Biography

An unusually bright child, Ted Cassidy was in the third grade by the time he was six years old. This alone was enough to set Cassidy apart from his classmates, but there was something else that made him "different": By the time he was an 11-year-old high school freshman, he was 6'1". A natural for the school's football and basketball team, Cassidy was also the target of harassment from his older, smaller fellow students. Developing an interest in dramatics while attending college, he went out of his way to play characters of all physical types and sizes; he may well have been the only 6'9" Falstaff in theatrical history. Though offered a singing job with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, Cassidy decided on a career as a radio announcer. Upon returning to acting, he landed the first role for which he auditioned: Lurch, the lumbering, monosyllabic butler on the TV comedy series The Addams Family (1964-1965). Though grateful for the opportunity, the sensitive Cassidy bemoaned the fact that he seemed doomed to forever play inarticulate giants. He went on to provide the voice and physical model for Injun Joe on The New Adventures of Huck Finn, a 1968 animation/live-action hybrid produced by Hanna-Barbera, and also supplied the voice of "the Thing" on H-B's Saturday morning cartoon series The Fantastic Four. Though limited in his choice of screen roles, Ted Cassidy played outlaw Harvey Logan in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi