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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Buckhannon in Upshur County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
 

The Lurch Bench

Theodore Crawford "Ted" Cassidy AKA "Lurch"

 
 
The Lurch Bench Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, August 1, 2021
1. The Lurch Bench Marker
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Did you know that Ted Cassidy who played the beloved role of "Lurch" the butler on the classic, cult comedy television show "The Addams Family" that aired from 1964-66, used to walk the streets of our Buckhannon as a West Virginia Wesleyan College student?

Born on July 31, 1932 in Pittsburgh, Ted grew up in neighboring Philippi excelling academically, artistically, & athletically. He finished high school at age 16, & moved to Buckhannon where he attended WVWC & was a member of the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity. the Cassidy family later relocated to Florida, & Cassidy transferred to Stetson where he was the star center on the Stetson University Basketball Team from 1952-55. His six feet nine inch frame aided his 17 point & 10 rebound per game average.

Ted Cassidy was a true renaissance gentleman who was very gifted musically playing the organ while being drawn to theatre. While ted became most famous for his lovable role as Lurch, he played many roles during his three decades as an actor including as "Thing" also in the Addams Family; "Creech," an outer space creature; "Injun Joe" on The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn;
The Lurch Bench image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, August 1, 2021
2. The Lurch Bench
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the voice of "Balok" in Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek episode "The Carbomite Maneuver"; the android "Ruk" in Star Trek's "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" episode; & the voice of "Gorn" in Star Trek's "Arena" episode. Cassidy also played "Isiah" in Roddenberry's post-apocalyptic dramas "Genesis II" & "Planet Earth." He appeared in dozens of TV shows & movies including roles in The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Lost In Space, Daniel Boone, I Dream Of Jeannie, Bonanza, The Beverly Hillbillies, Tarzan, The Bionic Woman, Flash Gordon, "Bigfoot" in The Six Million Dollar Man, & was narrator of the opening for "The Incredible Hulk." He appeared as "Goliath" in the 1978 mini-series, "Greatest Heroes of the Bible."

Cassidy's many cinematic contributions further included roles as the Martian in 1960's The Angry Red Planet, Mackenna's Gold, The Last Remake of Beau Geste, & the role of "Harvey Logan" in Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid in which Ted uttered his famous line– "Rules?…In a knife fight?…" He co-wrote the screenplay for & appeared in The Harrad Experiment.

In 1965, Ted Cassidy released an album featuring the songs "The Lurch" & "Wesley." Also in '65 he introduced the dance & performed the song & dance "The Lurch" on Shivaree, the Los Angeles based Rock & Roll TV show. On Halloween of 1965, Ted appeared on Shindig, another musical, variety show with Boris Karloff performing
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"The Monster Mash." His deep "Basso Profundo" resulted ini his being featured in dozens of cartoons particularly with Hanna-Barbera studios, including as "Metallus" on "Space Ghost" & "The Thing" on "The Fantastic Four," & "Brainiac" & "The Black Manta" on "Challenge of the Superfriends." Ted Cassidy's distinctive, iconic tone made him one of the most famous & recognizable voices in American history. In a 1978 interview given shortly before his death, Ted Cassidy state:

"If I'm up for a part if, I'm asked to do something, I really worry what I'm going to be because they always make fellows like me the big dumb galoot, the oaf who doesn't know anything, who trips over himself. We are apparently idiots, all big men. You end up never leading anyone to anything. You end up holding people, while the boss hits them in the face -- scratching your head a lot wondering where all your marbles went. Well that kind of thing doesn't appeal to me at all. I used to think that's how it was and I would do it, but I won't do it anymore. I turn down everything that comes along like that. So, the only thing you can rely on are those who have worked with you and know that you are consistent, talented and reliable, and maybe they're friends of yours and are willing to put you to work so you don't end up in the welfare line."

In June of 1966, Mr.
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Cassidy returned to Buckhannon serving as the Grand Marshall of the silver anniversary ofo our WV Strawberry Festival (photo above). He left us way too early dying in Los Angeles on January 16, 1979, survived by his son Sean, & daughter Cameron.

We now honor & will forever remember the beloved, gentle giant of a man who preached against bullying before it was fashionable, & who once walked among us here on our streets of Buckhannon.
 
Erected 2016 by The City of Buckhannon & West Virginia Wesleyan College.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicEntertainment. A significant historical date for this entry is January 16, 1979.
 
Location. 38° 59.646′ N, 80° 13.792′ W. Marker is in Buckhannon, West Virginia, in Upshur County. Marker is on East Main Street (County Road 151) just west of North Spring Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 14 E Main St, Buckhannon WV 26201, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. G.C. Murphy Company / G.O. Young Drug Store (here, next to this marker); Stockert Building 1904 (here, next to this marker); Shinn Building 1892 (a few steps from this marker); Strawberry Festival / Tillotson Janney House (a few steps from this marker); Reger Building 1900 (a few steps from this marker); Crislip & Simpson Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Carpenter Building 1923 (within shouting distance of this marker); Explorations West of Blue Ridge / 8 East Main Street / Strawberry Festival 1936 (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Buckhannon.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 6, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 6, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 299 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 6, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Jan. 20, 2022