This week's Saturday Night Special is a tribute to Dungeon Hero Ted Cassidy, better known to most people as Lurch on "The Addam's Family," but Lurch was only the very beginning of this big man's career!
Ted Cassidy was 6' 9" tall and played football and basketball, but he was also super intelligent, and began going to high school when he was only eleven years old!
Because of his towering height, Ted actually had trouble finding work at first, but after playing Lurch, there was no turning back!
Because of Ted's larger than life voice, he also did a lot of voice overs and narrations in the movies and on TV. His first credit for anything was in 1959 as the voice of the Martian in "The Angry Red Planet." I got a Wollensak tape recorder just like this for X-Mas when I was in about eighth grade. Lost in the sands of time, and never to be recovered, Tabonga and I made our very first sound productions on it. Bill Cosby and The Smothers Brothers were two of our early comedic inspirations.
In the mid 60's Ted was the opening announcer for "The Atom Ant Show," which is kind of funny I think when you consider how big Ted was, and how small Atom Ant was.
In 1966, Ted was 'The Slave' in the "Lost In Space" episode titled "The Thief From Outer Space."
Ted was in three episodes of "Star Trek," including this one from 1966 called "The Corbomite Maneuver," where he did the voice of "Balok's Puppet."
In 1967, Ted played a dim-witted character named Monte on the TV show "Laredo." The episode was titled "The Small Chance Ghost."
In a 1968 episode of the TV show "Daniel Boone," Ted had the role of a guy named Gentle Sam.
Besides Lurch, one of Ted's most memorable roles was that of Harvey Logan in the 1969 hit movie "Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid." Cassidy Vs. Cassidy, as it were.
In a 1970 episode of "Bonanza," Ted had a role as Garth, who Ben Cartwright is trying to avoid getting into a fight with.
In 1974, Ted had the role of Isiah in a TV movie called "Planet Earth" that also starred Jon Saxon.
In 1976-77, Ted played Bigfoot in two separate episodes of "The Six Million Dollar Man."
In the 1978 cartoon series "Challenge Of The Superfriends," Ted did the voice of Brainiac as seen here, and also the voices of Black Manta, and Diamond Exchange Man."
Yet another memorable role of Ted's was as Ruk in the "Star Trek" episode titled "What Are Little Girls Made Of" that also included Sherry Jackson. Actually, all of Ted's roles were memorable in one way or another, and he was either in, or did voices in much more than I've shown you here. All that, and he did it before the age of 46.
I got most of these photos from a video on YouTube called "The Life Of Ted Cassidy" that I suggest you watch if you'd like to know even more about this great man!
There is one thing I should make perfectly clear, despite all his amazing accomplishments, Ted never played drums for the band Spirit. That was Ed Cassidy!