Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘The Addams Family’ Cast: Then and Now

‘The Addams Family’ Cast: Then and Now

In a creepy, kooky world, The Addams Family secured its place among classic TV shows during its two-season run. Thanks to some pretty interesting actors and actresses on board, the sitcom provided lots of laughs. The Addams Family, which was loosely based on the Charles Addams cartoons, came to life on TV between 1964-66. Over the years, fans fell in love with Carolyn Jones, John Astin, Jackie Coogan, Ted Cassidy, Lisa Loring, Ken Weatherwax, and Marie Blake (Blossom Rock).

Of course, we can’t leave out “The Thing” and “Cousin Itt” as well. This show went up against, albeit not on the same day or time, The Munsters. Both shows were different in context, yet sitcoms all the same. Now, some people who started watching The Addams Family reruns recently on Pluto TV might want to know a little more about the cast.

Let’s get this out of the way right now. Sadly, the only original cast member still alive is Astin, who is 93 years old. Still, looking at the cast members and their life stories is amazing.

Carolyn Jones

We will start with Carolyn Jones, a native Texan. Playing Morticia Addams, Jones showed off her acting talents to the hilt. She dealt with some serious issues in her family but had getting into acting as her main goal. Jones appeared in numerous movies like King Creole, The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Bachelor Party, and How The West Was Won. When the movie roles started drying up, Jones took the offer for this TV show. After its run, Jones appeared as a guest star in other shows (including as Marsha, Queen of Diamonds, on Batman). Jones died in 1983 after a battle with colon cancer. She was 53.

John Astin

John Astin had some Broadway training in his background, then scored a role in the 1961 film version of West Side Story. Television viewers scored a pre-Addams Family look at him when he teamed up with Marty Ingalls for I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster. That sitcom only lasted one season, leaving him open to play Gomez Addams. Astin’s ability to mix one-liners with physical comedy brought Gomez to life.

Of course, he and Jones had great chemistry between them. That’s obvious when Morticia speaks in French. In his post-Addams career, Astin showed up as one of The Riddler actors on Batman. Astin was married to actress Patty Duke, and he adopted her son Sean from a previous marriage. Yes, that Sean Astin. John did keep busy doing other shows and even a one-man play as Edgar Allen Poe.

Jackie Coogan

Talk about a career. Of course, Jackie Coogan played Uncle Fester on the sitcom. Yet he did have a career as a child actor, one which left Coogan bereft of money. Coogan discovered at 21 years old that his mother and stepfather had used nearly all of his $4 million trust set up from his acting days. To make sure this didn’t happen again, the Coogan Act was set up. After The Addams Family, Coogan appeared on 1970s shows like Barnaby Jones. Coogan died in 1984 from kidney and heart problems.

Ted Cassidy

Standing at 6 feet, 9 inches, Ted Cassidy could be an imposing figure. On the sitcom, Cassidy played Lurch, the ever-faithful butler to the Addams. His “You rang?” saying got a lot of attention, thanks to Cassidy’s bass-deep voice. Showwriters managed to give Lurch some high points, such as when Lurch “gets down” and dances with Wednesday. Also, Lurch can play a mean harpsichord, too.

He doubled up as the hand of “Thing” on the show. Cassidy secured some guest-starring roles in shows like Star Trek and The Beverly Hillbillies after his sitcom ended. He even played Bigfoot in a two-part episode of The Six Million Dollar Man. Cassidy died in 1979 from surgical complications.

Marie Blake (Blossom Rock)

Making her presence felt during family moments was Grandmama, played by Marie Blake. She went by the name of Blossom Rock in the show credits. Grandmama had some key interactions with Uncle Fester at different times. Blake took the Blossom name from her real name, courtesy of Do You Remember. She suffered a stroke in 1966 and dropped out of the acting world. She died in 1978.

Lisa Loring

Man, she was a handful on the show as Wednesday. Lisa Loring played the Addams’ daughter role with a mix of mischievousness and wonderment. In the social media meme world, Loring has a forever spot with Dancing Wednesday. When Lurch joins in, then party time is here. Roles were few and far between for Loring, who dealt with substance abuse issues at one time. She would attend fan conventions and Comic Cons, talking with fans and giving autographs. Loring died in 2023 after suffering a stroke.

Ken Weatherwax

For two seasons, Ken Weatherwax played the dutiful son, Pugsley. It seemed like Pugsley never really stood out from the other cast members. Yet his role and what he contributed to The Addams Family remains endearing to the show’s fans. One show business tidbit: His real-life aunt was actress-dancer Ruby Keeler, a one-time wife to Al Jolson. Weatherwax got typecast as Pugsley and didn’t act anymore. He and Loring shared time at fan conventions, though. Weatherwax died in 2014 from a heart attack.