Since Charles Addams’s cartoons were published in The New Yorker in 1938, The Addams Family took off, paving the way for a popular television series in 1964, movies in the 1990s, and a spin-off series called Wednesday in 2022.
With each rendition, new faces have taken on the spooky and kooky roles of Morticia, Gomez, Wednesday, Pugsley, and their extended family. Take a look, and see The Addams Family cast throughout history.
The matriarch of The Addams Family, Morticia Addams, is beautiful, graceful, and a lot of gothic wrapped up in a floor-length black gown and pin-straight ebony hair.
She loves raising carnivorous plants and is fiercely dedicated to her family. Throughout history, Morticia has been played by Carolyn Jones, Anjelica Houston, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
In the 1964 television series The Addams Family, actress Carolyn Jones took on the role of Morticia Addams, the matriarch of the kooky Addams family. Donning a black wig over her iconic short hair, Jones earned a Golden Globe nomination for her performance as the magical yet calm mother.
She even showed her comedic side with the role!
Arguably the most popular and well-known actress to play Morticia Addams, Anjelica Houston, took on the role for a few Addams Family movies in the 1990s, starting in 1991.
The Academy Award-winning actress was stern and aloof in the role, prompting a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical.
Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones’ role as Morticia Addams was a bit different than both of her predecessors, as she is a guest star in Wednesday and not one of the main characters. Of course, she kept Morticia’s signature vampire-chic look!
Dave Nemetz of TVLine praised the Academy Award winner for her performance, saying she was “exquisitely well-cast.”
Patriarch Gomez Addams is a retired lawyer who is deeply in love with his stoic wife. A bit on the goofier side, Gomez tends to be content detonating mode trains and laughing over their demise.
Even with his quirkiness, Gomez is a very wealthy man who is able to provide for his family. Over the years, the role has been played by John Astin, Raúl Juliá, and Luis Guzmán.
John Astin portrayed Gomez Addams opposite Carolyn Jones’ Morticia in the 1964 sitcom The Addams Family. It wasn’t the only time Astin took on the character, though!
He reprised the role three more times, including a voice role in the animated series The Addams Family, which ran from 1992 to 1993.
Actor Raúl Juliá took on the role of Gomez Addams in the 1991 film The Addams Family, starring opposite Anjelica Houston’s Morticia Addams. According to the Puerto Rican actor, he was attracted to the role because “even [Gomez’s] depressions are wonderful.”
For his performance, Juliá received a Saturn Award nomination.
Fans might recognize Luis Guzmán from numerous other films and television shows, including Narcos, The Limey, and Oz. In 2022, he took on the iconic role of Gomez Addams, opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones’ Morticia Addams, in the Netflix series Wednesday.
Like Zeta-Jones, Guzmán’s character is a guest star, unlike past portrayals of the patriarch of the Addams Family.
The only daughter of the Addams Family, Wednesday Addam’s deadpan humor, kooky dance moves, and love of all things morbid captured The Addams Family fans from the start.
Oddly enough, the character changed a bit throughout the years, starting as a sweet young girl in the 1964 sitcom with Lisa Loring and moving toward a more gothic portrayal with both Christina Ricci in 1991 and Jenna Ortega in 2022.
Lisa Loring was the first actress to portray the iconic role of Wednesday Addams. At six years old, Loring stole the hearts of everyone who watched the 1964 sitcom, especially with her iconic dance number.
While her childhood acting career made her a household name, Loring stopped acting after the late 1980s.
One of the most famous portrayals of Wednesday Addams is arguably that of Christina Ricci. In her breakout role, Ricci was no more than ten years old at the time of her casting.
Even at a young age, it was obvious Ricci had a flair for dark, spooky, and kooky characters!
In 2022, Jenna Ortega pretty much broke Netflix with her modern portrayal of Wednesday Addams in Wednesday. While the series is still about the Addams Family, it primarily focuses on Wednesday as she navigates being a teenager at Nevermore Academy, something fans of the family haven’t seen before.
Like Loring, Ortega showed off Wednesday’s quirky dance moves in an iconic number.
The son of Morticia and Gomez, Pugsley is a sweet-hearted kid with psychopathic tendencies who is pretty much always seen wearing a striped shirt. He’s typically the source of his sister Wednesday’s “experiments.”
Like Wednesday, Pugsley’s character has changed from the 1964 sitcom to the 1991 film to the 2022 spin-off series. The character has been played by Ken Weatherwax, Jimmy Workman, and Isaac Ordonez.
In the 1964 sitcom The Addams Family, Ken Weatherwax took on the role of Pugsley, Gomez and Morticia’s son. At eight years old, Pugsley is seen as a kind-hearted and smart boy who doesn’t mind conforming a bit to society, unlike his family.
