Who was Ted Cassidy?

Theodore Crawford ‘Ted’ Cassidy was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA, on 31 July 1932 – his zodiac sign was Leo, he held American nationality, and was of Irish descent. He was an actor and film writer, with 75 acting credits to his name, while he’s perhaps still remembered best for his portrayal of Harvey Logan in the critically acclaimed 1969 biographical crime movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, directed by George Roy Hill, and which starred Paul Newman, Katharine Ross and Robert Redford. It follows Sundance and Butch who are the leaders of a gang, and now that a train robbery’s gone awry, they have to escape to Bolivia; the movie won 25 awards, including four Oscars, while it was nominated for 15 other awards.

In MEMORY of TED CASSIDY on his BIRTHDAY – American actor of radio, television and film and voice artist. Noted for his…

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Early life and education

Ted was raised in Philippi, West Virginia by his parents whom he preferred to keep away from the media’s attention, so very little is known about them; it’s believed that his mother was a nurse, and his father a car mechanic. Ted didn’t talk about his siblings, which is why it’s believed that he had none.

He was a gifted child, and was only six when he enrolled into third grade, and 11 when he began attending Philippi High School, where he playing both basketball and football for school teams. He matriculated in 1947 and enrolled at West Virginia Wesleyan College in the following year, eventually transferring to Stetson University, playing for their basketball team the Hatters.

Ted graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in speech and drama in 1951, and spent the following 10 years working various jobs, including being a DJ on Dallas’ WFAA radio.

Roles in movies

Ted launched his acting career with a role in the 1959 science fiction horror movie “The Angry Red Planet”, while some of his following roles were in the 1967 animated family fantasy “Jack and the Beanstalk” (voice role), the 1969 romantic action adventure “Mackenna’s Gold”, and the 1969 short comedy “Blaze Glory”.

The year 1972 saw Ted play Big Donnie in the action crime drama “The Limit”, written and directed by Yaphet Kotto, who also starred in it alongside Quinn K. Redeker and Virgil Frye. It follows motorcycle police officer Mark Johnson as he’s patrolling gang neighborhoods with his partner Jeff McMillan.

In 1973, Ted appeared in three movies: the science fiction thriller drama “Genesis II”, the action crime drama “The Slams”, and the romantic comedy drama “The Harrad Experiment”.

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He played Leary in the popular 1976 crime comedy “Harry and Walter Go to New York”, directed by Mark Rydell, and which starred James Caan, Elliott Gould and Michael Caine. It follows two con artists who’ve teamed up with a bank robber, wanting to pull off a bank heist in New York City.

Three of Ted’s final movie roles were in the 1978 adventure comedy “Goin’ Coconuts”, the 1978 short western “Cowboysan”, and the 1979 animated family comedy “The Flintstones Meet Rockula and Frankenstone” (voice role).

Roles in TV series

Ted’s debut TV series role was his portrayal of Lurch in the popular family horror comedy “The Addams Family”, created by David Levy, and which starred John Astin, Carolyn Jones and Jackie Coogan. It follows the lives of members of a rather strange and mysterious family, the series aired from 1964 to 1966, and won one of the four awards for which it was nominated.

In 1965 and 1966, Ted was the opening announcer in the animated action comedy “The Atom Ant Show”, and in 1966 and 1967, he voiced the lead character Frankenstein, Jr. in the animated action adventure “Frankenstein, Jr. and the Impossibles”. The following couple of years saw him appear in an episode of various critically acclaimed series, such as the action science fiction adventure “Star Trek”, the action crime adventure “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”, and the western “The Monroes”.

In 1968 and 1969, Ted voiced Injun Joe and Morpho in the popular animated action series “The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”; it starred Michael Shea, Lu Ann Haslam and Kevin Schultz, and follows Huckleberry Finn, Becky Thatcher and Tom Sawyer as they’re travelling through various animated worlds, while being hunted by the villain Injun Joe.

Three of Ted’s final TV series were all significant voice roles – in 26 episodes of the animated family adventure “Godzilla”, 39 episodes of the short animated comedy “Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels”, and 76 episodes of the action adventure drama “The Incredible Hulk”.

Other credits

Ted sang the song “Get on the Right Track, Bobby” in a 1965 episode of the musical family series “Shindig!”, and sang “The Lurch” and “Wesley” in a 1965 episode of the musical series “Hollywood a Go Go”.

He wrote the screenplay for the 1973 romantic comedy movie “The Harrad Experiment”, additional dialogues for the 1974 action adventure movie “Catch the Black Sunshine”, and additional script material for the 1981 adventure thriller comedy film “Roar”, released two years after his death.

Ted was invited to appear in various talk-shows, such as “The Mike Douglas Show”, “It Takes Two” and “Cos”.

Awards and nominations

He was nominated for a 2004 TV Land Award for Best Broadcast Butler, for his performance in “The Addams Family”.

Wife and children

Ted married non-celebrity American Margaret Helen Jesse on 14 June 1956; the ceremony was attended by only the closest of their friends and family members. The two initially lived in Pensacola, Florida and Margaret gave birth to their son Sean in 1957, while their daughter Cameron followed in 1960; both are today successful attorneys.

Ted and Margaret moved to Dallas, Texas following the birth of their second child, but they divorced in 1975.

Ted then went on to date American actress Sandra Ego; she appeared in 13 movies and TV series prior to her retirement in 1981. The two were engaged and were set to marry in May 1979, but Ted died before they could exchange vows.

Theodore Crawford "Ted" Cassidy (July 31, 1932 – January 16, 1979) Noted for his tall stature at 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m),…

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Hobbies and interesting facts

Months before he passed away, Ted kept telling his friends that he had a feeling that he was going to die.

His character Lurch in the series “The Addams Family” was supposed to be silent, just as in the cartoons, however, in an episode in which Ted was supposed to appear after the sounding of the gong, he came and said ‘You rang?’; the director was impressed, and decided that the character wouldn’t be silent.

Ted spent a couple of months working as a lifeguard in Florida in the ‘50s.

He was a singer, and occasionally performed at Luby’s Cafeteria in Dallas’ Lochwood Shopping Center.

Ted disliked most of the characters which he portrayed, and not long before he died, decided that he would no longer portray stupid characters and assistants to villains.

Cause of death

Ted was suffering from acromegaly, a disorder which was the cause of his deep voice and tall stature; it also caused a benign tumor to form on his heart.

The tumor was removed via surgery at Los Angeles’ St. Vincent Medical Center, however, complications arose a couple of days later while Ted was recovering at home; he was quickly taken to the same hospital, but passed away on 16 January 1979.

Ted’s remains were cremated, and ashes scattered in his backyard.

Age, height and net worth

Ted died at the age of 46. His hair and eyes were brown, his height was 6ft 9ins (2.06m) and he weighed around 265lbs (120kgs).

His net worth was estimated at over $3 million at the time of his death.

1 Comment

  1. Donald D. Derschan Jr. Reply

    lurch was my favorite character growing up. I am 68 now and he made me laugh regularly, Not something normal for me and where I grew up.

    THANKS ted

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