Carel Struycken is a talented Dutchman who is an iconic actor, but is also a musician, composer and a photographer. Carel has mostly played the roles of giants, due to his exceptional height – 7ft or 2.13m – and often silent roles, such as Lurch in “The Addams Family” for which he is most famous. Carel’s impressive height is due to a disease called acromegaly, which is caused by over-productive growth hormones, and can lead to enlarged hands, feet, height and facial features. There are plenty of mysteries surrounding the Dutch actor, and a lot about the kind giant that many people don’t know.
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Here is an introduction into the life and fame of every child’s favourite giant, Lurch, or rather, Carel.
Early life and family
Carel was born a Dutchman and makes his hometown in The Hague, Netherlands. He was born on the 30th July 1948, so in 2020 will be celebrating his 72cnd birthday. Nothing is widely known about his family members, as the identities of both his parents remain a mystery, but it is known that Carel has a younger brother by the name of Peter.
Peter is a renowned artist who received the Heineken Prize for Arts of The Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences in 2012 for his work.
When Carel was four years old his family moved to the Caribbean Island of Curacao in the Netherland Antilles. While there, Carel composed several Caribbean waltzes, which was a major accomplishment for a 15-year-old. At the age of 16, Carel returned to The Hague to attend high school.
When Carel matriculated from high school he furthered his education at The Amsterdam Film School, and graduated from the director program. Following this, Carel travelled to the US to attend the American Film Institute of Los Angeles, where he studied for another year. It was during this time that his acting talent came to the fore.
Carel’s introduction onto the silver screen in 1978 happened by an odd conspiring of events. While walking on the Hollywood and Vine corner in Los Angeles, Carel was approached by a woman who said that she was in search of someone like him for the cast of a film. Carel was identified as an actor due to his impressive height, but instead of being offended, he accepted the role, and made his film debut in the musical “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. His career took off from there and he gained a second role in the crime series “Hunter”.
Nearly two years later, Carel landed his second role in a major motion picture, entitled “Die Laughing” which was released in 1980, but only in the ‘90s did Carel really gain true recognition when he starred in the hit series “Star Trek: Next Generation” as ‘Mr Holmn’.
However, throughout the eighties, Carel starred in several films, including the 1984 slasher horror “The Prey”, and other titles such as “The Witches of Eastwick”, followed by an appearance in the sixth season of the TV medical drama series “St. Elsewhere” in 1988.
In 1991 he gained the role of Lurch for the film depiction of the “Addams Family”, and later reprised the role for the sequels “Addams Family Values” and “Addams Family Reunion”. He also starred in the 1993 “Journey to the Centre of The Earth”, which should not be confused with the later adaptation starring Brendon Fraser.
In 1997, Carel was seen in the iconic film “Men in Black”, playing the tall friend of the ‘Arquillian’ race, who met with Rosenburg, the Arquillian alien who owned the cat, Orion. He also starred in television series, such as “Charmed”, “Star Trek Voyager” and “Cold Case”.
His latest film is a Stephen King sequel to “The Shining” that was released in 2019 and entitled “Doctor Sleep”.
Carel has also made appearances in music videos, such as in Wall of Voodoo’s “Mexican Radio”, as well as Korn’s music video for their track “A.D.I.D.A.S.”
Hobbies, favourite things and interesting facts
Carel is fond of photography, and practices it during his free time. He also has influence in a blog that is concerned with photography with co-writer Josh Korwin.
Mr. Homn (Carel Struycken), Lwaxana Troi's valet, enjoys a bucket of Betazoid uttaberries. (TNG: "Ménage à Troi")
Carel specifically creates spherical panorama photographs, which allows the viewer to witness an event or landscape over a complete 360-degrees. He shares these photographs on his own dedicated website.
Other than that, Carel is an enthusiastic gardener and is a vegetarian. He has moved away from the Netherlands, and now prefers to make his home in the US.
Carel is married, but he has kept the identity of his wife and family under tight wraps, and successfully hidden from the public. He has two children, but no names have been released. They are fully-grown adults by now, and both his son and daughter went into medical careers.
- Date of Birth: 30 July 1948
- Hair colour: Used to be Black, but it has since turned grey and he is balding
- Eye colour: Blue
- Height: 7ft 0ins (2.13m)
- Weight: Unknown
- Vital Statistics: Suffers from acromegaly
- Shoe Size: Unknown
- Star Sign: Leo
- Nationality: Dutch/American
- Ethnicity: Caucasian
Carel’s success as an actor has afforded him a net worth estimated at an impressive $3 million as of 2020.