Of course, he still does kooky things, like play with his pet octopus, Aristotle.
Jimmy Workman took on the role of Pugsley in the 1991 film The Addams Family as well as the 1992 film Addams Family Values. In the films, Pugsley is a bit older than the original eight years seen in the sitcom.
And, like the rest of his family, he is a bit more morbid and less likely to conform to society. He’s also not as smart, seemingly ok being the guinea pig in his sister’s lethal experiments.
In an interesting turn of events, Isaac Ordonez’s Pugsley, for the first time, is portrayed as Wednesday’s younger brother and not her older brother in The Addams Family spin-off series Wednesday.
According to Ordonez, he wasn’t nervous about taking on the iconic role, saying, “I just went in blind. I just went with it and created him.”
First portrayed as Morticia’s uncle and then Gomez’s brother in later versions of The Addams Family, one thing stays consistent, Uncle Fester is as kooky as they come!
Bald with deep-set dark eyes and a crazy-looking smile, Fester has the ability to control electricity and, later, lightning from his hands! The character has been played by Jackie Coogan, Christopher Lloyd, and Fred Armisen.
In 1964, actor Jackie Coogan took on the role of Uncle Fester, Morticia Addams’s kooky uncle. He was portrayed as a fun uncle who took relaxation to a whole new level, lying on a bed of nails or even stretching himself on a wooden rack.
Like Morticia, Fester was gifted with abilities. In his case, it was controlling electricity.
Christopher Lloyd took on the role of Uncle Fester in the 1991 film The Addams Family. This time, he was the gullible long-lost brother of Gomez and Wednesday and Pugsley’s uncle.
Sadly, Lloyd’s Fester always seems to be the unknowing participant in femme fatale plans to steam the Addams family fortune.
Still bald but a bit more sinister, Fred Armisen portrays Uncle Fester in the Netflix original series Wednesday. A little less gullible, Wednesday recruits Fester to help her solve mysteries around Jericho and Nevermore Academy.
Once again, Fester has abilities and can control lightning with his hands, namely shooting bolts out of his fingers!
The Addams family’s loyal butler, Lurch, might not be related to the rest of the clan, but they treat him as one of their own.
Tall and menacing, Lurch looks like Frankenstein and typically communicates with various grunts and groans unless he is summoned via bell and says, “you rang?” Lurch has been played by Ted Cassidy, Carel Struycken, and George Burcea.
There is a reason why Lurch in the 1964 sitcom The Addams Family is Ted Cassidy’s most well-known role. He pretty much made the character, making the one-liner “you rang?” an instant hit along with his dance to “The Lurch” alongside Wednesday.
While he does many butler-related duties, Lurch also enjoys playing the harpsichord. Fun fact: Cassidy did not actually play the instrument on the show, even though he was an accomplished organist.
While Ted Cassidy had a few lines here and there for Lurch, actor Carel Struycken’s portrayal of the character was entirely mute, only communicating with grunts and groans.
Even though he didn’t have a speaking role, the menacing butler still became a fan-favorite, thanks to the hijinks he somehow manages to get himself into with Wednesday and Pugsley.
Not a lot is known about Romanian actor George Burcea, aside from the fact that he’s been in a few films throughout the years and portrays Lurch in Wednesday.
Like most of the Addams family in the series, Lurch isn’t a primary focus and is only seen sporadically in a few episodes. Still, the character has kept his iconic monstrous frame and imposing persona.
From practical effects back in the 1964 sitcom The Addams Family to new CGI technology in the subsequent films and series, one thing remained the same, the Thing is a disembodied hand that acts as a companion for the Addams family!
Originally the Thing was played by Ted Cassidy before the mantel has handed off to Christopher Hart and then Victor Dorobantu.
Ted Cassidy & Jack Voglin
In the 1964 sitcom The Addams Family, the Thing conveniently popped out of boxes and other jars, making practical effects simple for actor Ted Cassidy (who also played Lurch).
If Lurch and the Thing were needed in the same scene, though, the latter was given over to associate producer Jack Voglin.
While Christopher Hart is an actor, he is also a magician who took up the role of the Thing in the 1991 film The Addams Family.
In the movie and its sequel, the Thing is a companion for the family, especially Gomez, who enjoys playing chess with the disembodied hand!
The Thing leaves the Addams family mansion in Wednesday. Played by Victor Dorobantu (at least, his hand), the Thing is shipped off to Nevermore Academy by Gomez and Morticia, hoping the disembodied hand would keep Wednesday company and help her solve the mysteries revolving around the school.
The Thing looks very different than its past portrayals, foregoing the unmarred skin for something a bit more scarred and horrific looking.