Christina Ricci (born February 12, 1980) is an American actress and former child actress. Her debut performance in Mermaids (1990) was followed by a breakthrough role as Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family (1991) and its sequel Addams Family Values (1993) when she was 11 and 13, respectively. Following her successes with the Addams Family films, she earned something of a "teen icon" status thanks to appearances in various big-budget productions, notably Now and Then (1995) and Casper (1995), which were marketed for younger audiences. At 17, she made a successful transition into adult-oriented roles with the art-house drama The Ice Storm (1997).
Ricci in May 2008
February 12, 1980|
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||James Heerdegen (m. 2013)|
Ricci continued acting in small-scale independent films such as Buffalo '66 (1998) and The Opposite of Sex (1998), for which she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress. She made a departure from independent cinema with Tim Burton's big-budget Gothic horror Sleepy Hollow (1999) and received praise for her performance in the drama Monster (2003), portraying the girlfriend of notorious female serial killer Aileen Wuornos. Although she has developed a reputation as a prominent independent film actress, Ricci has appeared in many box office hits—to date, the films in which she has starred have grossed in excess of $1.7 billion.
Ricci has also acted in various television productions. In 2006, she was nominated for an Emmy Award for her role as a paramedic in the ABC drama Grey's Anatomy. From 2011 to 2012, she starred as a stewardess in the short-lived series Pan Am. In 2014, she starred in the titular role of the Lifetime film Lizzie Borden Took an Ax, marking a return to the darker roles that brought her attention earlier in her career. In 2015, she reprised the role in the limited series The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, chronicling the aftermath of the events that took place in the biopic.
Ricci was born in Santa Monica, California, the fourth and youngest child of Sarah (née Murdoch) and Ralph Ricci. Her mother worked as a Ford Agency model during the 1960s, before becoming a real estate agent. Her father had a varied career including gym teacher, primal scream therapist (much to his children's amusement), lawyer, and drug counsellor. Regarding her ancestry, Ricci has stated, "The Italian blood has been bred out of me. There's an Italian four or five generations back who married an Irish woman and they had all sons. So they married more Irish women, there were more sons, and more Irish women. Now I'm basically Scots-Irish."
Ricci's family moved to Montclair, New Jersey, where she grew up attending Edgemont Elementary School, Glenfield Middle School, and Montclair High School, as well as the Morristown-Beard School. After one year, she left the high school for the Professional Children's School in New York City. Her siblings are Rafael (born 1971), Dante (born 1974), and Pia (born 1976). Ricci's parents separated in 1993, when she was 13, and she has not spoken to her father since. She has been vocal about her childhood in interviews, particularly her parents' divorce and turbulent relationship with her father.
A critic for the Bergen Record discovered Ricci at age eight in a school play (The Twelve Days of Christmas) at Edgemont School in Montclair, New Jersey. Another child was originally cast in the role, but Ricci got him to hit her and told on him; he lost the role to her as part of his punishment. Ricci appeared in a couple of parody commercials in the late night sketch variety show Saturday Night Live. The first of these featured Ricci as a child at a birthday party in which medical waste fell out of a burst piñata, parodying the then-topical dumping of medical waste in the rivers of the United States' east coast. This gained her her AFTRA card.
Ricci's big-screen debut was in 1990's Mermaids as Cher's character's younger daughter. She also appears in the music video of the film's soundtrack "The Shoop Shoop Song". The following year, she starred as the morbidly precocious Wednesday Addams in the feature film adaptation of The Addams Family. She reprised the role for the film's 1993 sequel, Addams Family Values. Both films were commercially successful, and critics singled out Ricci's performances as highlights.
