Ted Cassidy Got His Acting Start On ‘The Addams Family’ At A Surprising Age

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Ted Cassidy was a semi-professional basketball player for many years before he decided to dabble in the acting world. At 6’9”, it was hard for him to find roles, not to mention he was already 30 by the time he decided to act. Many people start much earlier in life.

However, he decided to change his life at 30. He started working in radio because he knew his height could be an issue in Hollywood. His voice was perfect for radio too! However, it seems that the role of Lurch in The Addams Family was made for him.

Ted Cassidy was a basketball player before he went to Hollywood

THE ADDAMS FAMILY, Ted Cassidy, 1964-66 lurch
THE ADDAMS FAMILY, Ted Cassidy, 1964-66 / Everett Collection

He created a demo reel and auditioned several times but he wasn’t getting any roles. However, he soon got a call and was asked to try out for The Addams Family. He ended up beating five other actors to become Lurch. The role was truly meant for him!

RELATED: ‘The Addams Family’ Cast Then And Now 2021

THE ADDAMS FAMILY, (clockwise from top): Ted Cassidy, John Astin, Carolyn Jones, 1964-66
THE ADDAMS FAMILY, (clockwise from top): Ted Cassidy, John Astin, Carolyn Jones, 1964-66 / Everett Collection

At first, the character Lurch was not going to speak but because Ted’s voice was so iconic, he got a few lines. Who can forget “You rang?” It is one of the best lines of the series.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY, from left: Ted Cassidy, Jackie Coogan, 1965
THE ADDAMS FAMILY, from left: Ted Cassidy, Jackie Coogan, 1965, (19641966). ph: Richard R. Hewett / TV Guide /Courtesy Everett Collection

Do you love Ted Cassidy as Lurch? Did you know he was a basketball player prior to getting the role? After The Addams Family, he had a very successful career doing voice work. He sadly died in 1979 at the young age of 46.

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The post Ted Cassidy Got His Acting Start On ‘The Addams Family’ At A Surprising Age appeared first on DoYouRemember? – The Home of Nostalgia. Author, Lauren Novak

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Ringo Starr Shares Bandmate George Harrison’s “Incredible” Final Words Before His Death

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Of the original members of the Beatles, only Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney still live. John Lennon was killed in 1980 while George Harrison died in 2001. Starr actually visited Harrison weeks before the latter’s death, and so was privy to some of his last words on this earth.

Tension between bandmates is not uncommon, and even morbidly expected. One only needs to look back at the tense revolving door that was the Temptations. So, it makes it all the more meaningful that Starr can look back at Harrison’s final words to him and consider them “incredible.”

Ringo Starr and George Harrison were not without tension

George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon
George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon / Everett Collection

It’s also all the more remarkable considering the affair that threatened to drive a wedge between the bandmates – that is, a literal affair. In 1971, Star and Harrison attended a dinner along with their respective wives, Maureen and Pattie Boyd. There, Harrison announced to the table at large that he was in love with Starr’s wife, revealing an affair neither went to great lengths to conceal.

RELATED: Paul McCartney Expresses Relief That There’s Now ‘Proof’ He Didn’t Break Up The Beatles

Eventually, the fires of scandal fizzled and the bandmates “made amends after George’s dalliance with Maureen,” shares Showbiz CheatSheet. Things went back to business as usual until time began playing its cruel tricks on their lives.

Starr reveals Harrison’s “incredible” final words weeks before his death

Despite tension between them, the two bandmates reconciled and could bond one more time
Despite tension between them, the two bandmates reconciled and could bond one more time / Everett Collection

“The last weeks of George’s life he was in Switzerland, and I went to see him,” Starr recalled. By that point, “He was very ill, and he could only lay down. I was going to Boston, ’cause my daughter had a brain tumor,” Starr continued. “And I said, ‘Well, I gotta go to Boston.’” That’s when Harrison interjected.

“[Harrison] goes — they’re the last words I heard him say, actually — and he said, ‘Do you want me to come with ya?’ So that’s the incredible side of George.” For context, the last two years had been tumultuous for the lead guitarist. Back in 1999, he survived a home invasion in which the intruder punctured his lung with a knife; the incident left him bleeding from the mouth and weakened to near death. Though his family downplayed his injuries, it’s believed that Harrison was forever changed by the trauma and that the stress helped his cancer return – cancer that ended up manifesting in the lungs. Even after all that, Harrison had asked Starr if he wanted company while seeing his daughter during Starr’s familial woes. That does indeed say a lot about his character.

