The Addams Family Biographies
- John Astin (Gomez Addams)
- Lisa Loring (Wednesday Addams)
- Ken Weatherwax (Pugsley Addams)
At first glimpse, Gomez appears normal enough but when you scratch the surface, his looks are the only normal thing about him. Independently wealthy and charming, Gomez gives new meaning to the word eccentric.
Gomez Addams was played by John Astin in the original series and Raul Julia in the movies.
John Astin is one of television's most prolific character actors, but will always be recognized as Gomez Addams from Classic TV's "The Addams Family."
Though he started out with the goal of becoming a mathematician, Astin developed an affinity for acting in college. As with many actors, he started slowly in community theater and moved to New York to try for Broadway. He managed to get to Off-Broadway, and began doing commercial voice-overs to make ends meet. At the encouragement of his friend Tony Randall, Astin made the big move to Hollywood to pursue a film career, which turned out to be a wise move. Not long after his move, Astin began getting parts on the big and small screen in the film West Side Story and TV shows like Twilight Zone and Dennis The Menace.
His first leading role was in the short-lived comedy "I'm Dickens, He's Fenster" with gravely-voiced co-star Marty Ingels. He next made TV Land history by taking the part of Gomez Addams in the TV show based on the macabre comic strip.
After the "Addams Family," Astin went on to countless guest spots as an actor and soon began directing episodes of various comedy and drama series. He continues to act in theater often and has recently appeared in TV's "The Nanny" and "Mad About You" as well as in the 1996 shocker The Frighteners.
Did You Know:
John Astin guest-starred and directed four episodes of Rod Serling's "Night Gallery"
He was originally considered for the part of Lurch, not Gomez on The Addams Family
He was nominated for an Academy Award for the 1968 short film "Prelude," which he produced
He was married to actress Patty Duke from 1973 to 1985.
John Astin has most recently been on stage as Edgar Allan Poe
Wednesday is somber and delicate, with her mother's dead white complexion and black hair. Wednesday is quiet and sensitive and loves picnics in underground caverns. She has a pet tarantula named Homer and her favorite doll is Marie Antoinette, whose head she chopped off with her toy guillotine.
Lisa Loring will always be remembered as morose Wednesday Addams, though her own life has been more bizarre than her signature character. A navy brat, born on the Pacific Island of Kwajalein, Lisa's life was thrown into upheaval when her parents divorced in 1960, when she was two years old. She moved with her mother to Los Angeles soon after, where she began modeling at age three. It wasn't long before she began appearing on episodic television in shows like "Dr. Kildare." At age six, she scored the part of Wednesday (even before she was able to read a script)
Post-Addams life was difficult for Loring who married at age fifteen, had her first child at sixteen and was divorced by seventeen. Her mother died of chronic alcoholism in 1974, when Lisa was sixteen, and a life of drug abuse followed for the former child actress.
In 1980, Loring began to turn things around, and joined the cast of "As The World Turns" for four years in the part of Cricket Montgomery. She was also seen in a handful of films through the late '80s including the 1989 B-flick "Death Feud." She has more recently done the "child stars gone bad" talk show circuit, though has cleaned up her life considerably. She has appeared recently in small theater productions, and turns up at many celebrity autograph shows.
Lisa Loring reprised the role of Wednesday Addams in the cartoon version of the show in 1973
A dedicated troublemaker, ten year old Pugsley is inventive, energetic and a big science fan. This jolly character likes to build gadgets like missiles, ray-guns and disintegrators. His favorite pastime is experimenting with dynamite. Hobbies include collecting stop signs from busy intersections and the occasional "bridge out" sign.
Ken Weatherwax had a brief, but memorable career as a child actor. He is the nephew of actress Ruby Keeler, and half-brother of Donald Keeler, who played Porky Brockway on Lassie. Not coincidentally, his Uncle, Rudd Weatherwax was Lassie's trainer. With all this talent around him, he was almost a shoo-in for the part of Pugsley Addams on "The Addams Family."
Pugsley was his only part in a TV series, though he played it three times; first in the original 1964 series, next as the voice of Pugsley in the 1973 animated version and then finally in 1977 provided the voice of Pugsley again in "The All New Addams Family Halloween" cartoon special.
As an adult, Ken has switched to a behind-the-scenes vocation as a grip for TV shows including long stints on The A-Team and "Full House."
Ken Weatherwax got his start in show biz in a series of early '60s Gleem Toothpaste commercials as a kid named Chester
Morticia is beautiful and aristocratic. Her complexion is dead white and she has a penchant for wearing black. She keeps carnivorous plants as pets, feeding meatballs to her African strangler, Cleopatra.
Morticia was played by Carolyn Jones in the original series, and Anjelica Huston in the movies.
Carolyn Jones (1929-1983) had already costarring in the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and House of Wax (1953) with Vincent Price, and been nominated for an Oscar ("The Bachelor Party," 1957), when she got the role of Morticia in the 1960s tv series. In fact, she had an extensive body of work on Broadway and in Hollywood, making as many as 3 movies a year 1952-63. After The Addams Family, she made 2 movies in 1969 ("Color Me Dead" and "Heaven With A Gun"), and a low-budget one in 1977 ("Eaten Alive") before retiring.
Anjelica Huston has a continuing movie career.
Uncle Fester is DC current (110 volts) and lights bulbs by placing them directly in his mouth. He likes to relax by exploding dynamite caps. His normal body temperature is is minus 3 degrees and he consumes mercury to perk himself up.
Uncle Fester was played by former childstar Jackie Coogan in the original series, Rip Taylor in one of the recent cartoon series, and Christopher Lloyd in the big-screen movie. No biography of Jackie Coogan is available, but here is a list of his movies: Jackie Coogan list
Granny, the very epitome of a witch, means well but is foolish and easily led. She can often be found in the kitchen stirring whatever that is in her cauldron (I wouldn't lift the lid if I were you, it might try to get out).
Lurch is the towering butler with a morose presence. Though not a particularly good butler, he is very loyal. He is especially fond of the children and will go the extra mile to protect them from good influences.
Lurch was played by towering Ted Cassidy in
the original series; he got into acting to serve Man.
"Thing" has been Gomez's companion and friend since childhood. Tapping out Morse code messages allows him to communicate with the family. Thing always collects the mail and brings it into the family room when the foghorn signals its arrival. Thing was listed in the credits of the original Addams Family series as: "Thing...Itself" and a sign on the fence read "Beware of Everything!" Thing may have been inspired by a Peter Lorre movie "The Beast With 5 Fingers," remade by Michael Caine more recently as The Hand. I don't recall Thing making an appearance in the original cartoons before the TV-series, though there was one cartoon in which the family is enjoying some music in the living room and two hands on arms coming out of the Victrola are turning over the record. No relation to the 1956 movie The Thing
Not to be confused with Cousin Itt, a creature completely covered in hair that spoke in a speeded up voice only the Addams Family could understand--and couldn't understand why everyone else couldn't! Though none of the Addams Family had names in Charles Addams' original New Yorker magazine cartoons, there was one the previous year (1963) in which the hair-covered person is answering the Addams phone with the caption, "This is it speaking." You'll notice that "it" is not capitalized, implying that this was a verb, not "it's" name.
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