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Felix Silla

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Felix Silla
Felix Silla at Mountain-Con III in 2007 (cropped).png
Silla in 2007
Born
Felice Anthony Silla

(1937-01-11)January 11, 1937
DiedApril 16, 2021(2021-04-16) (aged 84)
Occupations
  • Actor
  • stuntman
Years active1964–2019
Spouse
Sue Silla
(m. 1965)
Children4

Felix Anthony Silla (January 11, 1937 – April 16, 2021), also credited as Felix Cilla, was an Italian actor and stuntman, known for his career in Hollywood in TV and film.

Silla starting his career in the circus, but is best known especially on television's The Addams Family as Cousin Itt, a costumed character, that was added exclusively for the TV series, and was not in Charles Addams original comic series[1]

Silla featured in the Star Wars film Return of the Jedi as one of the hang glider Ewoks.

He was also a voice artist on The Sims 2 video game.[2][3]

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Cinema of the United States

Cinema of the United States

The cinema of the United States, consisting mainly of major film studios along with some independent film, has had a large effect on the global film industry since the early 20th century. The dominant style of American cinema is classical Hollywood cinema, which developed from 1913 to 1969 and is still typical of most films made there to this day. While Frenchmen Auguste and Louis Lumière are generally credited with the birth of modern cinema, American cinema soon came to be a dominant force in the emerging industry. As of 2017, it produced the third-largest number of films of any national cinema, after India and China, with more than 600 English-language films released on average every year. While the national cinemas of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand also produce films in the same language, they are not part of the Hollywood system. That said, Hollywood has also been considered a transnational cinema, and has produced multiple language versions of some titles, often in Spanish or French. Contemporary Hollywood often outsources production to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

The Addams Family (1964 TV series)

The Addams Family (1964 TV series)

The Addams Family is an American macabre/black comedy sitcom based on Charles Addams's New Yorker cartoons. The 30-minute television series was responsible for taking the unnamed characters in the single-panel gag cartoons and giving them names, back stories, and a household setting. It was spearheaded by David Levy, who created and developed the series with Donald Saltzman in cooperation with cartoonist Addams, who gave each character a name and description for the first time. The series was shot in black-and-white, airing for two seasons on ABC from September 18, 1964, to April 8, 1966, for a total of 64 episodes. The show's opening theme was composed and sung by Vic Mizzy.

Cousin Itt

Cousin Itt

Cousin Itt is a fictional character in the Addams Family television and film series. He was developed specifically for the 1964 television series and is a regular supporting character in subsequent motion-picture, television and stage adaptations.

Charles Addams

Charles Addams

Charles Samuel Addams was an American cartoonist known for his darkly humorous and macabre characters, signing the cartoons as Chas Addams. Some of his recurring characters became known as the Addams Family, and were subsequently popularized through various adaptations.

Star Wars

Star Wars

Star Wars is an American epic space opera multimedia franchise created by George Lucas, which began with the eponymous 1977 film and quickly became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon. The franchise has been expanded into various films and other media, including television series, video games, novels, comic books, theme park attractions, and themed areas, comprising an all-encompassing fictional universe. Star Wars is one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time.

Return of the Jedi

Return of the Jedi

Return of the Jedi is a 1983 American epic space opera film directed by Richard Marquand. The screenplay is by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas from a story by Lucas, who was also the executive producer. The sequel to Star Wars (1977) and The Empire Strikes Back (1980), it is the third installment in the original Star Wars trilogy, the third film to be produced, and the sixth chronological film in the "Skywalker Saga". The film stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew and Frank Oz.

