Person:Charles Addams (3)

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Charles Samuel Addams
  1. Charles Samuel Addams1912 - 1988
m. 1942
  • HCharles Samuel Addams1912 - 1988
  • WEstelle Barb1920 - 2002
m. 1954
m. 1980


Charles "Chas" Samuel Addams[12] (January 7, 1912 – September 29, 1988) was an American cartoonist known for his particularly black humor and macabre characters. Some of the recurring characters, who became known as The Addams Family, became the basis for two live-action television series, two animated TV series, three motion pictures, and a Broadway musical.[13]

His Personal Life

Charles Samuel Addams was born in Westfield, New Jersey, the son of Grace M. (née Spears) and Charles Huy Addams, a piano-company executive who had studied to be an architect.[14] He was "known as something of a rascal around the neighborhood" and "there was always a little group of boys at his house, doing things," as childhood friends recalled.[15] Addams was distantly related to U.S. presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, despite the different spellings of their last names,[16] and was a first cousin twice removed to Jane Addams, the noted social reformer.[17]

House from the childhood of Charles Addams in Westfield that became the inspiration for the home of his famous cartoon characters.

His nickname was "Chill", given to him by his friends.[18] A house on Elm Street, and another on Dudley Avenue that police once caught him breaking into, are said to be the inspiration for the Addams Family mansion in his cartoons (though one site points to a three-way resemblance among the Addams Family mansion, the house in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and the Victorian building depicted in Edward Hopper's "House by the Railroad").[19]. College Hall, the oldest building on the current campus of the University of Pennsylvania, where Addams studied, was also an inspiration for the mansion.[20] He was fond of visiting the Presbyterian Cemetery on Mountain Avenue.[21] One friend said of him, "His sense of humor was a little different from everybody else's." He was also artistically inclined, "drawing with a happy vengeance" according to a biographer.[22]

His father encouraged him to draw,[23] and Addams did cartoons for the Westfield High School student literary magazine, Weathervane.[24] He attended Colgate University in 1929 and 1930, and the University of Pennsylvania, where a fine-arts building on campus is named for him, in 1930 and 1931. In front of the building is a sculpture of the silhouettes of Addams Family characters.[25] He then studied at the Grand Central School of Art in New York City in 1931 and 1932.[26][27]

In late 1942, he met his first wife, Barbara Jean Day, who purportedly resembled the cartoon Morticia Addams.[28] The marriage ended eight years later, after Addams, who hated small children, refused to adopt one.[29]

He married his second wife, Barbara Barb (Estelle B. Barb), in 1954. A practicing lawyer, she "combined Morticia-like looks with diabolical legal scheming," by which she wound up controlling the "Addams Family" television and movie franchises and persuaded her husband to give away other legal rights.[30] At one point, she got her husband to take out a $100,000 insurance policy. Addams consulted a lawyer on the sly, who later humorously wrote, "I told him the last time I had word of such a move was in a picture called Double Indemnity starring Barbara Stanwyck, which I called to his attention." In the movie, Stanwyck's character plotted her husband's murder.[31] No one has accused Barbara Barb Addams of attempting the same. They divorced in 1956.[32]

The Addams Family television series began after David Levy, a television producer, approached Addams with an offer to create it with a little help from the humorist. All Addams had to do was give his characters names and more characteristics for the actors to use in portrayals. The series ran on ABC for two seasons, from 1964 to 1966.[33]

Addams was "sociable and debonair," and described by a biographer as "A well-dressed, courtly man with silvery back-combed hair and a gentle manner, he bore no resemblance to a fiend." Figuratively a ladykiller, Addams squired celebrities such as Greta Garbo, Joan Fontaine, and Jacqueline Kennedy on social occasions.[34]

In 1980[35], he married his third and last wife, Marilyn Matthews Miller, best known as "Tee" (1926–2002), in a pet cemetery.[36] In 1985, the Addamses moved to Sagaponack, New York, where they named their estate "The Swamp".[37]S3