Her next project, the live-action adaptation of Casper, was her first in a lead role. The feature received mixed critical reviews, but was a success at the box office, being the year's eighth highest-grossing film. Ricci then played the younger version of Rosie O'Donnell's character in the film Now and Then. The film was a box office success, and critics praised it as the "female version" of Stand by Me. Ricci also starred in a handful of other films with teenage roles such as Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain and That Darn Cat. In 1997, she began appearing in more adult roles, first with her performance as the troubled, sexually curious Wendy Hood in Ang Lee's critically acclaimed The Ice Storm.
Ricci subsequently appeared in films like the independent hit Buffalo '66 ;in which she played Vincent Gallo's unwitting abductee-turned-girlfriend; John Waters' Pecker; and Don Roos' The Opposite of Sex, as the acid-tongued, manipulative Dede. For her performance as Dede, Ricci won acclaim and was nominated for a Golden Globe. Although she missed out on an Academy Award nomination, Entertainment Weekly honored her well-received performance as one of the "Worst Oscar Snubs Ever".
Ricci's later films included Sleepy Hollow, with Johnny Depp; and Prozac Nation. She then starred opposite Charlize Theron in the film Monster. During Theron's acceptance speech at the Golden Globes, she acknowledged Ricci, calling her the film's "unsung hero". Ricci made a cameo appearance on Beck's successful album Guero, providing vocals on "Hell Yes". On December 4, 1999, she appeared as the guest host on Saturday Night Live, and performed parodies of Britney Spears and the Olsen twins. During one of her skits, she accidentally punched actress Ana Gasteyer in the face.
In February 2006, Ricci made a guest appearance as a paramedic in the ABC drama Grey's Anatomy, for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award. She was a guest star for seven episodes in the last season of Ally McBeal in 2002 as Debbie 'Liza' Bump, a lawyer who works at Cage & Fish and marries Richard Fish in the last episode.
In 2006, Ricci stated that she felt that at 5 ft 1 in (155 cm) she was "too short" to ever be an A-list actress, saying she tended "to look really small on camera". She has also said that she believed she did not have much control over her career, and that she still had to audition for film parts.
Ricci appeared in the 2007 film Black Snake Moan as a young woman suffering from sexual addiction. It received mixed reviews, with Rotten Tomatoes tallying an overall score of 66 percent. It received some positive feedback, however; on the television program Ebert & Roeper, filmmaker Kevin Smith, filling in for Roger Ebert, described the film as the best of the year thus far and called Ricci's performance the best of her career. Richard Roeper also gave the film a "thumb up" rating. The film earned $4 million, putting it in eighth place for the highest earnings in its opening weekend. For her role in Black Snake Moan, Ricci was required to lose several pounds and wore a 40 lb (18 kg) chain during filming.
In 2006, Ricci starred in Penelope, a modern fairytale; and in 2008 she played the female lead in the Wachowskis' feature film adaptation of Speed Racer. She also signed on for three episodes of TNT's crime drama Saving Grace during its second season. Ricci played a young detective who temporarily partners with Grace, played by Holly Hunter.
Ricci appeared with Liam Neeson and Justin Long in the psychological thriller After.Life which had a limited release on April 9, 2010. She made her Broadway debut as Mandy in Time Stands Still, resuming performances on September 23, 2010 at the Cort Theatre, alongside original cast members Laura Linney, Brian d'Arcy James and Eric Bogosian. She replaced Alicia Silverstone, who played the role of Mandy in its Manhattan Theater Club engagement.
In September 2011, Ricci began a starring role in the ABC television series Pan Am, set in the 1960s. She returned to the stage in April 2012, playing Hermia in an off-Broadway revival of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. In 2012, Ricci flew to Sydney to begin work on an Australian film called Around The Block. In January 2014, she starred in the title role of the Lifetime original movie Lizzie Borden Took an Ax in which she portrayed Lizzie Borden who was accused, tried, and ultimately acquitted of the murder of both her father and stepmother in the summer of 1892. A year later, she reprised the character in a limited series The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, also on Lifetime.
