Debuting in The New Yorker as a cartoon in 1938, the Addams Family found themselves on a television series in 1964. Later, in the 1990s, a film series re-popularized the deranged family. Since then, the franchise has continued to be a success, coming out with a cartoon film, The Addams Family, in 2019. Many of the characters have remained the same over the almost century that the family has existed. To celebrate the newest television series, Wednesday, let’s take a look at how the characters have been recast over the years.
In the original television series, Morticia was played by Carolyn Jones. This version of Morticia knitted, played the shamisen, raised carnivorous plants, and chopped the buds off roses so all that remained were the thorns. She wore a long black dress that spread into what looked like tentacles on the floor, and her hair was long, straight, and black.
The 1991 remake featured Anjelica Huston as Morticia, who was not a far cry from the original version. This Morticia was dressed the same, raised carnivorous plants, and chopped the heads off of roses. She always had a light shining across her eyes to evoke an ominous mysteriousness around her.
In the 2022 Netflix series, Morticia is played by Catherine Zeta-Jones. She makes an excellent Morticia!
The original Gomez was played by John Astin and this version was described as a wealthy “Latin lover” who was passionately in love with his wife. He wore a pinstripe suit, loved to crash model trains, and was always holding a cigar. The 1991 version, played by Raul Julia, kept close to the original character, with his pinstripe suit, the same obsession with his wife, and the same mustache.
The 2022 series also kept the family patriarch looking much the same, with Luis Guzmán sporting a nearly identical look to both of his predecessors – a perfect Gomez.
Wednesday Addams was originally quite a young little girl. She was played by Lisa Loring in the 1964 television series and her character was a strange but kind-natured child. The 1991 Wednesday was played by Christina Ricci and she seemed to be slightly older than the original. This version of Wednesday was far more morose and playfully evil. Both versions of Wednesday sported the same pigtail braids and white-collared black dress. Wednesday was a secondary character in both of these versions.
In the new series, Wednesday is played by Jenna Ortega, who as a teenager is older than both the 1964 and 1991 versions of the character. And though she sports the same pigtail braids and collared dress, she seems far more sinister.
Pugsley’s look has stayed pretty much the same throughout the entire Addams Family franchise. Originally played by Ken Weatherwax in the 1964 sitcom, he was a chunkier kid with a striped shirt who was sweet but still deranged, fitting in perfectly with his family. In the 1991 film, Pugsley was played by Jimmy Workman and was a near-spitting image of his predecessor.
In the 2022 series, Pugsley is played by Isaac Ordonez, who has a darker head of hair but still sports the same striped shirt, and quite frankly looks like he could genuinely be the child of the actors portraying his parents.
Lurch is the loyal butler for the Addams Family, who speaks mostly in groans. He is extremely tall and ominous and gives off a Frankenstein-like appearance. He was originally played by Ted Cassidy, whose makeup made him look extremely gaunt and sunken in. The 1991 Lurch was played by Carel Struycken who fit the role perfectly. Lurch was once again an extremely gaunt-looking, tall butler who spoke only in grunts.
In the new series, Lurch is played by George Burcea, who looks surprisingly similar to Struycken. With such an iconic role, we hope he can remember his lines!
Originally played by Jackie Coogan, Uncle Fester was Morticia’s uncle. He loved being stretched on a wooden torture rack and wore a floor-length black robe. Christopher Lloyd played Uncle Fester in the 1991 remake, and his character was a main player in the film’s plot. With a bald head and sunken eyes, Lloyd bore a striking resemblance to Coogan’s original character.
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In October, fans were thrilled when Netflix announced that SNL alum Fred Armisen would be stepping into the role of Uncle Fester.