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The post Ringo Starr Shares Bandmate George Harrison’s “Incredible” Final Words Before His Death appeared first on DoYouRemember? – The Home of Nostalgia. Author, Dana Daly

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‘Little House On The Prairie’ And ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Share A Drunk Sheriff Through Hal Smith

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Not all TV actors love being typecasted. In fact, it’s often a horror story that drives actors to change their primary gigs. Sometimes it scares them with feeling trapped in one role. A few actors, though, sometimes lean right into it, and one primary example comes from Hal Smith. Fans of both the comedic Andy Griffith Show and grounded Little House on the Prairie both know him, and know him for a similar role: that of a drunk sheriff archetype.

Both series come from very different places and genres, but both made full use of Smith as a character actor. He manages to both fall into a comfortable role and disappear into it, gaining acknowledgment from the audience without breaking immersion. Read more about this surprising connection between the two shows here.

A familiar face on the prairie

He Was Only Twelve shows how the actions of a few can derail the rest of someone's lifetime
He Was Only Twelve shows how the actions of a few can derail the rest of someone’s lifetime / YouTube

Little House on the Prairie featured some very dramatic episodes. The two-parter “He Was Only Twelve,” likely lifted from Bonanza, offers one prolonged example. “During a trip to Sleepy Eye, James and Albert walk into a bank robbery staged by a nefarious gang,” its synopsis reads.

RELATED: ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Cast Then And Now 2021

“James is critically wounded, and the doctor tells Charles that James is expected to die. A grief-hardened Charles enlists Mr. Edwards (and later, Albert, after he disobeys a direct order to stay in Sleepy Eye) to track down the men responsible.” In this episode, Hal Smith has a co-starring role as Trumble.

Meet the original drunk sheriff Otis Campbell, as played by Hal Smith

Hal Smith bridged the gap between genres with his famous role
Hal Smith bridged the gap between genres with his famous role / Everett Collection

“He Was Only Twelve” originally aired on May 10, 1982. But back in 1960, Hal Smith became a regular presence as a different drunken sheriff archetype: Otis Campbell. Fans of Little House who got a feeling of deja vu from his appearance may likely have seen Smith first on The Andy Griffith Show.

They had plenty of opportunities to, as well, since Smith appeared as Otis for 32 episodes, from 1960 to 1966. His last episode would be entitled “Otis, the Deputy.” He became a very popularly-known character, though some people overlapped the character with the actor, and Smith did receive some backlash for his portrayal. All around, this is definitely one similarity fans of either series wouldn’t expect.

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The post ‘Little House On The Prairie’ And ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Share A Drunk Sheriff Through Hal Smith appeared first on DoYouRemember? – The Home of Nostalgia. Author, Dana Daly

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Alan Jackson Is Unhappy That Country Music Is Changing

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Country singer Alan Jackson isn’t happy that traditional country music seems to be going away. New music styles come around all the time and country music seems to be changing rapidly. He is trying to keep the country music style from the past around with a new album called Where Have You Gone.

He scoffed, “Country music is gone — and it’s not coming back.” He expanded, “Real country songs are life and love and heartache. They’re drinking, singing about Mama and having a good time, sad things, fun things.”

Alan Jackson apparently hates modern country music

ALAN JACKSON, from 'Roots of Country,' 1994
ALAN JACKSON, from ‘Roots of Country,’ 1994. (c)TNN. Courtesy: Everett Collection

He continued, “It reflects the sounds of the instruments I grew up on, steel and acoustic guitar, the fiddle and the way they all came together. It gave you a sound, but also a real feeling or emotions no other music really had.”

