Stuntman and actor Felix chair, best known for his role as cousin Itt in The Addams Family, has sadly passed away. Silla, a longtime resident of Las Vegas, Nevada, reportedly died Friday after battling pancreatic cancer. The news was revealed through a poster on Twitter by Gil Gerard, Silla’s 25th-century co-star on NBC’s Buck Rogers series. Silla was 84 years old.
“Felix only died a few hours ago and the only good thing I can get from his death is that he has not suffered anymore,” wrote Gerard. “I’m going to miss him terribly, especially the great time we had at our panels. Only he told me to go ‘for myself’.”
Felix only died a few hours ago and the only good thing I can get out of his death is that he has suffered no more. I will miss him terribly, especially the great time we had on our panels. Only he told me to go myself. 😢
– Gil Gerard (@Gil_Gerard) April 16, 2021
Another friend of Silla’s, Janet Gerard, wrote in a tweet: “My heart is broken today. Felix Silla, known to so many as Twiki, Cousin It, and a book full of beloved roles, passed away. He was a very dear friend “He made me laugh so much and I feel like there’s just a hole in my heart.”
My heart is broken today Felix Silla, known as Twiki, Cousin It and a book full of beloved roles, has passed away. He was a very dear friend, he made me laugh so much and I feel like there’s only a hole in my heart. pic.twitter.com/7tJtBF7VWp
– Damn it, Janet !!! aka Rayguns & Rust (@RaygunsAndRust) April 16, 2021
As an actor, Silla’s best-known role is one that keeps his face completely covered. Portraying Cousin Itt The Addams familySilla had to wear a body-length hairpiece with sunglasses that represented his eyes. The character also spoke indistinctly on the show, though the other members of the Addams family never had a problem knowing what he was saying. The fan-favorite character was later played by John Franklin in the 1991 film and voiced by Snoop Dogg in the 2019 animated reboot.
“All the guys on the set smoked,” said Silla in a 2014 interview with the LA Times about his cousin Itt costume going up in flames. They gave me synthetic hair that was flame retardant. “
The actor is also known for playing the robot sidekick, Twiki Buck Rogers in the 25th century and for playing a hang glider in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. Without full body disguise, Silla also appeared as the villain Litvak alongside George Segal as Sam Spade Jr. in The Black Bird, the sequel to the 1975 classic The Maltese Falcon.
Silla was born on January 11, 1937 in Roccacasale, Italy. After moving to the United States in 1955, he toured for several years with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus as a trapeze artist and tumbler. In the early 1960s, he began working as a stunt man in Hollywood, which led to his roles in various films and TV shows. His feature films include Planet of the Apse, Spaceballs and The Kentucky Fried Movie, while he has also appeared on shows such as HR Pufnstuf and Lidsville.
Silla’s death is a fan favorite at conventions and has left fans everywhere mourning in the wake of the news. The actor’s survivors include his wife Sue, with whom he has been married since 1965, and their children Bonnie and Michael. Our thoughts are with them at this painful time. May Silla rest in peace. That news comes from The Hollywood Reporter.