Felix Silla, best known for playing Cousin Itt on The Addams Family and Twiki on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, has succumbed to pancreatic cancer at the age of 84, the Hollywood Reporter announced. Felix Anthony Silla was born January 11, 1937 in Roccasale, Italy. He immigrated to the USA in 1955. Having trained as a circus performer in his native Italy, he got a job with Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. In 1962, he went to Hollywood, where he became a stunt man. As a Little Person, he often appeared as a stunt double for juvenile performers. He was 3’11”, or 1.19 m.
As a trained stunt artist, he played a hang gliding Ewok in Return of the Jedi. He was the Emperor Penguin in Batman Returns. He also did stuntwork in that movie, although he was 55 at the time.
In the 1968 Planet of the Apes, he was a child gorilla. He was Polka Dot Horse in H. R, Pufnstuf and Colonel Poom in Lidsville. He was Short Round’s stunt double in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. He was twice on Bewitched, once as a troll, once as a goblin. He appeared in Mork and Mindy once. His favorite role was as Litvak, in The Black Bird.
Felix Silla was pretty much everywhere in science fiction television and film. He was, notably, one of the Talosians in the original Star Trek series pilot, The Cage.
In 1965 he married his wife, Sue. They had two children, Bonnie and Michael. When he wasn’t performing in Hollywood, he appeared in nightclubs in Las Vegas and Reno with his own band, The Original Harmonica Band. Our condolences to his widow and children, and to his friends anf millions of fans.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.