Ricci began dating actor Owen Benjamin in 2008 after they met on the set of the film All's Faire in Love. They became engaged in March 2009, but ended the engagement two months later. In February 2013, Ricci announced her engagement to dolly grip James Heerdegen, whom she met while working on the series Pan Am in 2012. They married on October 26, 2013 in Manhattan, New York. They have a son named Freddie (born August 2014).
Ricci has tattoos of a lion on her right shoulder blade (a reference to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, a favorite novel of hers as a child), an Edward Gorey figure on the inside of her right wrist, a pair of praying hands on her left hip (this tattoo was originally a bat), the name "Jack" on her right thigh for a deceased pet, a sparrow on her right breast, and a mermaid on her left ankle. She also had the words "Move or Bleed" on the left side of her rib cage, as well as a bouquet of sweet peas on her lower back.
|1991||The Hard Way||Bonnie|
|The Addams Family||Wednesday Addams|
|1993||The Cemetery Club||Jessica|
|Addams Family Values||Wednesday Addams|
|1995||Casper||Kathleen "Kat" Harvey|
|Now and Then||Roberta Martin|
|Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain||Beth Easton|
|1996||Bastard out of Carolina||Dee Dee|
|The Last of the High Kings||Erin|
|1997||Little Red Riding Hood||Little Red Riding Hood||Short film|
|That Darn Cat||Patti Randall|
|The Ice Storm||Wendy Hood|
|1998||The Opposite of Sex||Dede Truitt|
|Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas||Lucy|
|Small Soldiers||Gwendy Doll||Voice role|
|I Woke Up Early The Day I Died||Teenage Hooker|
|Desert Blue||Ely Jackson|
|Sleepy Hollow||Katrina Van Tassel|
|2000||Bless the Child||Cheri Post|
|The Man Who Cried||Suzie|
|2001||All Over the Guy||Rayna Wyckoff|
|Prozac Nation||Elizabeth Wurtzel|
|2003||The Gathering||Cassie Grant|
|Anything Else||Amanda Chase|
|I Love Your Work||Shana|
|Black Snake Moan||Rae Doole|
|Home of the Brave||Sarah Schivino|
|New York, I Love You||Camille||Segment: "Shunji Iwai"|
|2009||All's Faire in Love||Kate|
|2010||Alpha and Omega||Lilly||Voice role|
|2011||California Romanza||Lena||Short film|
|Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star||Kathy McGee|
|2012||Bel Ami||Clotilde de Marelle|
|War Flowers||Sarabeth Ellis|
|2013||The Smurfs 2||Vexy||Voice role|
|Around the Block||Dino Chalmers|
|2014||The Hero of Color City||Yellow||Voice role|
|2016||Mothers and Daughters||Rebecca|
|2017||Teen Titans: The Judas Contract||Terra||Voice role|
|1990||H.E.L.P.||Olivia||Episode: "Are You There, Alpha Centauri?"|
|1996||The Simpsons||Erin (voice)||Episode: "Summer of 4 Ft. 2"|
|2002||The Laramie Project||Romaine Patterson||HBO movie|
|2002||Malcolm in the Middle||Kelly||Episode: "Company Picnic: Part 1"|
|2002||Ally McBeal||Liza Bump||Recurring role, 7 episodes|
|2005||Joey||Mary Teresa||Episode: "Joey and the Fancy Sister"|
|2006||Grey's Anatomy||Hannah Davies||Episodes: "It's the End of the World", "As We Know It"|
|2009||Saving Grace||Offcr. Abby Charles||3 episodes|
|2011–12||Pan Am||Margaret "Maggie" Ryan||Main role, 14 episodes|
|2012||The Good Wife||Therese Dodd||Episode: "Anatomy of a Joke"|
|2014||Lizzie Borden Took an Ax||Lizzie Borden||Lifetime movie, titular role|
|2015||The Lizzie Borden Chronicles||Lizzie Borden||Lead role, 8 episodes|
|2017||Z: The Beginning of Everything||Zelda Fitzgerald||Lead role, 10 episodes|
- Music videos
- 1990: "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)" – Cher
- 1991: "Addams Groove" – MC Hammer
- 1993: "Addams Family (Whoomp!)" – Tag Team
- 2000: "Natural Blues" – Moby
- Video games
- Audiobook
- Gossip Girl – Narrator
- Gossip Girl "You Know You Love Me" – Narrator
