The show “The Addams Family ” Cast , Pictures, and Trivia!
This series is about a strange and somewhat frightening looking family called the Addams.
An extremely close extended family all living together in one house, who have many bizarre and ghoulish interests, not to mention their rather odd assortment of “pets”. However, despite all their rather strange habits, opinions and looks, they are actually a very nice family, although most of their neighbors and acquaintaces would highly disagree. They are very kind to guests and other people and treat them with warmth and courtesy, even when they themselves are somewhat suspicious of “normal” or “conventional” people and their habits.
Gomez Addams (John Astin)-Gomez is a very rich, passionate and kind man, who is above all else, madly in love with his wife, Morticia. Some of his pet names for her are, Cara Mia and Querida and his passion for her is even more heightened when she speaks French. He dresses quite formally at all times, in a black, double-breasted, pin-striped, suit with a black tie and keeps a watch with a long gold chain that is connected to the lapel of his jacket, as well as lit cigars in the breast pocket. Also kept on hand for any moment’s need, is a pair of thick-lensed reading glasses, which he keeps in his inside jacket pocket, so that he is able to produce them quickly. There are occasional instances where Gomez is not dressed in such formal attire, but even when this does happen, it is still an outfit that is rather unusual, such as an old time, full-torso striped bathing suit (for “moon bathing”) or a safari outfit. Although Gomez is quite wealthy, due to his ownership of a number of companies as well as many stocks, he does not seem to look upon money as a priority in his life, although perhaps this is due to the fact that he never seems to have to worry about it either. He often refers to Spain as his “ancestral home” and every so often will even speak briefly in Spanish. He is also highly acrobatic, is into Zen Yogi ( a mix of yoga and acrobatics) and can add large and complex mathematical calculations in his head. One of his favorite things to do by far, however, is to play with model trains. Of course, his idea of this is not quite the way other people usually see this hobby, his way of playing with them involves dynamite and a hand detonator.
Morticia Addams (Carolyn Jones)-Morticia is the wife of Gomez and the mother of Wednesday and Pugsley. A beautiful, calm, sophisticated, if somewhat odd woman who also dresses very formally, in a tight, floor-length, black v-neck dress with a rather unusual hem that is somewhat similar to that of octopus tentacles. She wears only one necklace and a ring with a large black stone, which incidentally, is set on a hinged compartment that usually contains some sort of powder. This varies, but it is usually either saccharine or cyanide, which she then uses to flavor her assortment of teas or in the “refreshments” that she serves to their guests. Some of her hobbies include playing the shamisen, dabbling in the world of art and her favorite, gardening. Of course, much like her husband and his rather unique way of playing with model trains, Morticia has her own special take when it comes to gardening. She cuts the buds off of her roses, as she considers the thorns to be the beautiful part and also raises man-eating plants. She is just as much in love with her husband as he is with her, and despite being much more subdued in her personality and temperament than he tends to be, always manages to convey this point. She can also light things with her fingertips (candles, cigarettes, etc.) as well as emanate smoke from herself.
Uncle Fester (Jackie Coogan)-Uncle Fester is Morticia’s strange-looking, enthusiastic but kind, uncle. His attire is quite simple, as it is just a totally plain, floor-length coat with a wide, fur-trimmed collar. Uncle Fester is completely bald with a fondness for playing with blasting caps and dynamite. He treats illnesses or problematic conditions with “alternative medicine”, such as lying on a bed of nails for relaxation, being tied up and stretched on a wooden torture rack or putting his head into a large book press. Easily excitable, whenever a person angers him, he has a tendency to want to take revenge on them by shooting them with his favorite weapon of choice, a blunderbuss (early form of shotgun). Luckily, Gomez or Morticia are always there to prevent this from happening. The most unusual thing about Uncle Fester, is that fact that he can put a lightbulb into his mouth an it will automatically light up.
