The Pedestal profile: Wednesday Friday Addams is the oldest child in the Addams Family. She has a particular taste for the macabre and that effortless goth look that no one has achieved since. Though she spends much of her time half-earnestly trying to kill her brother Pugsley, she seems to love her morose family and spends much quality time with them. The character of Wednesday Addams has a few different incarnations. Though she started as a comic character in 1938, the two most well-known Wednesdays come from the 1964 television series, portrayed by Lisa Loring, and, of course, Christina Ricci’s fabulous portrayal in the early ’90s feature films The Addams Family and Addams Family Values. Wednesday has a scholarly fascination with death and her favorite toys are her headless Marie Antoinette doll and her mini guillotine. So cute!
Admirable qualities: While Wednesday’s character has grown darker over the years, what remains constant is her fierce individuality and her morbid, dry sense of humor. Backed up by her wonderfully supportive family, Wednesday is super independent and confident, and never seems to be phased by the fact that she’s so different from all the other little girls she meets. From her TV debut in the ’60s, Wednesday gave viewers a nice change from the cutesy TV daughters from other shows of the time. Plus, Christina Ricci’s Wednesday Addams knows how to tell a joke—with biting, sharp wit and a completely straight face.
Her influence: Wednesday Addams was way ahead of her time for fashion. Not only was she down with the goth look before it took off in the ’80s and ’90s, but the fashion world is still trying to cop her style to this day. Check out the dress pictured below left from the new Karl Lagerfeld collection for Macy’s. Familiar, huh? Also, Wednesday led the way for a host of fictional female characters that were smart, clever, refreshingly cynical, and unconcerned with pleasing those around them. Without Wednesday could we really have ever had the gem that was Daria Morgendorffer? Or Enid and Rebecca from Ghost World? I think not.
That’s not all: If you’ve been missing those old Addams Family cartoon reruns as much as I have, you’ll be happy to know there is an Addams Family musical comedy on Broadway starring Brooke Shields as Morticia and Rachel Potter as Wednesday. For us non-New Yorkers, another production of the show will begin touring the country beginning in the fall. Can a singing Wednesday Addams maintain her dark persona? We’ll have to wait and see.
Think of her when: A stranger tells you to smile. She wouldn’t if she didn’t feel like it, and neither should you.