His Professional Life

In 1932 he joined the layout department of True Detective magazine, where he had to retouch photos of corpses that appeared in the magazine's stories to remove the blood from them. Addams complained that "A lot of those corpses were more interesting the way they were."[38] The job taught him magazine work and the use of wash technique.[39]

His first drawing in The New Yorker ran on February 6, 1932 (a sketch of a window washer), and his cartoons ran regularly in the magazine from 1938, when he drew the first instance of what came to be called the Addams Family,[40] until his death. He was a freelancer throughout that time.[41]

During World War II, Addams served at the Signal Corps Photographic Center in New York, where he made animated training films for the Army.

Cartoons

His cartoons regularly appeared in The New Yorker, and he also created a syndicated comic strip, Out of This World, which ran in 1956. There are many collections of his work, including Drawn and Quartered (1942) and Monster Rally (1950), the latter with a foreword by John O'Hara. Typical of Addams's work, one cartoon shows two men standing in a room labeled "Patent Attorney." One is pointing a bizarre gun out the window toward the street and saying, "Death ray, fiddlesticks! Why, it doesn't even slow them up!"

Addams drew more than 1,300 cartoons over the course of his life. Those that didn't appear in The New Yorker were often in Collier's and TV Guide.[42] In 1961, Addams received, from the Mystery Writers of America, a Special Edgar Award for his body of work. His cartoons appeared in books, calendars, and other merchandising. Singer-guitarist Dean Gitter's 1957 recording Ghost Ballads (Riverside, RLP 12-636), folk songs with supernatural themes, was packaged with album art by Addams showing a haunted house.

In 1946 Addams met science-fiction writer Ray Bradbury after having drawn an illustration for Mademoiselle magazine's publication of Bradbury's short story "Homecoming", the first in a series of tales chronicling a family of Illinois vampires named the Elliotts. The pair became friends, and planned to collaborate on a book of the Elliott Family's complete history with Bradbury writing and Addams providing the illustrations, but it never materialized. Bradbury's stories about the "Elliott Family" were finally anthologized in From The Dust Returned in October 2001, with a connecting narrative and an explanation of his work with Addams, and Addams' 1946 Mademoiselle illustration used for the book's cover jacket. Although Addams' own characters were well-established by the time of their initial encounter, in a 2001 interview Bradbury states that "(Addams) went his way and created the Addams Family and I went my own way and created my family in this book."[43]

Janet Maslin, in a review of an Addams biography for The New York Times, wrote, "Addams's persona sounds cooked up for the benefit of feature writers ... was at least partly a character contrived for the public eye," noting that one outré publicity photo showed the humorist wearing a suit of armor at home, "but the shelves behind him hold books about painting and antiques, as well as a novel by John Updike."[44]

In Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest, Cary Grant references Charles Addams in the auction scene. Discovering Eve with Mr. Vandamm and Leonard, he says, "The three of you together. Now that's a picture only Charles Addams could draw." The filmmaker was a friend of Addams', and owned two pieces of original Addams art.[45] Addams is also mentioned as "Chas Addams" (how he usually signed his cartoons) in Edward Eager's fantasy novel Knight's Castle.S3

Books

List of Addams's drawings or illustrated by him:[46]

