Felix Silla, the actor who played beloved hairy Addams family member Cousin Itt, has died. He was 84.
His “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” castmate, Gil Gerard, confirmed the news on Twitter. “Felix died just a few hours ago and the only good I can draw from his passing is that he didn’t suffer any longer,” he wrote. “I will miss him terribly, especially the time we had at our panels. Just telling me to ,” go ‘ f ‘ myself”.”
Silla’s death on Friday comes after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was a longtime resident of Las Vegas, where he used to perform with his own musical combo, “The Original Harmonica Band,” between movies.
Born in a small village just outside Rome, Italy in January 1937, Silla came to the United States in 1955. A trained circus performer, he toured with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Show, which ultimately led him to Hollywood. His skills as a tumbler, bareback rider and trapeze artist landed him stuntman roles, beginning with 1963 comedy “A Ticklish Affair.” Silla also worked as a body double, often for children, in movies like “The Towering Inferno” (1974) and “Battlestar Galactica” (1978). His resume also boasted roles in the original “Star Trek,” “Space Ball” and “Star Wars: Episode VI,” in which he played an Ewok.
Before a series of roles in science fiction projects, Silla played Cousin Itt, part of the kooky clan on “The Addams Family,” which ran from 1964-1966 on ABC. His costume was a single body-length hairpiece topped by a bowler hat and pair of sunglasses. A Los Angeles Times interview revealed the costume was in fact made out of real human hair.
Silla is survived by his wife Sue and their children Bonnie and Michael. The couple had been married since 1965.