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Lurch (Ted Cassidy)-Lurch is the family butler who has an incredibly deep voice but rarely speaks. He is very tall and slightly resembles a live corpse. Morticia and Gomez call for him by tugging on a bell pull that resembles a hangman’s noose, which in turn rings the enormous bell in the mansion’s bell tower. The resulting gong doesn’t just ring but instead shakes the entire house. And though he rarely speaks, after he has been summoned he does utter the line, “You rang?” The rest of the time he usually just makes some type of grunt if asked a question. Lurch is known for playing the harpsichord and is very high-minded when it comes to visitors. He, like Uncle Fester, also uses stretching out on the torture rack as a way of reducing his stress level and is known to everyone to have superhuman strength.
Grandmama Addams (Blossom Rock)-Grandmama is a witch as well as Gomez’s mother. She is known for making up spells, hexes and potions, as well as being a fortune teller. She also plays the bagpipes, dabbles in painting and wrestles alligators. She has a somewhat morbid sense of humor, has long gray, frizzy hair and usually goes around wearing a dark shawl.
Wednesday Addams (Lisa Loring)-Wednesday is the daughter of Gomez and Morticia, who although sweet, is also very odd. She usually wears black and has her hair in braids, is very pale and enjoys some incredibly morbid type of interests and hobbies. Some of these would include things such as raising spiders, (her favorite spider is a black widow named, Homer) painting pictures that are decidely macabre, decapitating dolls and ballet (although she does this in a black tutu). She very rarely smiles and is quite close to the family butler, Lurch, as well as incredibly strong.
Pugsley Addams (Ken Weatherwax)-Pugsley is the son of Gomez and Morticia, who unlike the rest of the family, has a tendency to conform to more conventional standards now and then. He has a pet octopus named, Aristotle, is smart, kind and is very close to both his parents and his sister. Much like his father, he enjoys playing with blasting caps and is incredibly acrobatic, despite the fact that he is slightly overweight.
Several recurring “characters” as well as pets, without whom the show would not be the same are as follows: Thing T. Thing, Cousin Itt, Ophelia Frump, Grandma Hester “Franny” Frump, Mr. Briggs and Sam Picasso. Their pets are Kitty Kat (the family’s pet lion), Cleopatra (Morticia’s man-eating plant), Zelda (pet vulture), Fang (Pugsley’s pet jaguar), Isolde and Tristan (pet piranhas), Homer (Wednesday’s pet spider) and Aristotle (Pugsley’s pet octopus).
This series was funny and interesting to watch. The characters and storylines were usually very “over the top”, which is what made it so original. I give this series a 7 out of 10.
Gomez Addams-John Astin
Morticia Addams-Carolyn Jones
Uncle Fester-Jackie Coogan
Grandmama Addams-Blossom Rock
Wednesday Addams-Lisa Loring
Pugsley Addams-Ken Weatherwax
Cousin Itt-Felix Silla (also played briefly by Roger Arroyo)
Arthur J. Henson-Parley Baer
Clyde Arbogast-Eddie Quillan
Sam Picasso-Vito Scotti
Mr. Briggs, Postman-Rolfe Sedan
Sam L. Hilliard-Allyn Jostyn
Granny Hester Frump-Margaret Hamilton
1st Moving Man-Leonard Bremen
Hunter-Loyal T. Lucas
James Ferguson-Barry Kelley
Charity Henson-Natalie Masters
Dr. Harold Black-George Petrie
Bosley Swain-Hugh Sanders
Bennie the Bookie-Tim Herbert
Gorgo the Gorilla-George Barrows
Newspaper Boy-Robert Nunn
The series was based on Charles Addams’ cartoons in the prestigous and popular magazine, “The New Yorker”.
John Astin (Gomez Addams) played the role of Grandpapa Addams in the very short-lived series, “The New Addams Family” in the late 1990’s.
Gomez and Morticia Addams were actually a very forward thinking couple on American television. Not only was their family the first to own a home computer (UNIVAC) but they were also the first couple who were implied to have a sex life as well.
Carolyn Jones (Morticia Addams) dreamed of being an actress since she was only a child. She dreamed for years of attending the famed Pasadena Playhouse and was finally able to attend when she was still in her teens. She graduated three years later.
Because Gomez would often put actual lit cigars into his pockets, the prop department lined John Astin’s (Gomez’) pockets with asbestos to help make them fire resistant.
