84 (passed away Apr. 16th, 2021)
Jan. 11th, 1937
Felix Silla's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Felix Anthony Silla, also credited as Felix Cilla, was an Italian-born American film and television actor and stuntman. Silla is known for his role - inside a body-length hairpiece, behind a pair of sunglasses and underneath a bowler hat in his guise as the mumbling Cousin Itt on the 1960s ABC comedy The Addams Family
Silla trained as a circus performer, came to the United States in 1955, and toured with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Show. His multiple talents--as a bareback rider, trapeze artist and tumbler--brought him to Hollywood where he became a stuntman, starting with the Gig Young-Shirley Jones vehicle, A Ticklish Affair.
His best-known roles are the maniacal, miniature Hitler who menaces George Sega in The Black Bird and Cousin Itt on the long-running TV series, The Addams Family. He had doubled--often for children--in such hits as The Towering Inferno, The Hindenberg, and Battlestar Galactica.
Between movies, he frequently appears in Las Vegas and Reno night clubs with his own musical combo, The Original Harmonica Band.
Silla and wife Susan--a "little person," like himself--have been married since 1965 and have two children, Bonnie and Diana. Their son Michael, died in March 2020.
Felix Silla died after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
- When he arrived in the United States at age 16, he spoke not a word of English and had no formal acting experience, but credits joining the Ringling Bros. circus with teaching him both language and performance skills, working first in the sideshow and then becoming skilled as both a clown and a bareback rider.
- Although the character of Cousin Itt did not debut on "The Addams Family" until over a third of the way through the entire series, Silla's delightfully odd and inspired performance of the character made him so popular that Cousin Itt was carried over into both the animated series and the motion picture versions of "The Addams Family", even though the character was a creation of television producer David Levy and not part of the original Charles Addams cartoons (neither was the character of "Thing").
- Was almost killed while working as the stunt double for "Short Round" in "Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom" during the filming of the river rapids scene. The life raft in which he was riding flipped over in the turbulent water and he was trapped underneath it for some time with a faulty inflatable life vest, nearly drowning until a safety diver could reach him and pull him to safety.
- His audition for his most famous role, television's "Cousin Itt" of The Addams Family, was as mysterious to him at the time as the popular character would soon be to millions of viewers. Arriving at the studio, he received little more than a quick looking over by the director and producer, who merely said "That's Itt!" and told him to come back Monday morning and report for work. He returned home for the weekend, pleased to have passed the audition but still completely unaware of who (or what)he had been hired to portray on "The Addams Family". Not until Monday morning, just hours before he made his debut as "Cousin Itt", did he have any idea as to the nature of the character.
- Father of Bonnie and Michael, with his wife, Sue.
- His favorite role is that of "Litvak", the maniacal foe of George Seagal in 1975's "The Black Bird".
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