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'Addams Family': 5 facts you didn't know

"The Addams Family" turns 50 in 2014.

There's no better time than Halloween to ponder "The Addams Family," which this fall is marking its 50th anniversary on TV. Here are five things you may not have known about the ABC sitcom featuring the tube's coolest ghouls:

-- Thing, the disembodied hand/arm limb, was usually played by Ted Cassidy, who also played Lurch. When that character had to be on camera at the same time as Thing, associate producer Jack Voglin lent his hand.

-- Cousin Itt's voice was provided by producer Nat Perrin, who recited gibberish into a tape recorder and played it back at a higher speed.

-- The show's tightfisted producing studio, Filmways, preferred not to pay singers to record the theme song. Instead, composer Vic Mizzy triple overdubbed his own voice giving the impression of a trio.

-- John Astin was told he had two choices for his character's name, Gomez or Repelli. He chose the former.

-- Astin was originally offered the role of Lurch.


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