  1. Drawn and Quartered (1942), first anthology of drawings (Random House)
  2. Addams and Evil (1947), an album of cartoons, (Simon and Schuster)
  3. Afternoon in the Attic (illustrations) (1950), John Kobler’s anthology of short stories
  4. Monster Rally (1950) his third anthology of drawings (Simon & Schuster)
  5. Homebodies (1954) fourth anthology of drawings (Simon & Schuster)
  6. Nightcrawlers (1957), fifth anthology of drawings (Simon & Schuster)
  7. Dear Dead Days (1959), compilations book
  8. Black Maria (1960), sixth anthology of drawings (Simon & Schuster)
  9. Drawn and Quartered (1962) re-released (Simon & Schuster)
  10. The Groaning Board (1964), seventh anthology of drawings
  11. The Chas Addams Mother Goose (1967) Windmill Books
  12. My Crowd (1970), eighth anthology of drawings (Simon & Schuster)
  13. Favorite Haunts (1976), ninth anthology of drawings (Simon & Schuster)
  14. Creature Comforts, (1981), drawings
  15. The World of Charles Addams, by Charles Addams (1991), posthumously compiled from works with the copyright owned by his second wife, later named Lady Barbara Cloyton (Knopf) ISBN 0-394-58822-3
  16. Half-Baked Cookbook, by Charles Addams (2005), anthology of drawings (Simon & Schuster) ISBN 0-743-26775-3
  17. Happily Ever After: A Collection of Cartoons to Chill the Heart of Your Loved One, by Charles Addams (2006), anthology of drawings (Simon & Schuster) ISBN 9780743267779
  18. The Addams Family: An Evilution (2010), about the evolution of The Addams Family characters (arranged by H. Kevin Miserocchi) ISBN 978-0-7649-5388-0

His Death

Addams died September 29, 1988, at St. Clare's Hospital and Health Center in New York City, having suffered a heart attack while parked in his car. An ambulance brought him from his apartment to the hospital, where he died in the emergency room.[47] As he had requested, a wake was held; he had wished to be remembered as a "good cartoonist." He was cremated and his ashes were buried in the pet cemetery of his estate "The Swamp" in Sagaponack,New York.S3

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Charles Addams.

Fact and Events

Name[3] Charles Samuel Addams
Alt Name[3] Chas Addams
Gender Male
Birth[1][3][6][10] 7 January 1912 Westfield, Union, New Jersey, United States
Census[5][11] 28 April 1930 Westfield, Union, New Jersey, United StatesElm Street
Graduation[6] Westfield, Union, New Jersey, United StatesWestfield High School
Employment[6][8] New Yorker Magazine
Marriage 1942 to Barbara Jean Day
Divorce 1950 from Barbara Jean Day
Marriage 1954 to Estelle Barb
Divorce 1956 from Estelle Barb
Marriage 1980 to Marylin Morris Matthews
Death[1][3][8] 29 September 1988 New York City, New York, United StatesSt. Clare's Hospital
Occupation[1][2][4][8][9] Writer, Cartoonist Legend
Burial[7] Sagaponack, Suffolk, New York, United StatesCharles Addams Estate Grounds


References and Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Charles Samuel Addams, in Shelly. Anybody and Everybody Family Tree: Ancestors of Charles Samuel Addams (1912). (WorldConnect Project Family Tree), 13 February 2009, Questionable quality.

    "Charles Samuel Addams was born 1912 in Westfield, New Jersey, and died 1988. He was the son of Charles Huy Addams and Grace Spear.

  2. Charles Addams, in Wikipedia: The Addams Family, 24 July 2010, Secondary quality.

    "The Addams Family is a group of fictional characters created by American cartoonist Charles Addams. The Addamses are a satirical inversion of the ideal American family; an eccentric, wealthy clan who delight in the macabre and are unaware that people find them bizarre or frightening. They originally appeared as a series of single panel cartoons, published in The New Yorker between 1938 and Addams's 1988 death. They have since been adapted to other media, including television series, films, video games, and a musical."

  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Charles Addams, in Wikipedia: Charles Addams, 14 July 2010, Secondary quality.

    "Charles 'Chas' Samuel Addams (January 7, 1912 – September 29, 1988) was an American cartoonist known for his particularly black humor and macabre characters. Some of the recurring characters, who became known as The Addams Family, became the basis for two live-action television series, two animated TV series, three motion pictures, and a Broadway musical."