Ewok

Ewok

The Ewoks are a fictional species of small, furry, mammaloid, bipeds in the Star Wars universe. They inhabit the forest moon of Endor and live in arboreal huts and other simple dwellings, being seen as primitive in comparison with other sentient species. Ewoks debuted in the 1983 feature film Return of the Jedi and have since appeared in two made-for-television films, The Ewok Adventure (1984) and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985), as well as a 2D animated series, several books and games, and briefly in the 2019 feature film Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

The Sims 2

The Sims 2

The Sims 2 is a 2004 strategic life simulation video game developed by Maxis and published by Electronic Arts. It is the second major title in The Sims series, and is the sequel to The Sims. The game was released for Microsoft Windows on September 14, 2004, and a port for MacOS was released on June 17, 2005. Eight expansion packs and nine "stuff packs" were subsequently released between 2005 and 2008. In addition, versions of The Sims 2 were released on various consoles and mobile platforms, including the Nokia Ovi Store. A sequel, The Sims 3, was released in June 2009.

Biography

Early life and circus career

Felix Silla was born in the small village of Roccacasale, Abruzzo, Italy. He trained as a circus performer and came to the United States aged 18, in 1955, touring with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. His multiple talents as a bareback horse rider, trapeze artist, and tumbler brought him to Hollywood, where he became a stuntman, appearing in the film, A Ticklish Affair.

Film and television

His best-known roles include Litvak, the maniacal, miniature Hitler who menaces George Segal in film The Black Bird (his favorite role). He was also responsible for the physical performance of the robot Twiki in the TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century,[3] a role for which the voice was supplied by Mel Blanc or Bob Elyea.

In part due to his short stature of 1.19 m (3 ft 11 in), he often doubled for children in such movies as The Towering Inferno, The Hindenburg, and Battlestar Galactica as well as Meatballs 2 as the alien. Between movies, he frequently appeared in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada, night clubs with his own musical combo, The Original Harmonica Band.[4]

Voice-art work

Silla provided the voice for the video game The Sims 2 as Mortimer Goth 2005.

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Roccacasale

Roccacasale

Roccacasale is a comune in the Province of L'Aquila in the Abruzzo region of Italy. Built on the slopes of the Monte della Rocca in the central Apennines, the village overlooks the Peligna Valley and the town of Sulmona.

Abruzzo

Abruzzo

Abruzzo is a region of Southern Italy with an area of 10,763 square km and a population of 1.3 million. It is divided into four provinces: L'Aquila, Teramo, Pescara, and Chieti. Its western border lies 80 km (50 mi) east of Rome. Abruzzo borders the region of Marche to the north, Lazio to the west and north-west, Molise to the south and the Adriatic Sea to the east. Geographically, Abruzzo is divided into a mountainous area in the west, which includes the highest massifs of the Apennines, such as the Gran Sasso d'Italia and the Maiella, and a coastal area in the east with beaches on the Adriatic Sea.

Italy

Italy

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern and Western Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, it consists of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and surrounded by several islands; its territory largely coincides with the homonymous geographical region. Italy shares land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. It has a territorial exclave in Switzerland, Campione. Italy covers an area of 301,230 km2 (116,310 sq mi), with a population of about 60 million. It is the third-most populous member state of the European Union, the sixth-most populous country in Europe, and the tenth-largest country in the continent by land area. Italy's capital and largest city is Rome.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is an American traveling circus company billed as The Greatest Show on Earth. It and its predecessor shows ran from 1871 to 2017. Known as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, the circus started in 1919 when the Barnum & Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth, a circus created by P. T. Barnum and James Anthony Bailey, was merged with the Ringling Bros. World's Greatest Shows. The Ringling brothers had purchased Barnum & Bailey Ltd. following Bailey's death in 1906, but ran the circuses separately until they were merged in 1919.

Hollywood, Los Angeles

Hollywood, Los Angeles

Hollywood is a neighborhood in the central region of Los Angeles, California. Its name has come to be a shorthand reference for the U.S. film industry and the people associated with it. Many notable film studios, such as Columbia Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., and Universal Pictures, are located near or in Hollywood.

A Ticklish Affair

A Ticklish Affair

A Ticklish Affair, also known as Moon Walk, is a 1963 film directed by George Sidney and starring Shirley Jones, Gig Young and Red Buttons. The screenplay, by Ruth Brooks Flippen, was based on a short story by Barbara Luther. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1964.

