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'Addams Family,' 'Buck Rogers' Actor Felix Silla Dies at 84

Saturday April 17, 2021. 05:34 PM , from Slashdot
EW reports:

Felix Silla's friend and former Buck Rogers in the 25th Century costar Gil Gerard reported on Twitter that Silla died Friday after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Coming in at just under 4 feet tall and only 70 pounds, Silla was the perfect choice for the mumbling Cousin Itt on The Addams Family. For years, audiences didn't see his face, the character covered in a full-length hairpiece, sporting sunglasses and a bowler hat... Silla did not provide the distinct mumbling voice of Cousin Itt. That was added by sound engineer Tony Magro in production...

He first came to the United States in 1955 and began his career touring with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for seven years. He worked as a trapeze artist, tumbler, and bareback horse rider. Eventually, he settled in Hollywood in 1962, where he became a stuntman. He went on to work in movies like A Ticklish Fair, TV shows like Bonanza, and appeared in the first pilot for Star Trek, 'The Cage.' His small stature often helped him find work, including as Cousin Itt, robot sidekick Twiki on the NBC series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and even as a hang-gliding Ewok in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi...

He also excelled as a stand in, double, and stuntman working on projects such as Planet of the Apes, Demon Seed, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Towering Inferno, The Hindenburg, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Poltergeist, The Golden Child, Howard the Duck, and Batman Returns.

In 2018 one Las Vegas blog spotted Silla with Gil Gerard, posting a picture of the two side by side -- just as they'd posed decades earlier on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

While for that show Mel Blanc had provided the voice for Twiki the robot, the blog notes that Silla himself supplied the voice of Mortimer Goth in the Sims 2 videogame.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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