Jackie Coogan (Uncle Fester) was born into a family of vaudevillians and was acting on stage by the time he was only four years old.
John Astin has been married three times. One of which was to actress, Patty Duke, with whom he had sons, actors Mackenzie Astin and (adopted) son, Sean Astin. Although until much later, Duke insisted that Astin was actually Sean’s biological father. This was proven not to be true when the two had a blood test done in 1990. He also has three sons from his first marriage.
Ted Cassidy (Lurch) narrarated the opening credits of “The Incredible Hulk” series, as well as supplied all the roars and growls made by the Hulk, for the first two seasons.
The voice of Cousin Itt was done by one of the producers on The Addams Family, Nat Perrin. Perrin would simply speak a bunch of meaningless chatter into a tape recorder and then play it back at high speed in order to achieve the voice of Cousin Itt that everyone knew and loved.
Blossom Rock, also known as Marie Blake, (Grandmama Addams) was the older sister of actress, Jeanette MacDonald.
Carolyn Jones wanted to look absolutely perfect, in order to be ready for roles in movies. To do this, she gave herself a make-over, which included a painful nose job.
Jackie Coogan acted with famed actor, Charlie Chaplin, when he was only a boy. Decades later, when Chaplin returned to the United States after being gone for 20 years, Coogan was one of the people on hand at the airport to greet him. Though he gave everyone else in the group a simple handshake, he gave Coogan a hearty embrace and said to him, “You know, I think I would rather see you than anybody else”. Coogan often said that this was his proudest moment.
Lisa Loring (Wednesday Addams) has been married four times. One of her former husbands, Paul David Siederman, is actually Jerry Butler, the famous porn star.
Ted Cassidy died at the age of only 47, from complications following open-heart surgery. Cassidy’s live-in girlfriend at the time of his death, had his remains cremated and then buried him in the backyard of their home. Later, his house was sold and torn down.
The Addams Family had a rival show. This was, of course, “The Munsters“. Both shows began within only one week of each other. And strangely enough, both were cancelled after their second seasons.
Ken Weatherwax (Pugsley Addams) has been working as a set builder on movie lots for about the past decade.
Blossom Rock was married only one time to Clarence Rock, and stayed married until his death in 1960. They had no children.
John Astin graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1952 and in addition to his acting roles, currently teaches directing and method acting at his alma mater in the Theater Arts and Studies Department.
One of the sponsors of the series, The Addams Family, was Dutch Masters Cigars.
The Broadway musical version of The Addams Family, starring famed actors, Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth, debuted in April of 2010.
Before Ted Cassidy’s acting career really began, he was living in Dallas, Texas and working as a disc jockey. He was one of the first people to interview eyewitnesses W.E. Newman, Jr. and Gayle Newman on the day of the John F. Kennedy assassination.
Carolyn Jones was married to famed writer and producer, Aaron Spelling, early on in her career. And though they later divorced, they remained friends.
Lisa Loring worked for two years on the daytime soap opera, “As the World Turns”, where she played the role of Cricket Montgomery as well as created it.
Jackie Coogan made quite a bit of money as a child actor, when he turned 21, he wanted the money that he had earned. Unfortunately, his mother and stepfather, Arthur Bernstein, refused to give it to him, plus they had already spent most of it on extravagances like diamonds, fur coats etc. Coogan then decided to file a suit in order to get his money, approximately $4 million dollars. At that time, (back in the 1930’s) however, according to California Law, he had no rights to any money he had made as a child, and in the end, he received about $126,000. Due to the huge public outcry, the California Legislature then passed the Child Actors Bill which was also known as the “Coogan Act“. This would set up a trust fund for any actor who was a child and protect his or her earnings.
The interior of the Addams home was based upon the interior of the apartment of Charles Addams’. It was full of things like an antique crossbow collection, suits of armor as well as many other strange items.
John Astin and Carolyn Jones both had roles on the series “Batman”.
When the series originally debuted, the character of Lurch was to have no lines but instead be mute. However, in one episode, actor Ted Cassidy (Lurch) ad-libbed what would turn out to be his most famous line, “You rang?” And because the line got such a big laugh from the studio audience, Lurch then began to get more dialogue.
