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LURCH THE BUTLER
(The Addams Family)
( Cemetery - 13
001 Cemetery Lane
Greenbriar, USA
Lurch is a towering zombie butler. He works for Gomez Addams, an eccentric cigar-smoking millionaire. Lurch performs such domestic duties as dusting strange family heirlooms and answering the call of a droning two-note fog horn that announces the arrival of guests at the front door.

Ted Cassidy as Lurch the Butler

When the Addams want to summon Lurch, they pull the butler's hangman-shaped bell pull dangling from the ceiling that sends out a resounding "Gong!" Lurch then enters the room and in a deep voice says "You Rang?" as well as other short groaning phrases like "Follow Me", "Mail's In", and "Yes, Mrs. Addams." In between his domestic duties, Lurch likes to play the harpsichord.

Lurch's character was featured on episodes:

  • No. 13 "Lurch Learns to Dance" when Lurch takes dance lessons so he can attend the upcoming Butlers Ball.
  • No. 17 "Mother Lurch Visits the Addams Family" when Lurch convinces his employers to act as his servants to impress his visiting mother.
  • No. 25 "Lurch and His Harpsichord" when Lurch is upset when the Addams donate their harpsichord to a museum.
  • No. 33 "Lurch, the Teenage Idol" when Lurch records a song and is surrounded by screaming teenage fans.
  • No. 61 "Lurch's Little Helper" when Lurch feels he is being replaced by the new robot butler.
  • No. 63 "Lurch's Grand Romance" when Lurch falls in love with a family friend. Note: In the 1998 remake series we also learn that Lurch is colorblind, that Morticia dug him up in a cemetery and that once Lurch tried to smile and his face broke.

Three Incarnations of Lurch the Butler

Ted Cassidy as Lurch

Cartoon Lurch

John DeSantis as Lurch

Ted Cassidy Cartoon Lurch John DeSantis

"The Addams Family"
(Lyrics by Vic Mizzy)

They're creepy and they're kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They're all together ooky,
The Addams Family.
Their house is a museum
Where people come to see 'em
They really are a scream
The Addams Family.
(Neat)
(Sweet)
(Petite)
So get a witches shawl on
A broomstick you can crawl on
We're gonna pay a call on
The Addams Family.



Lurch entertains the Addams

TRIVIA NOTE: The deep base tone of Lurch's voice could also be heard saying "Neat, Sweet, and Petite" between stanzas of 'The Addams Family' theme song.

On the October 30, 1965 Halloween episode of SHINDIG, an ABC teen rock music program, Lurch performed a dance called  “The Lurch.” After assisting Boris Karloff with his rendition of the "Monster Mash," Lurch debuted a new dance craze called "The Lurch." The dance steps were nothing more than a lot of shuffling and arm dangling a la the Frankenstein Monster.

"The Lurch" was released as a single 45 record (Capitol 5503) with the vocals performed by Ted Cassidy [who played the role of Lurch] and a background female chorus with music by Gary Paxton.

The Lurch character also appeared in the Hanna-Barbera animated cartoon The Addams Family that aired Saturday mornings on NBC from September 1973 to August 1975; "Halloween with the New Addams Family" 1977 special, a second animated Addams Family ran on Saturday mornings on ABC from September 1992 to January 1995;  the motion picture remakes The Addams Family: The Movie (1991) and The Addams Family Values (1993); and the sitcom remake THE NEW ADDAMS FAMILY/FOX/1998-99 (with John DeSantis as Lurch).

The Lurch character is based on the Addams Family cartoon characters created by Charles Addams for the New Yorker magazine.

Lurch, Morticia and Gomez with Pumpkins
Happy Halloween

TED CASSIDY: Born Theodore Crawford Cassidy on July 31, 1932 in Pittsburg, PA and raised in Phillippi, WV. the 6' 9" tall Ted Cassidy began his days in the spotlight by playing college basketball at Stetson University in the 1960s and as a staff announcer for WFAA radio in Dallas where he interviewed William and Gayle Newman, witnesses to the Kennedy assassination.

Cassidy's acting career included such memorable roles as Harvey Logan in the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid;   Injun Joe in "THE NEW ADVENTURES OF HUCK FINN", Ruk, the bald android in the STAR TREK episode "What Are Little Girls Made Of?", and the narrator (uncredited) of "THE INCREDIBLE HULK" series.

Ted Cassidy died January 16, 1979 in Los Angeles from complications following open-heart surgery. His cremated remains were buried in the backyard of his Woodland Hills home.


THE ADDAMS FAMILY/ABC/1964-66

  Ted Cassidy as Lurch 
  Carolyn Jones as Morticia Frump Addams
  John Astin as Gomez Addams
  Jackie Coogan as Uncle Fester Frump
  Marie Blake
(as Blossom Rock)
as Grandmama Addams
  Ken Weatherwax as Pugsley Addams
  Lisa Loring as Wednesday Friday Addams
  Felix Silla as Cousin Itt
  Tony Magro as Voice of Cousin Itt
  Ted Cassidy as Thing
       

 

THE NEW ADDAMS FAMILY/SYN/1998-99

 

John DeSantis as Lurch
Steven Fox as Thing
Nicole Fugere as Wednesday
Ellie Harvie as Morticia
Betty Phillips as Grandmama
Michael Roberds as Fester
Brody Smith as Pugsly
Glenn Taranto as Gomez

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