What is the life story of Charles Addams?

Who was Charles Addams?

Growing up in the shadow of World War I. Addams found humour in the darkest of places-death. Born in New Jersey on January 7, 1917, his parents encouraged him to channel his creativity into doodles. One of his first jobs involved retouching photos of corpses that appeared in a detective magazine. It helped him come to terms with death and inspired, his macabre cartoons, which were later published in The New Yorker magazine under the pseudonym Chas Addams.

In over a five-decade-long career, Addams contributed over 1,300 cartoons, with at least 80 of them featuring reccurring gothic mysterious and spooky characters, Gomez Morticia, Wednesday, Pugsley, and Fester, who came to be known as “The Addams Family”.

Getting started

At the age of 12, Addams faced his first rejection. He was told that he was not talented by a New York Herald newspaper cartoonist. Instead of feeling disappointed, Addams spurred into action and enrolled at a prestigious art school. In just one year, Addams sold his first drawing, a sketch of a window washer, to The New Yorker. It was published on February 6, 1932. Within a few years, he became a regular contributor to the magazine. And from 1938 till his death on September 29, 1988, the magazine published ‘The Addams Family” series regularly.

The franchise and adaptations

What began as a humble monochromatic cartoon strip in The New Yorker turned into a giant franchise after the series was adapted for television by producer David Levy. However, Addams kept his distance from “The Addams Family” television series. He only decided on the characters’ names and descriptions. The series ran on ABC for two seasons, from 1964 to 1966, and gained global attention.

Intrigued by the popularity of the series, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera introduced an animated version of the Addams Family characters as guests in an episode of the “Scooby Doo” series. The episode titled, “Scooby-Doo Meets the Addams Family”, first aired on television on September 23, 1972. The characters were drawn to the exact specifications of the original Addams cartoons. And the fans loved them so much that Hanna-Barbera created their own animated show featuring the beloved characters.

Considering the enduring appeal of the Addams Family, Netflix has announced a live-action TV series adaptation to be based around the character of Wednesday Addams. With the legendary director Tim Burton at its helm, the series will follow Wednesday as she solves mysteries using her psychic ability.


  • In 1961, Charles Addams received a Special Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America.
  • Addams loved collecting armour and arms, as well as tinkering with cars.
  • Keeping with his dark sense of humour, Addams married his third and final wife, Marilyn Matthews Miller in a pet cemetery. And their home in Sagaponack, New York was called “The Swamp”.


  • Addams was friends with author Ray Bradbury. In fact, the duo were planning to collaborate on a project. But Addams died before it could materialize.
  • Filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock too was a friend of Addams, and owned two pieces of original Addams art.
  • The University of Pennsylvania has a Charles Addams Fine Arts Hall on its campus at 36th and Walnut Streets in Philadelphia. There is a small sculpture of the Addams Family in front of the building.


Picture Credit : Google

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *