Charles Samuel Addams (January 7, 1912 – September 29, 1988) was an American artist and cartoonist known for his darkly humorous and macabre characters. He signed his cartoons under the pen name Chas Addams. Some of the recurring characters, who became known as the Addams Family, have been the basis for spin-offs in several other forms of media.https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Addams
13 Kooky Facts About The Addams Family
They may have been mysterious and spooky, but even after half a century off the air, The Addams Family is still one of the most beloved sitcoms of all time. If the theme song still has you snapping your fingers, read on for a few facts about the creepy clan.
1. THE SERIES WAS BASED ON A NEW YORKER CARTOON.
Freelance illustrator Charles Addams began his relationship with The New Yorker on February 6, 1932, when they paid him $7.50 for a cartoon about a window washer. The first cartoon with Addams Family-style characters appeared in 1938—one of only about two dozen cartoons featuring the macabre clan.
2. THE CHARACTERS DIDN’T HAVE NAMES UNTIL THE TV SHOW.
Addams didn’t name the characters in his New Yorker cartoons, but did suggest a few monikers for those in the series. When it came to the head of the family, Addams preferred “Repelli” to Gomez. He also suggested “Pubert” for the name of the son, but it was rejected for sounding too dirty. The name was later used in the movie Addams Family Values (1993). Addams didn’t come up with “Wednesday,” however; that was left to a company that was making toys to go with the launch of the show. They created the name based on “Monday’s Child,” an old nursery rhyme that assigned attributes to children based on the day of the week they were born. Wednesday’s child is “full of woe.”
3. JOHN ASTIN WAS ORIGINALLY CONSIDERED FOR LURCH.
Though John Astin auditioned for the role of the butler, it’s no wonder casting directors assigned him to Gomez, instead—the actor and the character apparently share a lot of similarities. “My brother said that Gomez is the clearest extension of my personality than anything else I’ve done,” Astin said. “That’s really who I am.”
4. THE ACTRESS WHO PLAYED GRANNY FRUMP WAS FAMILIAR WITH PLAYING WITCHES.
Morticia’s seldom-seen mother, Granny Frump, was played by Margaret Hamilton. Hamilton is best known for her role as the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz.
5. LURCH WAS INTENDED TO BE MUTE.
But then actor Ted Cassidy ad-libbed the line, “You rang?” and Lurch was given a voice. He still wasn’t one for much conversation, but he did spit out a few words here and there—and even had a brief side career as a rock star:
6. JACKIE COOGAN, A.K.A. UNCLE FESTER, HAS A LAW NAMED AFTER HIM.
Coogan was a child actor who played the title role in Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid. Unfortunately, his parents grossly mishandled his earnings, and by the time he was 21 years old, he was practically penniless. His case inspired the Coogan Law, legislation in certain states (including California) that requires that 15 percent of all minors’ earnings be put into a trust fund, called a Coogan Account.
7. COUSIN ITT WAS INTRODUCED BY PRODUCER DAVID LEVY.
Gomez’s follically blessed cousin wasn’t in the original Addams cartoons; he was added at the suggestion of producer David Levy. Addams drew a cartoon featuring Itt to introduce regulars to the character before the show debuted. The illustration featured the hairy humanoid on the phone, saying, “This is It speaking.”
8. THE CAST DIDN’T GET ANY RESIDUALS FROM THE RERUNS.
According to John Astin, the constant reruns of the series never benefited the actors. “In those days, we got paid for five reruns, and that was it. People ask me, 'Aren't you disappointed?' You know, one is an actor primarily—at least, I am—because he wants to communicate with people. I want to spread whatever feeling or message or encouragement there is. Who can ask for more than that if it continues? That’s much more important than money.”
9. ADDAMS MADE ABOUT $1 MILLION FROM THE SHOW.
Between episode payments, reruns, and residuals, Addams made $141,276—about $1,073,074 in today's dollars. It would have been a bit more, but as part of his divorce settlement, the cartoonist agreed to give 10 percent of his cut of the show to his ex-wife.
10. THE ADDAMS FAMILY'S HOUSE WAS REAL.
The house we see in the opening credits was a real house, located at 21 Chester Place in Los Angeles. To make it a little spookier, special effects technicians added a third floor with a tower. The house was demolished sometime between 1968 and 1972.
11. THEME SONG WRITER VIC MIZZY PENNED ANOTHER FAMOUS TV SONG.
Just one season after The Addams Family debuted, Vic Mizzy wrote the memorable song for Green Acres.
Still, The Addams Family was his bread and butter: “That’s why I’m living in Bel-Air,” he once said. “Two finger snaps and you’re in Bel-Air.”
12. THE NEW YORKER REFUSED TO RUN THE CARTOON WHEN THE SHOW CAME OUT.
Despite the fact that Charles Addams had been illustrating the creepy characters for The New Yorker since 1938, the esteemed publication didn’t want to be associated with the television show. Still, Addams was occasionally able to sneak them into other cartoons he drew for the magazine.
13. THE SHOW WAS CANCELED AFTER TWO SEASONS.
Because The Munsters debuted around the same time The Addams Family did, the public quickly got burned out on monster sitcoms—at least, that’s what the networks believed. Both shows got the axe at the end of their second seasons. “We had good writers. It was a light comedy, but it was well done,” said Felix Silla, the actor who played Cousin Itt. “That year ABC canceled The Addams Family. They canceled The Munsters. They canceled everything!” Carolyn Jones, who played Morticia, probably had the best outlook: “Perhaps the only answer is: That’s television!”https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/81536/13-kooky-facts-about-addams-family
Cartoonist, Charles Addams
Not only the creator of the Addams Family, but Charles Addams, was a cartoonist of over 5,000 macabre and wickedly funny 1 panel cartoons.
He had a passion for unique classic cars and quite the ladies man back in his day. He even had a series of affairs with Joan Fontaine, Jackie Onassis and even Greta Garbo!
His first wife, Barbara Day resembled the character who became known as Morticia in 1933, many years before he married Barbara or either of his two other wives, all of whom had that similar look.
This photograph of Addams drawing Morticia as Barbara “poses” was nothing more than a set-up publicity shot. She hated all that referencing of her and Morticia and, after her divorce, she cut her hair into a page-boy style and wore it that way the rest of her life.
1st Wife: Barbara Jean Day
2nd Wife: Barbara Barb
3rd Wife: Marilyn Matthews Miller
Of the three wives, 2nd wife Barbara Barb looked even more like Morticia than Barbara Day. (She even got a nose job to match the character.) But she was an abusive woman who once attacked her husband with an African spear. She was also a lawyer, and she used her legal skills to force Addams to sign over the rights to many of his cartoons. By the time the couple divorced just two years into their marriage, Barb had complete control of The Addams Family rights, and she stalled production on the television show until the producers agreed to give her more money.
There were also 3 actresses who played Morticia; first played by Carolyn Jones in the Addams Family TV series and later by Angelica Huston in the feature film version and Daryl Hannah in the direct to video version.
From People Magazine: 10/17/1988 At first glance, his drawings seem crude, but art critic John Russell has noted “the rock-solid composition, the eye for scale and placement, the calculated ordinariness that lures us into the trap.”
Cartoonists admire Addams’ sense of architecture. “You could build the rooms he draws,” says his friend Frank Modell, “and his figures are constructed like Romanesque temples.” James Stevenson, another friend, finds his buildings “weirdly animated. You’re not sure what’s alive in his drawings and what isn’t.” And all these effects, Modell says, were achieved with technical mastery. “When Chas painted a cartoon, he began at the top and worked straight down to the bottom—like a rug weaver.”
Charles Addams wanted to be remembered as a "Good Cartoonist," but he became a great American Cartoonist and died on the morning of September 29, 1988, in his car in front of his apartment at West 54th Street in New York City. Tee Addams (Marilyn Matthews) his wife made a remark that could have been a caption for one of his cartoons: "He's always been a car buff, so it was a nice way to go," she told The New York Times.
Great Doc about Addams
Learn more about Charles Addamshttp://www.charlesaddams.com/
Chas Addams: A Cartoonist' Life
The World of Charles Addamshttp://animateducated.blogspot.com/2017/02/cartoonist-charles-addams.html?m=1
This was the first scene I ever saw:
The Addams Family (1964 TV series)
The Addams Family is an American macabre/black comedy sitcom based on the characters from Charles Addams' New Yorker cartoons. The 30-minute television series was created by David Levy and Donald Saltzman and shot in black-and-white, airing for two seasons on ABC from September 18, 1964, to April 8, 1966, for a total of 64 episodes. The show is also notable for its opening theme, which was composed and sung by Vic Mizzy.
Carolyn Sue Jones (April 28, 1930 – August 3, 1983) was an American actress of television and film. Jones began her film career in the early 1950s, and by the end of the decade had achieved recognition with a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for The Bachelor Party (1957) and a Golden Globe Award as one of the most promising new actresses of 1959. Her film career continued for another 20 years. In 1964, she began playing the role of Morticia Addams in the original black and white television series The Addams Family.
John Allen Astin (born March 30, 1930) is an American actor who has appeared in numerous films and television series, as well as a television director and voice artist. He is best known for starring as Gomez Addams in The Addams Family (1964–1966), reprising the role in the television film Halloween with the New Addams Family (1977) and the animated series The Addams Family (1992–1993). Notable film roles include in West Side Story (1961), That Touch of Mink (1962), Move Over, Darling (1963), Freaky Friday (1976), National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985), Teen Wolf Too (1987) and The Frighteners (1996). His second wife was actress Patty Duke and he is the adoptive father of Duke's son, actor Sean Astin.