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Here’s What Happened to the Cast of ‘The Addams Family’ — and Not a Lot of it Was Good!

More than 80 years ago, cartoonist Charles Addams introduced the world to his skewered look at the American family in the form of the New Yorker single-panel comic strip The Addams Family. Since then, his concept has served as the inspiration of live-action TV shows, animated spinoffs, feature films and a recent CG animated film released to theaters in 2019. But of all of them, the one that continues to stand out from the rest is the 1964-1966 Classic TV show that aired on ABC.

When you look back at ’60s TV, you’ll find a lot of high-concept shows, ranging from Bewitched to Mister Ed (the former about married life between a witch and a mortal, the latter focusing on a talking horse!), but there was something a little bit extra-special about The Addams Family. Like The Munsters, which debuted during the same season, the idea was to take a typical American family (as represented by television sitcoms) and give it a macabre twist. The end result was our weekly invitation to spend time with patriarch Gomez and matriarch Morticia; the zombie manservant (“You rang?”) Lurch, children Pugsley and Wednesday, Uncle Fester and a number of other eccentric relatives and friends.


The audience immediately felt a connection with the Addams; a connection that’s still going strong some 55 years after its debut thanks to the power of reruns. At the same time, while the actors who brought those characters to life were no doubt thrilled for the job at the time, when they signed their contracts they couldn’t have imagined the impact it would have on their career — particularly in terms of how it would ultimately limit their acting opportunities in its aftermath. That cast — including John Astin, Carolyn Jones, Jackie Coogan and Ted Cassidy — had different responses to the typecasting that followed them.

In the following look at the different cast members, we provide a sense of the road that took them to The Addams Family, their feelings about the show and where their lives went afterwards. Sadly, many of them of those lives were less-than-happy, filled with frustration and pain.

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