Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Ken Weatherwax R.I.P.

Ken Weatherwax, best known for playing Pugsley on the 1960's TV show The Addams Family, died on 7 December 2014 at the age of 59. The cause was a heart attack.

Ken Weatherwax was born on 19 September 1955 in Los Angeles, California. He came from a show business family. An aunt on his mother's side was famous musical actress and dancer Ruby Keeler. Frank and Rudd Weatherwax, the trainers of canine star Lassie, were uncles on his father's side. His older half brother, Joey D. Vieira, played Porky on the first three seasons of Lassie.

Ken Weatherwax started his acting career in commercials. He was 8 years old when he was cast as Pugsley on The Addams Family. On the TV show Pugsley was the eldest child of Morticia and Gomez Addams. He had a streak of inventive genius, capable of creating such things as a disintegrator gun and a computer. Along with his younger sister Wednesday he showed an interest in such things as dynamite and venomous spiders. He also kept a pet octopus named Aristotle.

While appearing on The Addams Family he made a guest appearance on the TV Western Wagon Train. After The Addams Family ended Ken Weatherwax found it difficult to find other roles due to typecasting. When he was 17 he enlisted in the United States Army. After his stint in the Army he provided the voice of Pugsley in the 1973 Saturday morning cartoon The Addams Family and later appeared in the 1977 reunion movie Halloween with the New Addams Family. He also went to work as a grip at Universal Studios and worked as a set builder as well. As a grip he worked on such Hollywood films as Unlawful Entry (1992).

Ken Weatherwax's acting career was very brief, but as Pugsley Addams he left his mark. In many respects he was the ideal Pugsley. As played by Mr. Weatherwax, Pugsley was in some ways a normal, somewhat congeial little boy, albeit one with interests that tended more towards the macabre. He was in some ways a contrast to the other Addamses (especially Wednesday), who tended to be a bit more sombre. Ken Weatherwax played the role very well, creating a memorable character in a cast of memorable characters. While he may not have played a large variety of roles in his acting career, Ken Weatherwax will be remembered.

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