The actor who played Uncle Fester, Jackie Coogan, was originally turned down for the part. So he went home, shaved his head and did his own make-up and costume and ended up winning the part of Uncle Fester.
Carolyn Jones died of colon cancer at the age of only 53.
Ken Weatherwax joined the United States Army at the age of 17.
One of the more popular scenes of the series, the part where Gomez would run and then wreck model trains with a big collision and explosion, was actually only shot once. Then the same footage was used each time.
Jackie Coogan was married to the legendary, Betty Grable, for three years.
John Astin has been involved in some way, with more productions of “The Addams Family” than any other actor, ever.
Ted Cassidy was a towering 6 ft. 9 in. tall, which made him the perfect choice for many odd characters.
Blossom Rock died in 1978, at the age of 82 years old.
Ken Weatherwax (Pugsley) was supposedly allergic to the costumes that were made from 100% wool. So instead of wearing the costumes given to him by the costume designers, his costumes were all bought by his mother.
The home of the Addams’ family, mostly consisted of sets that were recycled from the 1964 movie, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”, starring Debbie Reynolds.
Carolyn Jones suffered from incredibly severe asthma as a child.
Jackie Coogan served in the United States Army during World War War II, returning to Hollywood afterward. During his time in the army, however, he was the pilot of a CG-4A Waco (which is a wood and canvas transport glider).
Once the television series of The Addams Family began, “The New Yorker” magazine stopped running any cartoons that were Addams Family-themed, until just before the death of Charles Addams in 1988.
Although Charles Addams made few contributions to the actual series itself, one of the things he did do was to come up with the character’s names (as he had never given his character’s names previously). He managed to come up with names for all of the character’s within a week, except for the name for Mr. Addams. In the end, John Astin was given a choice between the name Gomez or Repelli.
The part of “Thing” was usually played by the actor who also played Lurch, Ted Cassidy. The only usual exceptions to this were when Lurch and Thing both had to be on camera at the same time. When Cassidy would play the part, however, he would sometimes use his left hand instead of his right, (as Thing was usually right-handed) just to see if anyone would actually notice.
Jackie Coogan died of a heart attack at the age of 69 years old.
The man who wrote the theme song for “The Addams Family”, Vic Mizzy, also wrote the theme song for the popular series, “Green Acres”.
Carolyn Jones wrote a novel that was later published, entitled “Twice Upon a Time”.
John Astin (Gomez) was originally offered the role of Lurch, around whom the show was originally supposed to be centered, but he did not feel that the part was right for him. Shortly thereafter, according to Astin, he spoke to executive producer David Levy and told him this, Levy then offered him the part of Gomez Addams instead and the focus of the series was apparently changed.
After working as an actor since she was a child, Lisa Loring stopped in the early 90’s for about two decades, returning to it in 2011.
Ted Cassidy who played Lurch, released a 45 rpm single called “The Lurch”, which was a dance song based on his character. He can actually be seen performing this on a variety show called “Shingdig!”, back in 1965.
Click below to see “The Lurch”
Felix Silla who played Cousin Itt, also played the robot in the series, “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”.
When Jackie Coogan was cast on The Addams Family series, he was nearly broke. After the series ended, he never had a problem getting work again.
Ken Weatherwax’s brother is Joey D. Vieira also known as Donald Keeler, who played the role of “Porky” on TV’s “Lassie” for the first three seasons.
There were two movies made in the 1990’s that were based on the original series, “The Addams Family” and “The Addams Family Values”. The house that was used for the films, cost $100,000 to build. And the name of the baby in the second film, “Pubert”, was actually supposed to be the original name of Pugsley in the series, but it was thought to be too sexual in nature at the time.
Only three members of the cast appeared in every episode of the series. These were Carolyn Jones, John Astin and Ted Cassidy.
Carolyn Jones was married four times but had no children.
Jackie Coogan, his father and his best friend, were all in a car accident when Jackie was only 20 years old. Tragically, Jackie was the only survivor, losing both his father and his best friend within hours of each other.
John Astin’s father, Dr. Allen Astin, was the director of the National Bureau of Standards, now known as the National Institute of Standards and Technology.