Ted Cassidy ’55 featured on WUCF TV’s Florida Road Trip
Halloween is the perfect time to remember one of Stetson’s most famous alumni, Ted Cassidy ’55, who continues to win over new generations of fans with the 1960s TV series, The Addams Family.
A transfer student to Stetson, Cassidy played on the basketball team and majored in drama and speech, performing in stage productions in the university’s old Stover Theatre.
A year after graduating, he married Margaret Helen Jesse, a fellow student who attended Stetson from 1953 to 1955, and they later had two children, according to Stetson’s Office of Alumni Engagement.
Cassidy initially worked in radio. But in the 1960s, he was cast in the role of Lurch, the towering butler in the dark comedy, The Addams Family, which ran for two seasons from 1964 to 1966.
Lurch originally was planned as a non-speaking role, according to media reports, but Cassidy ad-libbed, “You rang?” and it became his enduring catchphrase.
Cassidy remained involved with Stetson through the years. He served as a District Chair for the Stetson Alumni Association Board in 1973, according to the alumni office. He passed away a few years later, in 1979, at age 46, after complications from open heart surgery.
About his role as Lurch, Cassidy once said in an interview, “That’s what everybody remembers. It’s going to be remembered a long time, whether I like it or not, and I think there’s some things about it I like.”