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Felix Silla, Cousin Itt on TV's 'Addams Family,' dies at 84
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Felix Silla, Cousin Itt on TV's 'Addams Family,' dies at 84

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We’ve had to say goodbye to some beloved musicians, athletes, actors and more. Here's a look at the stars we've lost so far in 2021, through March.

 Actor Felix Silla, who played the hairy Cousin Itt on TV's "The Addams Family" and a robot on "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century," died on Friday.

Silla, who had pancreatic cancer, was 84.

Gil Gerard, who starred as Buck Rogers on the TV series that aired from 1979 to 1981, shared the news of Silla's death on Twitter.

"Felix died just a few hours ago and the only good I can draw from his passing is that he didn't suffer any longer," Gerard tweeted. "I will miss him terribly, especially the great time we had at our panels."

Silla was born Felix Cilla in Roccacasale, Italy, on Jan. 11, 1937, and moved to the U.S. in 1955. The 3-foot-11-inch Silla toured with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus as a bareback rider, trapeze artist and tumbler before moving to Hollywood to work as an actor and stuntman, often doubling for children.

He found TV success on "The Addams Family," which ran 1964-66, as Cousin Itt, kin to Gomez Addams. Itt was covered head to toe in long hair and wore a top hat and sunglasses.

Felix Silla

Actors Lisa Loring (Wednesday) and Felix Silla (Cousin Itt) from the mid-1960s television series "The Addams Family" attend the "Hollywood Collectors and Celebrities Show" April 7, 2001, in North Hollywood, Calif. Silla died of pancreatic cancer. He was 84.

Itt spoke in gibberish the audience couldn't understand, but the Addamses could. Tony Margo did the voice of the character, who did not appear in the original Charles Addams cartoons and was created for the TV series.

The original wig was human hair. The producers changed it later to a material that was less of a fire hazard.

"All the guys on the set smoked," Silla told the Los Angeles Times in 2014. "They just dropped their butts and stepped on them. The producers worried that I might step on a smoldering cigarette and go up in flames. They gave me synthetic hair, which was flame-retardant."

At fan conventions, Silla sometimes had to convince people he really was the face behind the hair.

"They ask, 'Is that really you?' and I say, 'Of course it's me. What do you think I'm doing here — warming up the chair?'" he told the Los Angeles Times.

Silla went on to a string of movie and TV roles. His said his favorite part was Litvak in the 1975 George Segal film "The Black Bird."

He appeared as Twiki in 30 episodes of "Buck Rogers" and was in films such as "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi" and "Spaceballs."

He married his wife, Sue, in 1965, and they had two children.

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