Awards and nominationsEdit
This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (March 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|1991||Young Artist Awards||Best Young Actress Supporting Role in a Motion Picture||Mermaids||Won|
|1992||Saturn Award||Best Performance by Younger Actor||The Addams Family||Nominated|
|1992||Chicago Film Critics Association Award||Most Promising Actress||The Addams Family||Nominated|
|1992||Fangoria Chainsaw Awards||Best Supporting Actress||The Addams Family||Won|
|1992||Young Artist Awards||Best Young Actress starring in a Motion Picture||The Addams Family||Nominated|
|1994||Saturn Awards||Best Performance by a Younger Actor||The Addams Family Values||Nominated|
|1996||Saturn Awards||Best Performance by a Younger Actor||Casper||Won|
|1996||Young Artist Awards||Best Young Leading Actress: Feature Film||Casper||Nominated|
|1998||Young Artist Awards||Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress||That Darn Cat||Nominated|
|1998||Young Artist Awards||Best Performance in a Feature Film – Supporting Young Actress||The Ice Storm||Nominated|
|1998||Seattle International Film Festival||SIFF Awards for Best Actress||The Opposite of Sex, Buffalo '66||Won|
|1998||National Board of Review||Best Supporting Actress||The Opposite of Sex||Won|
|1998||YoungStar Awards||Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Comedy Film||The Opposite of Sex||Won|
|1998||YoungStar Awards||Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Drama Film||The Ice Storm||Nominated|
|1999||Satellite Awards||Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical||The Opposite of Sex||Won|
|1999||American Comedy Awards||Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture (Leading Role)||The Opposite of Sex||Nominated|
|1999||Golden Globe Awards||Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical||The Opposite of Sex||Nominated|
|1999||Independent Spirit Awards||Best Female Lead||The Opposite of Sex||Nominated|
|1999||Florida Film Critics Circle Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Buffalo '66, The Opposite of Sex, Pecker||Won|
|2000||Teen Choice Awards||Film – Choice Actress||Sleepy Hollow||Nominated|
|2000||Young Artist Awards||Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress||Sleepy Hollow||Nominated|
|2000||B-Movie Awards||Best Celebrity Cameo ||I Woke Up Early The Day I Died||Won|
|2000||Saturn Awards||Best Actress||Sleepy Hollow||Won|
|2000||Blockbuster Entertainment Awards||Favorite Actress – Horror||Sleepy Hollow||Won|
|2001||Blockbuster Entertainment Awards||Favorite Supporting Actress – Suspense||Bless the Child||Won|
|2001||Young Hollywood Awards||Hottest, Coolest Young Veteran||Won|
|2002||Teen Choice Awards||Film – Choice Actress, Comedy||Pumpkin||Nominated|
|2004||MTV Movie Awards||Best Kiss (shared with Charlize Theron)||Monster||Nominated|
|2006||Emmy Awards||Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series||Grey's Anatomy||Nominated|
|2008||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Actress – Action Adventure||Speed Racer||Nominated|
|2016||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie||The Lizzie Borden Chronicles||Nominated|
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- Anderson, Kirsten.  Opening Night: Marion Peck's "Animals" at Michael Kohn Projects. Hi-Fructose April 5, 2013
- Anderson, Kirsten.  Report from Mark Ryden's "The Snow Yak" show in Tokyo, Hi-Fructose February 12, 2009
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- "Skin and Bones: Nicole Richie and Ashley Olsen Top PETA's Annual 'Worst-Dressed' List for Their Fur-Wearing Ways" Archived article from Fur Is Dead
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