  4. Charles Samuel Addams, in samuel&gsln=addams&_81004010=1912&_81004030=1988&uidh=f93&pcat=ROOT_CATEGORY&h=8696205&recoff=1 2 3&db=bgmi Ancestry: Biography & Genealogy Master Index (BGMI), 27 July 2010, Secondary quality.

    Name: Charles Samuel Addams
    Birth - Death: 1912-1988
    Source Citations:
    * American National Biography. 24 volumes. Edited by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. (AmNatBi)
    * The Cambridge Biographical Encyclopedia. Second edition. Edited by David Crystal. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1998. (CamBiEn)
    * Chambers Biographical Dictionary. Sixth edition. Edited by Melanie Parry. New York: Larousse Kingfisher Chambers, 1997. (ChamBiD)
    * The Houghton Mifflin Dictionary of Biography. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2003. (HouMifDB)
    * The Penguin Encyclopedia. Second edition. Edited by David Crystal. London: Penguin Books, 2004. (PenEnc)
    * The Riverside Dictionary of Biography. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005. (RivDcB)
    * The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives. Volume Two: 1986-1990. Edited by Kenneth T. Jackson. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1999. (ScrEAmL 2) Biography contains portrait.
    * Who Was Who in America. Volume 9, 1985-1989. Wilmette, IL: Marquis Who's Who, 1989. (WhAm 9)
    * Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. A bio-bibliographical guide to current writers in fiction, general nonfiction, poetry, journalism, drama, motion pictures, television, and other fields. Volume 79. Detroit: Gale Group, 1999. (ConAu 79NR)
    * Who Was Who in American Art. 400 years of artists in America. Second edition. Three volumes. Edited by Peter Hastings Falk. Madison, CT: Sound View Press, 1999. (WhAmArt 2)

  5. Charles S Addams, in samuel&gsln=addams&_81004010=1912&_81004030=1988&uidh=f93&pcat=ROOT_CATEGORY&h=122674777&recoff=6 7 8 19 20&db=1930usfedcen&indiv=1 Ancestry.com: 1930 United States Federal Census, 43, 28 April 1930, Primary quality.

    == Census Extract Transcription ==
    Name: Charles S Addams
    Home in 1930: Westfield, Union, New Jersey
    Age: 18
    Estimated birth year: abt 1912
    Relation to Head of House: Son
    Father's Name: Charles H
    Mother's Name: Grace M
    Race: White
    Household Members: Name Age
    Charles H Addams 56 Head
    Grace M Addams 50 Wife
    Charles S Addams 18 Son
    Florence E Worthley 30 Lodger

    1930 U.S. Census (New Jersey)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Ron MacCloskey. Charles Addams (1912-1988), Questionable quality.

    Charles Samuel Addams or "Chill" as his friends called him, was born on January 7, 1912 in Westfield, New Jersey. Records show at the time of his birth the Addams' lived on Summit Avenue. They moved several times before taking up permanent residence in 1920 on Elm Street and stayed there until 1947. He attended public school in Westfield and was fond of visiting the Presbyterian Cemetery on Mountain Ave. When he was a youngster he was caught by the police for breaking into a house on Dudley Avenue. On the second floor of the garage behind the main house there is a chalk drawing of a skeleton which is believed to have been drawn by Charles Addams. That house on Dudley and one on Elm Street is said to be the inspiration for the famous "Addams Family house". At Westfield High School, Charles became the art editor for the Weather Vane and drew many cartoons. He graduated in 1929 and attended Colgate University for one year. He switched to the University of Pennsylvania and then studied at Grand Central School of Art in New York City. His dream was to work for The New Yorker Magazine and started submitting cartoons as early as 1935, his very first was entitled "I forgot my Skates." In 1940 he submitted "Downhill Skier" and that got him an offer to come on board full time for New York's premiere magazine. He continued there until his death in 1988, drawing over 1300 cartoons. On occasion, his work did appear in other publications such as Colliers and T.V. Guide.

