07-31 Happy birthday to the late Ted Cassidy, Born: July 31, 1932 and passed away on January 16, 1979.
Theodore Crawford Cassidy, better known as Ted Cassidy, was a very tall (6′ 9″), gravel-voiced actor who played Ruk, the ancient android discovered by Roger Korby, in the Star Trek episode “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” and who also did voice over roles for the series. He was best known, however, for portraying the macabre butler Lurch on the television series, The Addams Family.
Cassidy filmed his scenes between Friday 29 July 1966 and Tuesday 9 August 1966 at Desilu Stage 10. He also recorded the voice-over for Balok’s puppet during this period.
He started working in films in 1960, voicing the Martian in the science fiction film The Angry Red Planet. In 1964, he made his television debut as Lurch on The Addams Family. While auditioning for the role of Lurch, which was supposed to be a non-speaking role, Cassidy ad-libbed the famous “You rang?” line, which was written into the series. Cassidy also played the role of Thing (the disembodied hand) on The Addams Family, a role that was credited to “itself”. The only times Cassidy did not play Thing were in those scenes in which Lurch and Thing appeared together. For these scenes, the show’s associate producer lent a hand by “playing” Thing.
Cassidy’s large size earned him roles as physically impressive characters, such as the villainous Injun Joe on the short-lived television series The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the bully Harvey Logan in the classic 1969 Western film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and even as Goliath in James L. Conway’s 1978 mini-series Greatest Heroes of the Bible.
In the meantime, his deep bass voice was sought after for voice-over roles, such as Metallus on Space Ghost, the Thing on The Fantastic Four, and Brainiac and the Black Manta on Challenge of the SuperFriends
In 1973, Cassidy played Isiah in Gene Roddenberry’s unsold pilot entitled Genesis II. Cassidy would reprise his role in the pilot’s 1974 re-working Planet Earth. Those two pilots, which featured the exploits of a Rip Van Winkle/Buck Rogers-type hero named Dylan Hunt, served as the basis for Roddenberry’s Andromeda, the lead character of which had the same name.
Besides Star Trek, other shows on which Cassidy has guest-starred included Lost in Space, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Beverly Hillbillies, I Dream of Jeannie, Tarzan, Mannix, Bonanza, and a two-parter on The Bionic Woman. He made his film debut opposite Julie Newmar in 1969’s Mackenna’s Gold and also appeared in such films as 1976’s Harry and Walter Go to New York, 1977’s The Last Remake of Beau Geste and 1978’s Goin’ Coconuts. In addition, he had a role in Susan Oliver’s 1977 short film Cowboysan. Cassidy was an early auditioner for the title role of The Incredible Hulk television series, and wound up providing the opening voice-over narration for each episode of that show, in addition to supplying some part of the Hulk’s roars and growls.
Cassidy died of complications following open heart surgery in 1979, leaving behind a long-time girlfriend and two children. Cassidy’s final work was Filmation’s animated sci-fi TV movie Flash Gordon: The Greatest Adventure of All.
In the 1990s, Cassidy’s most famous role, Lurch from The Addams Family, was assumed by TNG guest star Carel Struycken for the Addams Family feature films: The Addams Family in 1991, Addams Family Values in 1993, and Addams Family Reunion in 1998.
#therealnerdherd #tedcassidy #theaddamsfamily #lurch #startrek #whatarelittlegirlsmadeof #birthday #nerdherd #nerd #july31 #thing #ruk #balok #theincrediblehulk #