John dislikes laugh tracks on sit-coms. He finds them to be "a really stupid convention."
When John first auditioned for The Addams Family, producers intended him to play Lurch--the butler.
John was given the choice of first names for his Addams family character, Gomez or Repelli. He chose Gomez.
John has toured the country playing Edgar Allan Poe in the stage production, Once Upon Midnight.
John is 5 foot 11 inches (180cm).
Both John and his son, Sean, have appeared in films directed and produced by Peter Jackson. John in 1996's The Frighteners. And, Sean in 2001-2003's The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
John was nominated in 1969 for the Academy Award for Best Short Subject, Live Action for the short film he wrote, produced, and directed, Prelude (1968).
Both John and Sean, his son, have been in pictures given the Best Picture Oscar, John being in West Side Story (1961) and Sean in Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King (2004).
John is a vegetarian.
John (On his absence from the "Addams Family" DVD commentary): I wish I'd been able to comment on the shows, but my teaching schedules were tough to work around, so I was left off. The shows speak for themselves, although I may do my own personal book on the series some day.
John: My father was shocked when I told him I was going to become an actor. It really disappointed him, I know. But he was wonderful about it. He and my mother were faithful in their attendance at my performances in the theater. They would drive many miles. It was very encouraging.
John: There is something good about the character of Gomez. I wouldn't trade the association with him for anything or any role that I might have missed.
John (On Rod Serling): He was a wonderful guy. Very creative. Very dedicated to the work. He never got tired of trying to work out a problem. I never saw him sluff anything off. He really wanted get things right. I liked that. He never seemed to fatigue in the area of trying to improve something. Very often, I think, there is a low threshold for fatigue in television and people give up and say, it's alright this way. Rod really wanted to work until something was right and he felt good about it.
John (On the creator of his most famous part)): I was a great fan of the Charles Addams cartoons.
John (On teaching): The main difference between these kids and professionals is that the professionals aren't studying a lot of other stuff...You have to work within the parameters of college life -- you can't expect a student to blow off two papers that are due the next day because she has to come to rehearsal. But at the same time, I want to make serious acting training available.
John: Life is unpredictable, which is why theater is perhaps the greatest medium of all. If it's done right, theater is a living presence in front of us.
John: We are running ourselves into a damaged earth. But I am optimistic. I believe that we can change; we must change. As a human race, we are very young and quite primitive. The sooner we learn the greatness of humanity the better off we will all be.
John: (On one of the episodes in "The Addams Family") There was one where Gomez was on a trapeze hanging by the legs upside down. I remember how much the backs of my knees would hurt until I got used to it. It was hard.
John: My work is to reach people with ideas, hopes, dreams, encouragement, insight, and revelation. That's what an actor wants to do.