  7. Charles Samuel Addams, in Find-A-Grave, 1 September 2003, Secondary quality.

    Charles Samuel Addams
    Birth: Jan. 7, 1912
    Death: Sep. 28, 1988
    Fairview, Bergen County, New Jersey, USA

    Cartoonist. Born an only child in Westfield, New Jersey, he attended Westfield High School, where he was the art editor for the ‘Weather Vane'. He attended Colgate University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Grand Central School of Art in New York City briefly but refused to graduate from any of them. Making his first appearance in ‘The New Yorker' magazine in February, 1932, by 1940 he was offered a full-time position at the magazine at an initial thirty-five dollars per cartoon. In 1937 the first so-called "Addams Family" cartoon appeared. His recurring and as yet nameless characters were appreciated by television producer David Levy and Addams was approached about using his characters in a television show. Addams agreed and finally named the characters. On September 18, 1964 the television show "The Addams Family" premiered, and he received $1000 a week for the use of his characters. The show would run for only two years but it spawned two cartoon series, and two successful motion pictures. Best selling collections of Addams' drawings were published periodically and included ‘Drawn & Quartered' in 1942; ‘Afternoon in the Attic' in 1950; ‘Nightcrawler' in 1957; ‘Dear Dead Days' in 1959; ‘Black Maria' in 1960; ‘The Groaning Board' in 1964; ‘The Charles Addams Mother Goose' in 1967; ‘Favorite Haunts in' 1977; and ‘Creature Comforts' in 1981. He continued drawing cartoons, over 1300 in all, until his death in 1988. A cartoon ran after his death depicting his Addams Family standing vigil before his grave while Addams crawled out the other side. A Charles Addams Art Scholarship was founded in 1991. The main branch of the New York Public Library has a Charles Addams Gallery on the third floor. His thirteenth collection of cartoons 'The Addams Family Album' was published posthumously in 1991.

    Burial:
    Charles Addams Estate Grounds
    Sagaponack, Suffolk County, New York, USA
    Plot: Ashes buried in family pet cemetery

    Maintained by: Find A Grave
    Originally Created by: wtaguy
    Record added: Sep 01, 2003
    Find A Grave Memorial# 7818711