RELATED: Country Singer Alan Jackson Shows Off 41 Years Of Marriage With Wife, Denise

ALAN JACKSON, from 'One Night In Austin,' 8/3/92
ALAN JACKSON, from ‘One Night In Austin,’ 8/3/92. (c)TNN. Courtesy: Everett Collection

In his new album, he utilizes the fiddle and the steel guitar to bring back that traditional country sound. He said he went back to his roots and tried to make each song into a story. He admitted that this was the project he always dreams of working on.

alan jackson
08 November 2017 – Nashville, Tennessee – Alan Jackson. 51st Annual CMA Awards, Country Music’s Biggest Night, held at Bridgestone Arena. Photo Credit: Laura Farr/AdMedia

Even though a lot of young people prefer the modern country song, he said that that his kids and their friends still prefer the old school sound, which they called “real school.” He even admitted that some of the new stuff makes him “kinda pissed off.”

In conclusion, listen to one of Alan’s new songs below. Do you prefer old school country or modern?

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The post Alan Jackson Is Unhappy That Country Music Is Changing appeared first on DoYouRemember? – The Home of Nostalgia. Author, Lauren Novak

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Exclusive Interview With Gabe Kaplan, Star Of ‘Welcome Back, Kotter’

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Here at DYR, we were lucky enough to be able to ask actor Gabe Kaplan some exclusive questions! Gabe was the star of the popular ’70s show Welcome Back, Kotter. In more recent years, he has been a huge contender in the world of poker.

Gabe is currently 76 years old and doing very well! We were able to ask him about some behind-the-scenes stories from the past and find out what projects he has in the works right now. Let’s dive right into the questions.

Who was your favorite celebrity to work with over the years and why?

LEWIS & CLARK, (aka LEWIS AND CLARK), Gabe Kaplan, (1981)
LEWIS & CLARK, (aka LEWIS AND CLARK), Gabe Kaplan, (1981), 1981-82. © Carson Prod. / Courtesy: Everett Collection

I loved working with the old, classic comedians: George Burns, Milton Berle, Jackie Gleason, Bob Hope. It was great to listen to their stories. I’m sorry I never got to work with Jack Benny. I opened in Vegas for a lot of different stars including Paul Anka, Diana Ross, Mac Davis, Helen Reddy… they were all nice but Ann-Margret was the nicest. She and her husband, Roger Smith, made everyone in the show very comfortable and made sure everybody felt appreciated. I also liked working with Scott Brady, the western and “tough guy” actor, who did one episode of Welcome Back, Kotter. We had both grown up in Brooklyn and he had some great stories about all the movies he’d done and the people he’d met.

RELATED: ‘Welcome Back, Kotter’ Cast Then And Now 2021

Did you identify with your character in ‘Welcome Back, Kotter?’ Can you give us any behind-the-scenes stories?

WELCOME BACK, KOTTER, Gabe Kaplan, (Season 1, 1975), 1975-79
WELCOME BACK, KOTTER, Gabe Kaplan, (Season 1, 1975), 1975-79. photo: Roger Prigent Everett Collection

The show was based on the guys I went to school with. They became the Sweathogs. Kotter was the only fictitious character. I guess he was a combination of me and the teacher I always wanted to have. Everyone thinks I had the most hair going in those days, but I had been losing my hair for 10 years already. I was pretty bald in front and needed to wear a hairpiece. Very few people knew about it. However, I wouldn’t wear it for the rehearsals and sometimes they took the promo pictures then. There were a lot of pictures floating around of me with very little hair in front but nobody ever noticed.

WELCOME BACK, KOTTER, John Travolta, Ron Palillo, Gabe Kaplan, Robert Hegyes, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, 1975-79
WELCOME BACK, KOTTER, John Travolta, Ron Palillo, Gabe Kaplan, Robert Hegyes, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, 1975-79 / Everett Collection

After Welcome Back, Kotter had been on for about two weeks, John Travolta started wondering when he was going to get fan mail. I told him that there were six fan letters for him in the office. It was a prank; there actually weren’t any, but he ran over and was not so happy about it. The next week, I informed him that he got a whole satchel of fan mail (he really did), but he didn’t believe me ’til he saw it.

What was your favorite role besides Gabe Kotter?

I guess playing Groucho Marx in the stage show Groucho. It showed him at various stages of his life and how his comedy and life evolved. It was a view of him as a complete person. A real mix of comedy and pathos. It was a play about him but the major elements could apply to most comedians.

How did you become involved in poker tournaments?

