July 31, 1932: Actor Ted Cassidy Born

Ted Cassidy

Actor Ted Cassidy was born on July 31, 1932, in Pittsburgh, but he grew up in Philippi. By the time he was 11, Cassidy was already 6’1” and still growing—eventually reaching 6’9”.

After high school, he attended but didn’t graduate from West Virginia Wesleyan College. He then left West Virginia for a career in radio. Working as a staff announcer for a Dallas radio station, he provided on-the-scene coverage of John F. Kenney’s assassination and was one of the first to interview eyewitnesses. By the following year, Cassidy had moved to California to break into acting.

In 1964, Cassidy got the TV role that’d make him famous—and typecast him. His lankiness and deep voice made him a natural to play Lurch, the ghoulish but lovable butler on The Addams Family. Although The Addams Family lasted only two seasons, he’ll always be remembered as Lurch.After the show was canceled in 1966, Cassidy went on to appear in various other TV shows, including Star Trek, and provided voices for animated cartoons.

Ted Cassidy died in 1979 from complications following heart surgery. He was only 46.