Felix Silla, the Italian-born American film and television actor best known for playing the role of ‘Cousin Itt’ on The Addams Family, has died at the age of 84.
The news was confirmed by Gil Gerard, Silla’s castmate of TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, who took to Twitter to reveal the news: “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 in a statement. “I will miss him terribly, especially the time we had at our panels. Just telling me to go ‘f‘ myself.”
Silla, who has lived an extraordinary life and career, was born in the small village of Roccacasale, Italy, is said to have been trained as a circus performer before moving to the United States in the mid-1950s. Focusing on his primary skills as a trapeze artist and tumbler, Silla began working for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus before his talents led him to the bright lights of Hollywood.
Given his training, Silla lined up work as a stuntman and quickly earned a name for himself. After solidifying his presence, he moved further through the film industry until he found himself in front of the camera as a working actor.
Roles in projects such as A Ticklish Affair and The Black Bird cemented his skills before his acclaimed opportunity as and Cousin Itt on the TV show The Addams Family arrived. According to the Los Angeles Times, the character was created specifically for the show based on Silla’s ability.
“A producer dreamed it up in some nightmare,” he once said, before explaining that the costume was made of actual human hair. “It was hot and heavy. Like wearing a brick.”
It has since been confirmed that Felix Silla died after a battle with pancreatic cancer.