FAST BREAK, Gabe Kaplan, 1979
FAST BREAK, Gabe Kaplan, 1979, (c) Columbia Pictures / Courtesy: Everett Collection

I worked in Vegas a lot and would generally lose part of my salary playing blackjack or craps. My accountant painted a dim future. I noticed the poker room and remembered being a pretty good player back in high school. I tried my luck at poker and did a lot better. One time the World Series of Poker was going on while I was there, so I took a shot and entered. There were only forty-some players. I didn’t do well that first time but had caught the bug. It’s interesting for me to see all the celebrities playing in poker tournaments today.

What have you been doing recently? What’s next for you?

Gabe Kaplan at the TV Land Awards, A Celebration of Classic TV, Palladium, Hollywood
Gabe Kaplan at the TV Land Awards, A Celebration of Classic TV, Palladium, Hollywood, CA 03-02-03 / s_bukley/Image Collect

I’d like to do a mini-series about the first Battle of The Network Stars. After the article I wrote came out in Emmy magazine, a few producers have expressed interest. I’ve also written a biographical movie about my coming of age at a New Hampshire resort in the 1950s. I hope to do it as an independent feature. It’s sort of a mix of Dirty Dancing and Goodfellas.

Any crazy stories from your stand-up comedy performances?

One time in the NY Playboy Club I did a show for about 100 people who were all very polite and attentive, the only problem was, they never laughed. They didn’t even laugh when I made fun of them not laughing. My act usually took 45 minutes but I got through this show in 25. After the show, they told me the whole audience was from Finland.

BALLTE OF THE NETWORK STARS, Gabe Kaplan
BATTLE OF THE NETWORK STARS, Gabe Kaplan, aired February 28, 1977. ©ABC/courtesy Everett Collection

In the late 1960s, I was opening in Baltimore for the singer, Sergio Franchi. I got to the club the night before to watch the closing show. The owner’s wife gave me a really enthusiastic welcome, got me a reserved table in the back to watch the show, and prepared a special dinner for me. Later, I wanted to thank her, but she walked right by without stopping. Turns out, she was very disappointed because she originally thought I was Sergio Franchi.

NIAGARA FALLS, Zasu Pitts, 1941
NIAGARA FALLS, Zasu Pitts, 1941 / Everett Collection

Lastly, when asked about a current or past celebrity crush, he revealed his crush was ZaSu Pitts. ZaSu was an incredible actress who starred in many silent films. Thank you to Gabe for answering our questions!

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The post Exclusive Interview With Gabe Kaplan, Star Of ‘Welcome Back, Kotter’ appeared first on DoYouRemember? – The Home of Nostalgia. Author, Lauren Novak

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Judge Judy Says Cancel Culture Is ‘Frightening’

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Judge Judy is working on a new series called Judy Justice after leaving her longtime show Judge Judy. 78-year-old Judy Sheindlin opened up about cancel culture and shared her thoughts on why it can be frightening, especially in America. She said it makes people afraid to share their authentic opinions.

Judy said, “To have a fear of speaking your opinion, for fear of being put on somebody’s list and canceled? It’s a frightening place for America to be. I’m not a big fan of the PC police.”

Judge Judy shares her thoughts on cancel culture and why it is ‘frightening’

JUDGE JUDY PRIMETIME, Judge Judy Sheindlin
JUDGE JUDY PRIMETIME, Judge Judy Sheindlin, (aired May 20, 2014). photo: Sonja Flemming / © CBS / Courtesy: Everett Collection

She added, “If you’re a bad person, if you’ve done something wrong, you’ve got to be prepared to pay the piper. And there are people who have done just that. They’ve paid the price with their good name, their footprint. That’s a good thing.”

RELATED: Judge Judy Drops $22M Profits Countersuit Due To Loyalty To CBS

JUDGE JUDY, Judge Judy Sheindlin, (Season 8), 1996-
JUDGE JUDY, Judge Judy Sheindlin, (Season 8), 1996-, © Paramount TV / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Judy has certainly had a lot of experience with both good and bad people on her show! She is the highest-paid TV host and one of the richest judges in the world. She will start producing Judy Justice, working with Amazon’s streaming service IMDb TV this summer.

Will you watch Judy Justice? Do you find cancel culture frightening too?

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