Addams Family star Felix Silla who played Cousin Itt in the original 1960s TV show, passed away at the age of 84
Addams Family star Felix Silla who played Cousin Itt in the original 1960s TV show, died at the age of 84 after battling pancreatic cancer
Felix Silla, who played Cousin Itt in the original 1960s TV version of The Addams Family, died in Las Vegas this Friday.
The 3’11 “actor and stuntman was 84 years old and, according to him, had pancreatic cancer TMZ
His longtime friend Gil Gerard, who co-starred with him on the TV show Buck Rogers In The 25th Century, confirmed the news of Felix’s death.
Dear departed: Felix Silla, who played Cousin Itt on the original 1960s TV version of The Addams Family, died in Las Vegas this Friday; pictured in 2013
Icon Status: The 3’11 ”actor and stuntman was 84 years old and was suffering from pancreatic cancer, according to TMZ, he is depicted as cousin Itt
Although Felix wore the prosthesis for Cousin Itt on the show from 1964 to 1966, the voice was not dubbed by Tony Magro.
Felix also portrayed an Ewok in the 1983 Star Wars movie Return Of The Jedi and a robot on Buck Rogers In The 25th Century from 1979 to 1981.
Born in a southern Italian village in 1937, he emigrated to America in the 1950s as a teenager and established himself as a circus act.
He was a multi-talent – trapeze artist, tumbler, bareback rider – and ended up with the Ringling Bros And Barnum & Bailey Circus.
While on tour in Los Angeles with the Ringling Bros, he turned to Hollywood and was eventually scouted by MGM to be a stunt double for a kid.
His first appearance in that job was the 1963 romantic comedy A Ticklish Affair, he said Weird review, and he soon forged a career as a stuntman.
His interview process for Cousin Itt in the mid-1960s didn’t even include acting, he told the US Los Angeles Times in 2014.
These two boys were sitting at a table. They look at me once and say, “You got the job.” And I say, “That’s it? Shouldn’t I even audition?” They say, ‘No, come on Monday,’ Felix recalls in the interview.
Although the show was based on cartoons from the Charles Addams newspaper, the character Cousin Itt was an invention of the TV series.
“A producer came up with it in a nightmare,” Felix joked, comparing his “hot and heavy” costume to “wearing a brick.”
He didn’t speak like cousin Itt and his appearance was completely obscured behind the costume which was essentially a giant mountain of hair.
‘All the boys on the set smoked. They just dropped their ass and stepped on it. The producers were afraid that I would step on a smoldering cigarette and go up in flames. They gave me synthetic hair, which was flame retardant, ”said Felix.
After The Addams Family, he played the villain in The Black Bird, a 1975 comedy sequel to The Maltese Falcon starring George Segal.
His character Litvak, which he called his ‘favorite role’, skims around in a Nazi uniform and is protected by a phalanx of huge Hawaiian bodyguards.
“ So it was a comedy, it was a lot of dialogue, but it really didn’t do much to me because they were released as a – along with an X-rated movie, ” he explained years later.
As his career progressed, he continued to double for kids, including for the character Short Round in Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom.
Felix recalled Steven ‘holding his right thumb and index finger an inch apart and saying,’ You know, Felix, if you were that much smaller, I’d cast you as ET in the remake. ”
In fact, Felix had done stunts for the original ET and in famous movies like The Towering Inferno and Batman Returns.
In addition to his career, he married another little human named Sue, who bore him three children and remained his wife for 55 years until his death this week.