George Segal

George Segal

George Segal Jr. was an American actor. He became popular in the 1960s and 1970s for playing both dramatic and comedic roles. After first rising to prominence with roles in acclaimed films such as Ship of Fools (1965) and King Rat (1965), he co-starred in the classic drama Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966).

The Black Bird

The Black Bird

The Black Bird is a 1975 comedy film written and directed by David Giler and starring George Segal and Stéphane Audran. It is a comedic sequel to the John Huston film version of The Maltese Falcon (1941) with Segal playing Sam Spade's son, Sam Spade, Jr., and Lee Patrick and Elisha Cook Jr. reprising their roles of Effie Perrine and Wilmer Cook. It was Giler's first and only directorial effort.

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (TV series)

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (TV series)

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century is an American science fiction adventure television series produced by Universal Studios. The series ran for two seasons between September 1979 and April 1981 on NBC, and the feature-length pilot episode for the series was released as a theatrical film before the series aired. The film and series were developed by Glen A. Larson and Leslie Stevens, based on the character Buck Rogers created in 1928 by Philip Francis Nowlan that had previously been featured in comic strips, novellas, a serial film, and on television and radio.

Mel Blanc

Mel Blanc

Melvin Jerome Blanc was an American voice actor and radio personality whose career spanned over 60 years. During the Golden Age of Radio, he provided character voices and vocal sound effects for comedy radio programs, including those of Jack Benny, Abbott and Costello, Burns and Allen, The Great Gildersleeve, Judy Canova, and his own short-lived sitcom.

The Hindenburg (film)

The Hindenburg (film)

The Hindenburg is a 1975 American Technicolor disaster film based on the Hindenburg disaster. The film stars George C. Scott. It was produced and directed by Robert Wise, and was written by Nelson Gidding, Richard Levinson and William Link, based on the 1972 book of the same name by Michael M. Mooney.

Saga of a Star World

Saga of a Star World

"Saga of a Star World" is the pilot for the American science fiction television series of Battlestar Galactica which was produced in 1978 by Glen A. Larson. A re-edit of the episode was released theatrically as Battlestar Galactica in Canada before the television series aired in the United States, in order to help recoup its high production costs. Later, the standalone film edit was also released in the United States.

Famous characters

The Addams Family: Cousin Itt

Silla became famous however as the recurring costumed character of Cousin Itt on television's The Addams Family. The character was not part of Charles Addams's original comic, but was introduced in the original black and white television series by producer David Levy, debuting in the 1965 first-season episode "Cousin Itt Visits the Addams Family", and appearing in a total of 19 episodes, 17 which feature Silla and 2 with Roger Arroyo over the course of the show's two seasons. The character's voice was usually provided by studio sound engineer Anthony Magro (1923–2004). The character became so popular it was carried over to subsequent licensed media including film, stage and video games.

Star Wars: Ewok

He played one of the hang glider Ewoks in the film Return of the Jedi.[5]

He also was the body actor for the robot Twiki in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

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Death

Felix Silla died on April 16, 2021, from pancreatic cancer at the age of 84, in Las Vegas, Nevada.[6][1]

Source: "Felix Silla", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Silla.

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References
  1. ^ a b Haring, Bruce (16 April 2021). "Felix Silla Dies: Cousin Itt On TV's 'The 'Addams Family' Was 84". Deadline.
  2. ^ Daniel, Jeff (7 March 2006). "They don't come much bigger". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. p. E1. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  3. ^ a b Glionna, John M (2 November 2014). "Felix Silla, a.k.a. Cousin Itt, looks back on a kooky career". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Talking With Felix Silla – June 2, 2016". Talk About Las Vegas with Ira. 2 June 2016. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  5. ^ "Felix Silla, Cousin Itt on TV's 'Addams Family,' dies at 84". Associated Press. 17 April 2021. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  6. ^ "Felix Silla, Cousin Itt on 'The Addams Family,' Dies at 84". Variety. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
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