Born on this date: Ted Cassidy

Ted Cassidy on Star Trek
Ted Cassidy as Ruk on Star Trek with William Shatner as Captain Kirk (1966)

Ted Cassidy was born July 31, 1932.

The 6-foot-9-inch actor was best known for playing Lurch on The Addams Family from 1964 to 1966. He also played Ruk in a Star Trek episode titled “What are Little Girls Made Of?” and appeared in character roles on various other series. In addition, the deep-voiced actor had an impressive career in voice acting. He died in 1979 at age 46.

As the harpsichord-playing butler Lurch on The Addams Family, Cassidy would answer the door, growling, “You rang?” Viewers might not have been aware that Cassidy also played the role of Thing (a disembodied hand).

Below, Cassidy performs a dance called “The Lurch” on a 1965 episode of Shindig! In character as Lurch, he stands like a pole while the Shindig Dancers move around him, before he literally lurches into dance. “The Lurch” was released as a novelty song earlier that same year.

Ted Cassidy performs The Lurch on Shindig! (Oct. 30, 1965)

“The Lurch” lyrics

You Rang?
Singers: Hi, Lurch!
Lurch: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
Singers: Hey, Lurch, we just heard the news around town
Lurch: Newwwwwwwws?
Singers: And we’re here to see what you’re putting down
Lurch: Ahhhhhhhhh ha-ha-ha!
Singers: We thought you might give us a chance and teach us how to do the Lurch daaaance annnn-ance
Lurch: My pleasure
Singers: Hey, Lurch, teach us how to do the Lurch dance
Lurch: Your servant
Singers: Yeah, Lurch, we wanna learn to do the Lurch dance
Lurch: Follow me. Yah ah ah ah ahhh ah ah ah ahh. It’s a brand new bag! Yeah! Yah ah ah ah. Don’t just stand there! Lurch! Ah ah aha. Good. Now you got it!
Singers: Hey, Lurch, thanks a lot for turning us on!
Lurch: You’re welcome!
Singers: To a dance that we can do to any song.
Lurch: Any time!
Singers: Now everybody, c’mon and do itIt’s easy and there’s really nothing to it! oooooh
Lurch: Ah ah ah ah
Singers: Hey, Lurch, we’re really glad we learned to Lurch.
Lurch: To know it is to love it!
Singers: Hmm hmmm, we’re really glad we learned to Lurch. Do the Lurch!
Lurch: Satisfaction, jubilation!
Singers: Hmm hmmm, we’re really glad we learned to Lurch. Do the Lurch!

And to close out the post, here is some Lurch beefcake. It never occurred to me to wonder what “Lurch” looked like in a bathing suit, but now I know.

Lurch beefcake
Ted Cassidy, second from left

Happy birthday, Ted Cassidy!

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