The Addams Family

1964 | United States

Living at 000 North Cemetery Ridge, The Addams Family was developed from a cartoon strip in the New Yorker by Charles Addams. Like The Munsters that began at around the same time, the Addams' were a family of misfits that viewed the outside world as strange and their own peculiar lifestyle as perfectly normal. Head of the family was Gomez (John Astin formerly of I'm Dickens, He's Fenster), a lawyer of independent wealth who dressed like a 1920's gangster and spent his leisure time playing with his pet octopus, Aristotle, and blowing up toy trains. Gomez was married to Morticia, played by experienced Hollywood actress Carolyn Jones, one-time wife of TV producer Aaron Spelling. 

Morticia only had to speak a word of French in order to send Gomez into a sexual frenzy. Their children were Pugsley (Ken Weatherwax), who had an electric chair and a gallows amongst his playthings, and Wednesday (Lisa Loring), who played with a headless doll. Other household members were Uncle Fester, played by Jackie Coogan, who, as a four year-old had most famously appeared alongside Charlie Chaplin in The Kid, and Gomez's mother, Grandma (who was a witch), played by Blossom Rock, sister of singer Jeanette McDonald. 6 foot 9 inch actor Ted Cassidy played the part of the family butler, Lurch, who famously said "You Rang?" whenever the family or someone at the front door summoned him. (This is the role that Astin originally auditioned for). 

Rounding off the family was hirsute Cousin Itt (Felix Silla, voiced by Tony Magro), and Thing -a disembodied hand (also Ted Cassidy). Astin went on to become a director with shows such as ChiPS, McMillan and Wife and Murder She Wrote to his credit, and an animated version of The Addams Family appeared in 1973. 

In 1991 the show got the full Hollywood big-screen treatment with Raul Julia and Angelica Huston in the lead roles. A sequel followed in 1993.

Published on November 26th, 2018. Humar.

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