  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Charles Addams, in Eric Pace. Charles Addams Dead at 76; Found Humor in the Macabre. (New York Times), 30 September 1988, Secondary quality.
  9. Best known as creator of The Addams Family.
  10. Charles Addams signature
  11. 1930 U.S. Census (New Jersey)
  12. Addams signed his cartoons "Chas Addams" (photo included herein)
  13. Wikpedia: Charles Addams as accessed by BobC on 7 August 2010.
  14. Eric Pace, "Charles Addams Dead at 76; Found Humor in the Macabre" New York Times, September 30, 1988, accessed October 11, 2009.
  15. Maslin, Janet (October 26, 2006). "In Search of the Dark Muse of a Master of the Macabre". The New York Times: p. E9. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/26/books/26masl.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&ref=arts&pagewanted=print. Retrieved 2006-10-26.
  16. Maslin, Janet (October 26, 2006). "In Search of the Dark Muse of a Master of the Macabre". The New York Times: p. E9. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/26/books/26masl.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&ref=arts&pagewanted=print. Retrieved 2006-10-26.
  17. Davis, Linda H. Charles Addams: A Cartoonist's Life. Random House, Inc. 2006.
  18. CHARLES ADDAMS (1912-1988)
  19. Faculty.CUA.ed: "The Psycho House"
  20. http://www.upenn.edu/admissions/tour/tourstop.php?stop=1
  21. MacCloskey, Ron. "Charles Addams". WestfieldNJ.com. http://www.westfieldnj.com/addams/. Retrieved 2008-10-26.
  22. Maslin, Janet (October 26, 2006). "In Search of the Dark Muse of a Master of the Macabre". The New York Times: p. E9. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/26/books/26masl.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&ref=arts&pagewanted=print. Retrieved 2006-10-26.
  23. Eric Pace, "Charles Addams Dead at 76; Found Humor in the Macabre" New York Times, September 30, 1988, accessed October 11, 2009.
  24. MacCloskey, Ron. "Charles Addams". WestfieldNJ.com. http://www.westfieldnj.com/addams/. Retrieved 2008-10-26.
  25. MacCloskey, Ron. "Charles Addams". WestfieldNJ.com. http://www.westfieldnj.com/addams/. Retrieved 2008-10-26.
  26. Eric Pace, "Charles Addams Dead at 76; Found Humor in the Macabre" New York Times, September 30, 1988, accessed October 11, 2009.
  27. MacCloskey, Ron. "Charles Addams". WestfieldNJ.com. http://www.westfieldnj.com/addams/. Retrieved 2008-10-26.
  28. Maslin, Janet (October 26, 2006). "In Search of the Dark Muse of a Master of the Macabre". The New York Times: p. E9. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/26/books/26masl.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&ref=arts&pagewanted=print. Retrieved 2006-10-26.
  29. Maslin, Janet (October 26, 2006). "In Search of the Dark Muse of a Master of the Macabre". The New York Times: p. E9. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/26/books/26masl.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&ref=arts&pagewanted=print. Retrieved 2006-10-26.
  30. Maslin, Janet (October 26, 2006). "In Search of the Dark Muse of a Master of the Macabre". The New York Times: p. E9. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/26/books/26masl.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&ref=arts&pagewanted=print. Retrieved 2006-10-26.
  31. Maslin, Janet (October 26, 2006). "In Search of the Dark Muse of a Master of the Macabre". The New York Times: p. E9. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/26/books/26masl.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&ref=arts&pagewanted=print. Retrieved 2006-10-26.
  32. The Unofficial Addams Family FAQ (fan site), accessed October 26, 2006
  33. MacCloskey, Ron. "Charles Addams". WestfieldNJ.com. http://www.westfieldnj.com/addams/. Retrieved 2008-10-26.
  34. Maslin, Janet (October 26, 2006). "In Search of the Dark Muse of a Master of the Macabre". The New York Times: p. E9. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/26/books/26masl.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&ref=arts&pagewanted=print. Retrieved 2006-10-26.
  35. Webb Family Tree: Charles Samuel Addams (Ancestry.com)
  36. Eric Pace, "Charles Addams Dead at 76; Found Humor in the Macabre" New York Times, September 30, 1988, accessed October 11, 2009.
  37. The Addams Family: An Evilution
  38. Marr, John. Stim.com: "True Detective R.I.P."
  39. Squire, Valerie. Pennsylvania State University Literary and Cultural Heritage Map of Pennsylvania, Spring 2007
  40. Maslin, Janet (October 26, 2006). "In Search of the Dark Muse of a Master of the Macabre". The New York Times: p. E9. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/26/books/26masl.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&ref=arts&pagewanted=print. Retrieved 2006-10-26.
  41. Maslin, Janet (October 26, 2006). "In Search of the Dark Muse of a Master of the Macabre". The New York Times: p. E9. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/26/books/26masl.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&ref=arts&pagewanted=print. Retrieved 2006-10-26.
  42. MacCloskey, Ron. "Charles Addams". WestfieldNJ.com. http://www.westfieldnj.com/addams/. Retrieved 2008-10-26.
  43. http://www.indiebound.org/author-interviews/bradburyray
  44. Maslin, Janet (October 26, 2006). "In Search of the Dark Muse of a Master of the Macabre". The New York Times: p. E9. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/26/books/26masl.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&ref=arts&pagewanted=print. Retrieved 2006-10-26.
  45. Davis, Linda H., "First Chapter: 'Charles Addams'", The New York Times, December 3, 2006
  46. Tee and Charles Addams Foundation, accessed October 26, 2006
  47. Eric Pace, "Charles Addams Dead at 76; Found Humor in the Macabre" New York Times, September 30, 1988, accessed October 11, 2009.
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