Charles Addams: 1912~1988
Born on January 7, 1912, in the town of Westfield, New Jersey, Charles Samuel Addams is known as the Father of the Addams family.
For most of his childhood Charles lived in a Victorian style house on Elm Street.
As a child, Charles had a fascination with horror. He would spend may hours visiting the cemetery. It is rumored, Charles broke into a neighbors' house and was caught by the police. His own home, and the home he broke into, are said to be the inspiration for "The Addams Family Mansion" that was so prominent in his drawings.
Westfield High School is
where Charles got the itch for drawing cartoons. He was the art
editor for "The Weather Vane" school newspaper. He
graduated in 1929 and enrolled in Collgate University. A year later, Charles changed schools to the University of Pennsylvania, to study fine arts. Charles finished his formal studies at the Grand Central School of Art of New York.
From 1933 until 1939, Charles Addams submitted many drawings to many magazines, but he dreamed of being a full time cartoonist for the Prestigious, NEW YORKER Magazine. In 1940, he got his chance after the editors saw his cartoon entitled " Downhill Skier". With the occasional freelance for COLLIERS, LIFE and TV GUIDE, Charles stayed with NEW YORKER until his death.
Charles drew over 1300 cartoons, most of them featuring a strange and morbid family that he would eventually name after himself; "The Addams Family." The family started with a few drawings of Morticia, Lurch and a short, toadish- looking Gomez. As the years progressed, the family grew to include Pugsley, Wednesday, Grandmama, Uncle Fester, Thing and the myriad cousins of the clan. An interesting note is that there are no uses of any names in his drawings. This would, however, change in 1964.
In 1964, Charles Addams
was approached by the television producer, David Levy, to do a
comedy show, based upon the characters in his famous
drawings. Charles had to finally give the characters names, and
identifiable personalities. On September 18, 1964 The TV show
" The Addams Family" was born.
While only lasting a few short years, It was a forerunner to many of the special effects seen in movies today. The show was consistently in the top 25 shows.
Competition with "The Munsters" and reactive producers placed "The Addams family in an early grave in 1966." The characters refused to stay buried though. The Addams Family show has spawned two cartoon series, two Motion pictures, a made for Video movie,and a new series on Fox Family Network.
Like most modern day
cartoonists, Charles Addams has had many books that showcased his
cartoons; from the earliest " Drawn and Quartered" in 1942
to " The World of Charles Addams" in 1991. In Addition,
Charles has had many exhibits in well-known art museums and
schools, such as Fogg Art in Rhode Island, and the University
The awards he has recieved, include the prestigious Yale Humor award and a special Mystery Writers Guild Award.
A Scholarship was founded in his name in 1991 to give a student from Westfield High School assistance in furthering their careers.
Charles Addams died on
September 28, 1988 outside his home. As a lover of cars, Charles
went out and sat in his car. After a long cruise, Charles, put
his head down on the steering wheel. As his heart gave in,
Charles Addams, passed on to the other side.
Charles Adams wanted to be remembered as a fun loving artist, and had requested a party instead of a wake. At the New York Public Library, a party was thrown, complete with a banquet and Jazz bands. In a Boston Newspaper, a cartoon was depicted in which the cartoon family looked sadly down at a grave, while Charles crawled out from the other side.
Charles Addams died the same way he came in...with a style all his own.
Main page //
Whats new //
Sign Guestbook //
Message Board //
Charles Addams // Origins // Cast and Characters // Classic Series // Halloween 1977 //
Addams Family Movie // Addams Family Values // Reunion 1998 // New Series // Odds and Ends //
Pictures // Sounds // Downloads // Addams Family Links // Other Links // Trivia // Email Itt //