Standing 3’11”, stunt man and actor Felix Silla may be the smallest person ever to give an interview to PCA. However, there is little doubt that he has had one of the biggest careers. Although his face may not be recognizable to the public, he has worked beside some of the biggest stars in television and film history, and has had a behind the scenes presence in some of televisions biggest shows and films biggest blockbusters. His television appearances include Bonanza, Petticoat Junction, The Monkees, Betwitched, HR Pufnstuf, Lidsville, Bewitched, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Star Trek, Night Gallery, The Dukes of Hazzard and Married with Children. Meanwhile, he has played various role as well as did stunt work in Planet of the Apes, The Towering Inferno, Poltergeist, The Black Bird, The Manitou, E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Howard the Duck, Return of the Jedi, The Golden Child, Under the Rainbow, The Sting II, Spaceballs and Batman Returns. Few film professionals can claim a resume with as many memorable productions as Felix Silla.
But it was behind an elaborate costume made of hair that Felix made his biggest mark in pop culture history when he played the role of the mysterious and beloved Cousin Itt on The Addams Family. Joining the series twenty episodes into its first season, Felix made only seventeen appearances as the strange little creature without a face, but he immediately become one of the show’s most popular characters. Still a beloved iconic television character, Cousin Itt gave Felix Silla solid immortality in the history of television.
A few years later Felix Silla got the role of another popular character when he took on the role of Twiki the Robot on Buck Rogers. Although the character was voiced by legendary voice actor Mel Blanc, Silla worked opposite Gil Gerard and Erin Gray over two seasons of the popular sci-fi drama. A favorite with young viewers, Twiki was merchandised and became a popular character for kids hungry for Star Wars type fare, and gave Felix another landmark role to his already monumental career.
Originally from Rome, Italy, Felix Silla came to North America at age 16 and got a job working for Barnum and Bailey Circus. But after a few years under the big top, he realized that the circus wasn’t the place for him. Settling down in Los Angeles, Silla eventually found a new career doing stunts and stand in work for children in television and movies. With his short stature and circus training, Felix Silla became a commodity which opened the doors to some of the biggest productions in movie history which led him to appearing on the other side of the camera as well as behind it.
A great man and a fantastic storyteller, it’d be impossible to fit all of his Hollywood stories into a single interview, but for an hour and a half Felix gave it a go. The result is an interesting journey through film history from a man with a truly unique perspective.