They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky, they’re altogether ooky, and they’re celebrating a quarter of a century: ‘The Addams Family’ is 25 years old.
Let’s catchup with the stars and find out what they’ve been up to….
Raul Julia – Gomez Addams
Puerto Rico-born star Julia had a stage background and put it to good use to play the overtly theatrical patriarch of the Addams household, first in ‘The Addams Family’, then again in 1993 sequel ‘Addams Family Values’. An esteemed actor and performer with Tony nominations and Golden Globes to his name, Julia’s movie career ended in ignominious fashion with the risible ‘Street Fighter’, although his villain M Bison was the best thing in it by a mile (“For you, the day that Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me, it was Tuesday!”). Sadly, Julia died in October 1994 from a stroke following complications from stomach surgery.
Anjelica Huston – Morticia Addams
Anjelica, born into the legendary Huston acting dynasty, forged her own path in Hollywood, first with a series of powerful thrillers (‘The Postman Always Rings Twice’, ‘Prizzi’s Honour’) and then a selection of family crowd-pleases like the two Addams movies, both of which saw her nominated for Golden Globes.
She stayed kooky and spooky in Roald Dahl’s ‘The Witches’ in 1990 and later became synonymous with Wes Anderson movies. Recently Huston strutted her stuff in a season of ill-fated Broadway musical ‘Smash’ and appeared in several episodes of Amazon’s Emmy award-winning comedy ‘Transparent’.
Christina Ricci – Wednesday Addams
The breakout star of ‘The Addams Family’ was devilish little Wednesday, and Ricci reapedthe benefits of stardom from a young age. ‘Caspar’ was a neat segue from supernatural spookiness into mainstream success, but she wasn’t a teen star for long: her role in Ang Lee’s 1997 swinging drama ‘The Ice Storm’ led to her becoming an indie star, with outstanding performances in ‘Buffalo ’66’ and as a sultry siren in ‘The Opposite Of Sex’. She married dolly grip operator James Heerdegen in 2013 and she gave birth to a son in 2014. Her last acting project was in the pilot for Zelda Fitzgerald series ‘Z: The Beginning Of Everything’, which was picked up and will air in 2017.
Jimmy Workman – Pugsley Addams
Spotted playing by ‘Addams Family’ casting agents while he waited for his sister Shanelle to audition, Workman was the perfect Pugsley. He appeared in a few other movies while he still had his baby fat, including ‘As Good As It Gets’, but retired from acting soon after the millennium. Workman hit the headlines a few years ago when he applied for parental control of his little sister, ‘Modern Family’ star Ariel Winter, claiming that their mother was abusive and their older sister Shanelle was exploiting her. Workman lost the claim and Winter now lives with her sister, who finally got her own back for that Addams audition betrayal.
Christopher Lloyd – Uncle Fester
Lloyd has a history of playing lovable old kooks: Uncle Fester could have easily been a distant cousin of ‘Back To The Future”s madcap inventor Doc Emmett Brown. Now 78 – older even than 80s Doc Brown – Lloyd shows no sign of slowing down, putting out at least one movie a year for the last ten years. Sure, they’re movies like ‘Knights Of Bloodsteel’ and ‘Blood Lake: Attack Of The Killer Lampreys’, but the man’s got to eat. He’s been dining out on Doc Brown for years now, most recently via cameos in Seth MacFarlane’s ‘A Million Ways To Die In The West’ and the Funny Or Die Donald Trump movie, ‘The Art Of The Deal: The Movie’.
Carel Struycken – Lurch
Towering over his ‘Addams Family’ cast at 7 feet tall, Struycken’s height has tended to typecast him in… shall we say ‘monstrous’ roles, but the Dutch actor is still working at the age of 68. The man most of us know as butler Lurch had other notable roles in ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ and ‘Men In Black’, plus as ‘The Giant’ in David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ a role he’ll reprise in the new 2017 mini-series. Married with two children, Struycken lives in Los Angeles and is presumably a big hit in the neighbourhood around Halloween.
Judith Malina – Granny
The Addams’s darling Grandmama was actually more of a theatre kinda gal than a movie gal. German-born actress Malina co-founded political theatre group The Living Theatre in New York in the 50s and 60s ‘The Addams Family’ was just a way to pay the bills. Malina was in a non-monogamous relationship with her longtime husband Julian Beck, eventually marrying her other partner after Beck’s death in 1988. In 2003 she was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame, she played Paulie Walnuts’ mother in ‘The Sopranos’ in 2006 and won an Artistic Achievement Award from the New York Innovative Theatre Awards in 2008, in recognition of her unabashed pioneering spirit and unyielding dedication to her craft. Tragically, Judith Malina died in 2015.
Christopher Hart – Thing
Who knew Thing actually belonged to a proper body? Playing the disembodied hand might quality as the sweetest acting gig ever, but Christopher Hart considers himself more magician than actor he won the role of Thing thanks to his sleight-of-hand magic skills and nimble fingers. A former grave digger (fittingly nicknamed ‘Lurch’) turned conjurer, Hart is one of the top magicians in the industry, working closely with David Copperfield and twice winning Stage Magician Of The Year. Fun fact: Christopher Hart also played a disembodied hand in horror comedy ‘Idle Hands’. The Addams Family Cinematic Universe could be bigger than we thought.
John Franklin – Cousin Itt
Underneath all that hair was a living, breathing human being, albeit one smaller than most: 5 foot tall actor John Franklin played Cousin Itt over both ‘Addams Family’ movies. He got his start in horror in ‘Children Of The Corn’ and reprised his role as Isaac in 1999 sequel ‘Children Of The Corn 666: Isaac’s Return’. However, acting didn’t always make him happy. “After the events of 9/11, I saw the shallowness of showbiz and felt a great desire to leave a greater legacy than just being Cousin Itt”, he said. “Teaching seemed to be a perfect fit for my theatrical talents and to touch many lives.” However, Franklin recently announced that he’s making a return to acting in the near future.