing", the disembodied hand who assisted the Addams' household, and a crew member would fill in during Lurch's on-camera scenes. In 1965, Cassidy released a seven-inch vinyl on Capitol Records with two songs; "The Lurch", written by Gary S. Paxton, and "Wesley," written by Cliffie Stone and Scott Turner. He introduced the dance and performed the song "The Lurch" on September 11, 1965 on Shivaree (1965), and again on Halloween of the same year on Shindig! (1964), along with Boris Karloff performing "The Monster Mash".

While filming "The Addams Family", Ted found extensive work with Hanna-Barbera Studios on a recurring basis, providing dozens of cartoon character voices. Cassidy also appeared in a variety of other television shows, including a regular role on NBC's The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1968) as "Injun Joe", the nemesis of Tom Sawyer and Huck. He worked with Gene Roddenberry on the original Star Trek (1966), as the voice of the menacing puppet of "Balok" in "The Corbomite Maneuver", the android "Ruk" in "What Are Little Girls Made of?" and the voice of "The Gorn" in "Arena". He also played "Isiah" in Roddenberry's post-apocalyptic drama pilots, Genesis II (1973) and Planet Earth (1974). Other appearances include The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964), Lost in Space (1965), Daniel Boone (1964) and as "Bigfoot" in The Six Million Dollar Man (1974). He also narrated the opening for the TV series The Incredible Hulk (1978), including selected growls and roars during the first two seasons.

His theatrical work included Mackenna's Gold (1969) and The Last Remake of Beau Geste (1977) among others, but his most memorable role was as "Harvey Logan" in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) in 1969 ("Rules? In a knife fight?") He also co-wrote the screenplay for 1973's The Harrad Experiment (1973), in which he made a brief appearance.

Ted Cassidy died at the age of 46 on January 16, 1979 following complications from open-heart surgery. Actress Sandra Martinez took care of him during his final years, and his remains were cremated and later buried in the backyard of his Woodland Hills home. The exact location is unknown.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: mgnylander@yahoo.com

Spouse (1)

Margaret Helen Jesse (14 June 1956 - 1975) ( divorced) ( 2 children)

Trade Mark (2)

Incredibly deep basso profundo voice
Towering height and slender frame

Trivia (10)

Worked as a staff announcer for WFAA radio in Dallas prior to his acting career and was part of WFAA's ongoing coverage of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Among the first to interview assassination eyewitnesses W.E. Newman Jr. and Gayle Newman.
Played one season of college basketball at Stetson University in the 1950s and averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds a game.
Lurch was supposed to be silent, as in the Charles Addams cartoons, but during the shooting of the pilot, when Ted made his very first appearance at the sounding of the gong, he ad libbed the now famous line, "You rang?" in his trademark sonorous voice, and everyone was so impressed that Lurch became a speaking role.
Married immediately after graduating from Stetson and worked at a radio station in Jacksonville, Florida, and then at a radio station in Pensacola, Florida (where his children were born), before taking a job at WFAA in Dallas, Texas. Contacts made at WFAA led to his audition for "The Addams Family".
Two children, a boy (Sean) born in 1957 and a girl (Cameron) born in 1960. Both children are now lawyers.
Brother-in-law of actor Dan Jesse. He was married to Jesse's sister from 1956 to 1976.
Best remembered by the public as the faithful butler Lurch in The Addams Family (1964).
Cassidy narrated the opening credits of The Incredible Hulk (1978). He provided the Hulk's growls and roars in the first two seasons before his death, but his narration for the opening credits remained throughout the entire series. The producers kept it on a tape cassette and only used it when they were filming the show.
Worked as a lifeguard in Ormond Beach, Florida during the 1950s.
His home, where his ashes were scattered, was sold and torn down.

Personal Quotes (3)

"If I'm up for a part if, I'm asked to play something, I really worry what I'm going to be because they always make fellows like me the big dumb galoot, the oaf who doesn't know anything, who trips over himself. We are apparently idiots, all big men. You end up never leading anybody to anything. You end up holding people, while the boss hits them in the face -- scratching your head a lot wondering where all your marbles went. Well, that kind of thing doesn't appeal to me at all. I used to think that's how it was and I would do it, but I won't do it anymore. I turn down everything that comes along like that. So, the only thing you can rely on are those who have worked with you and know that you are consistent, talented and reliable, and maybe they're friends of yours and are willing to put you to work so you don't end up in the welfare line." (from a 1978 interview)
"None. None of them! I don't want to be remembered for any of them because I don't like any of them. I'm not proud of any of them. I am still waiting for the one role I will have pride in and want to be associated with down the years." (on the role he would most like to be known for playing)
"Well and that's what everybody remembers...it's going to be remembered a long time, whether I like it or not and I think there's some things about it I like." (when asked in a 1972 television interview about being remembered about his most famous role as Lurch in "The Addams Family")

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