Sydney Lassick

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Sydney Lassick
Born(1922-07-23)July 23, 1922
DiedApril 12, 2003(2003-04-12) (aged 80)
Cause of deathComplications of diabetes
Resting placeMount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery
Other namesSidney Lassick
Notable work
Charlie Cheswick in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Mr. Fromm in Stephen King's Carrie (1976)
Ernest Keller in The Unseen (1980)
Luke Gutchel in Alligator (1980)
Roscoe in Cool as Ice (1991)

Sydney Lassick (July 23, 1922 – April 12, 2003) was an American actor perhaps best known for his role as Charlie Cheswick in the feature film One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Lassick's first name was sometimes spelled Sidney.[1][2]


He was born in Chicago, Illinois to Russian Jewish immigrants. Lassick, who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and afterwards studied drama at DePaul University,[2] first began acting in both films and TV shows in the late 1950s. Portly and bespectacled, with a high-pitched voice and a nervous disposition, Lassick was usually cast as peevish neurotics, obsequious toadies, and fretful everyman types.

A chubby, antsy character actor, Lassick is perhaps best known for his outstanding portrayal of Charlie Cheswick, the whiny and infantile manic depressive mental patient in the acclaimed 1975 Oscar Award winning film One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. His other most memorable roles include a fey Fairy Godfather in the lowbrow nudie cutie musical Sinderella and the Golden Bra; mean sarcastic English teacher Mr. Fromm in the 1976 horror film Carrie; genuinely creepy as perverse and abusive innkeeper Ernest Keller in the potently unnerving slasher horror sleeper film The Unseen; at his oily best as the slimy Charlie P. in the supremely twisted cult film Sonny Boy; effeminate lackey Gopher in Deep Cover (1992), and jolly trailer park manager Woody Wilson in Freeway. He also was the voice of Straycatcher #2 in the 1992 animated feature film Tom and Jerry: The Movie

Though a successful actor, Lassick maintained a steady job as a trucking company's dispatcher throughout his career. He asserted that actors never knew when the acting jobs would stop coming.

In television, Lassick guest starred on such popular shows as Family, Eight Is Enough, Baretta, Hawaii Five-O, Barney Miller, Matt Houston, Moonlighting, Night Court, Knots Landing, Dream On and The X-Files.[2]


Lassick died from complications of diabetes, at age 80 in Los Angeles, California. His only survivor was an elder sister. Sydney Lassick was buried in a simple Jewish service, in the southwest Maimonides section, at Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.[2]


Notable TV guest appearances[edit]

  • Serpico as Goldman in episode 1.0: "The Deadly Game", 24 April 1976
  • The Man from Atlantis as Smith in episode 1.7: "The Hawk of Mu", 18 October 1977
  • Eight Is Enough as Mr. Kaminsky in episode 2.6: "Dark Horse", 26 October 1977
  • Baretta in episode 4.8: "Who Can Make the Sun Shine?", 30 November 1977
  • Tabitha as Warlock in episode 1.9: "What's Wrong with Mister Right?", 31 December 1977
  • Kaz in episode 1.7: "Which Side Are You On?", 5 November 1978
  • Barney Miller
    • as Mr. Cummings in episode 5.11: "Toys", 14 December 1978
    • as Victor Carse (as Sidney Lassick, in episode 6.22: "Fog", 8 May 1980
  • Archie Bunker's Place as Sid in episode 3.4: "Harry's Investment", 25 October 1981 and in episode 3.3: "The Date", 11 October 1981
  • Gloria as Dr. Montego in episode 1.20: "Class Struggle", 3 April 1983
  • Matt Houston as Brady in episode 2.5: "Needle in a Haystack", 7 October 1983
  • Night Court as Leo in episode 2.4: "Pick a Number", 25 October 1984
  • Amazing Stories as Walter Poindexter in episode 1.10: "Remote Control Man", 8 December 1985
  • Moonlighting as Neighbor in episode 2.11: "The Bride of Tupperman", 14 January 1986
  • Gabriel's Fire as Liebowitz in episode 1.19: "One Flew Over the Bird's Nest", 17 April 1991
  • On the Air as Mr. Zoblotnick in episodes 1.7 & 1.4, 1992
  • Dream On as Mr. Janovic in episode 4.18: "Martin Tupper in 'Magnum Farce'", 16 February 1994
  • The X-Files as Chuck Forsch in episode 4.22: "Elegy", 4 May 1997


  1. ^ "The New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
  2. ^ a b c d Variety Staff (April 17, 2003). "Sydney Lassick (Obituary)". Retrieved September 29, 2018.

External links[edit]