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Grandmama (The Addams Family)

Natalie Bayliss CCYD production of the Addams Family Musical

The Addams Family character
First appearance The New Yorker cartoons (1938)
Created by Charles Addams
Portrayed by Blossom Rock (first television series)
Jane Rose (Halloween with the New Addams Family)
Judith Malina (first film)
Carol Kane (second film)
Alice Ghostley (Addams Family Reunion)
Betty Phillips (The New Addams Family)
Jackie Hoffman (musical)
Voiced by Janet Waldo (1973 animated series)
Carol Channing (1992 animated series)

Grandmama is a fictional character in the Addams Family television and film series. First appearing in the works of cartoonist Charles Addams, she is a supporting character in series film, television and stage adaptations.


Character backgroundEdit

Grandmama Addams is an aged witch who concocts potions and spells, and dabbles in fortune telling and knife throwing. She is the mother of family patriarch Gomez Addams and the mother-in-law of his wife Morticia, and the paternal grandmother of the Addams children, Pugsley and Wednesday. Grandmama first appeared along with the then-unnamed Addams family in Charles Addams' original cartoons published in The New Yorker, in which she was regularly illustrated with shoulder-length frizzy hair and a fringed shawl.[1] Addams described Grandmama in a 1963 character synopsis as "a disrespectful old hag" and "foolishly good-natured ... a weak character [who] is easily led."[1]


Television and filmEdit

The character was named "Grandmama" for the 1960s television series in order to avoid confusion with Granny from The Beverly Hillbillies.[2] She was played by Blossom Rock, who won the role over actresses such as Minerva Urecal and Marjorie Bennett,[3] while Alice Pearce had been rejected after the producers deemed her too young for the part.[4] However, due to illness, Rock was the one regular cast member from the show who did not return for the 1977 reunion film Halloween with the New Addams Family, and she was replaced as Grandmama by Jane Rose.[5] The character was played by Betty Phillips in the 1998-99 television series The New Addams Family.

Janet Waldo voiced Grandmama in the 1973 animated series, and Carol Channing provided the character's voice for the 1992 animated series.

Three different actresses played Grandmama in the three Addams Family feature films. Judith Malina appeared in the 1991 film The Addams Family, and was replaced by Carol Kane for the 1993 sequel Addams Family Values. For the 1998 direct-to-video picture Addams Family Reunion, Grandmama was played by Alice Ghostley.

In other mediaEdit

In the 1989 Nintendo Entertainment System game Fester's Quest, the instruction booklet says Grandmama's psychic powers foretold the alien invasion that would come and abduct all the people in the city, so she invokes a curse on the family mansion. As a result, when extraterrestrial scouts scan the Addams residence for life forms they find none, thanks to Grandmama's curse.

Grandmama was played by Jackie Hoffman in the 2010 Broadway musical, in which her relation to the family in the storyline is ambiguous.


  1. ^ a b Addams, Charles; Miserocchi, Kevin (2010). The Addams Family: An Evilution. Pomegranate. ISBN 0764953885. 
  2. ^ Pinkton, Edgar (February 13, 1965). "That Abnormal Addams Family Has Real Heart Year Round". The Troy Record. Retrieved February 3, 2018. 
  3. ^ Image gallery from Time magazine; reposted on
  4. ^ Humphrey, Hal (January 17, 1965). "Toothpaste to Witchery". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved February 5, 2018. 
  5. ^ Cox, Stephen (1998). The Addams Chronicles: An Altogether Ooky Look at the Addams Family. Cumberland House Publishing (2nd Edition). ISBN 1888952911.