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Carel Struycken (born 30 July 1948; age 75) is a Dutch actor known to Star Trek fans for playing Lwaxana Troi's assistant and valet, Mr. Homn, in five episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. He also played The Spectre in the Star Trek: Voyager second season episode "The Thaw".

A giant of a man at seven feet (2.13 meters) tall, due to a medical condition known as acromegaly (giantism), Struycken is probably most well-known for his role as Lurch in The Addams Family (1991) and Addams Family Values (1993), in which he co-starred with Christopher Lloyd, and Carol Kane in the latter.

Early life and career[]

He was born in The Hague, Netherlands, and grew up on the Caribbean island of Curaçao, where he composed a number of Caribbean waltzes. After returning to the Netherlands at age 16, he graduated from the directing program at the film school in Amsterdam, after which he spent a year at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, California. He was "discovered" on the corner of Hollywood and Vine by a lady who, upon seeing Struycken, abandoned her car in the middle of the street and called out to him that he was needed for a movie.

The film the woman was speaking of was Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978, in which Struycken was cast in the role of "The Brute." The film also featured actor and singer Keith Carradine, who, like Struycken, would later become affiliated with the Star Trek franchise. In addition, Marvin March was the set decorator for this film.

Struycken followed his film debut with roles in projects such as Die Laughing (1980, with Larry A. Hankin and Scott DeVenney). In addition, before he ever appeared on Star Trek, Struycken became one of the few Trek alum to appear in a Star Wars production when he played the antagonist "King Terak" in Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985). Struycken followed this with a supporting role in The Witches of Eastwick (1987) and a co-starring role in an episode of Hunter with Rosemary Forsyth.

The Next Generation Years: 1987 – 1992[]

Struycken made his debut as Mr. Homn on Star Trek: The Next Generation in the first season episode "Haven", which aired the week of 28 November 1987. He also had his only line on the show in this episode, when he thanks Picard for "the drinks."

Struycken reprised the role of Homn for four more episodes, and as the personal assistant to Ambassador Lwaxana Troi, Struycken always shared the screen with the late Majel Barrett-Roddenberry in each of his appearances. He filmed his scenes for the fourth season episode "Half a Life" on Monday 4 March 1991 on Paramount Stage 8 and 9. For his final appearance as Homn in "Cost of Living", he filmed his scenes between Tuesday 4 February 1992 and Thursday 6 February 1992, on Monday 10 February 1992, and on second unit on Friday 14 February 1992 on Paramount Stage 8 and 9.

In 1988, between his first and second appearance on The Next Generation, Struycken appeared in an episode of St. Elsewhere, starring William Daniels Ed Begley, Jr., Ronny Cox, Bruce Greenwood, Norman Lloyd, France Nuyen, and Jennifer Savidge. Struycken's episode also featured fellow Next Generation guest star Robert Costanzo.

Struycken had a recurring role as "The Giant" (AKA: The Fireman) throughout the second season of Twin Peaks in 1990 and 1991, appearing with Mädchen Amick, Richard Beymer, Ray Wise, Miguel Ferrer, Kenneth Welsh, and Catherine Coulson. He reprised the role in Twin Peaks: The Return in 2017, appearing again with Richard Beymer, Miguel Ferrer, Ray Wise, and Catherine Coulson. Also in 1990, Struycken appeared along with Joel Swetow in the HBO movie Framed. He then had a supporting role in the horror film Servants of Twilight, which starred the aforementioned Bruce Greenwood and Mimi Craven.

While Struycken is famous for playing Lurch in the film version of The Addams Family, Original Series guest actor Ted Cassidy is famous for originating the role on the classic 1960s TV show.

Struycken was the only actor from the first two Addams Family films (with the exception of Christopher Hart's hand playing the role of Thing) to reprise his role in the 1998 direct-to-video sequel Addams Family Reunion. Struycken's co-stars in this film included the aforementioned Ed Begley, Jr. as well as Ray Walston, Leigh Taylor-Young, and Clint Howard.

Other projects[]

Struycken co-starred with Tim Russ and F. Murray Abraham in the 1993 television version of Journey to the Center of the Earth. The following year, he made an appearance as a trader in the second season of Babylon 5, co-starring Andreas Katsulas, Bill Mumy, and Keith Szarabajka; the episode was written by Peter David.

Struycken played "Gaunt" in the Oblivion movies (Oblivion in 1994 and Oblivion II: Backlash in 1996). Also starring in these movies were George Takei, Meg Foster, Julie Newmar, Musetta Vander, and Jimmie F. Skaggs.

In addition, Struycken was one of the many Star Trek performers to appear in the 1995 TV movie Out There. The movie's stars were William O. Campbell and Wendy Schaal, which Leslie Bevis, Bill Cobbs, and Paul Dooley lent support and Robert Picardo made an uncredited cameo.

Struycken appeared in the 1995 film Under the Hula Moon with his Oblivion co-star and fellow Trek alum Musetta Vander. He also appeared as an alien in Men in Black (1997). He was then in I Woke Up Early the Day I Died (1998, with Ron Perlman, Lee Arenberg, Ann Magnuson and Mark Rolston). In 1999, he appeared in the action film Enemy Action along with Larry A. Hankin and Henry Darrow.

Since then, Struycken has worked with actor-director (and fellow Next Generation guest star) Jeff Rector on two movies: 2002's First Kiss and 2007's Revamped. Struycken also appeared in the 2001 direct-to-video film The Vampire Hunters Club with Daniel Roebuck and has guest-starred on Charmed (with Tony Amendola and Aaron Lustig) and My Name Is Earl (directed by Marc Buckland). In addition, he has filmed a number of projects in his native Netherlands, including a recurring role on the TV series De Erfenis.

Star Trek appearances[]

External links[]