Meet the many ''Morticias'' who married The Addams Family creator Charles Addams

The romantic cartoonist took three brides in his life. He said his final “I do” in a pet cemetery.

AP Photo / The Everett Collection

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Morticia Addams is playing a lute and singing a haunting tune when Gomez hands her a small gift box in the two-part Addams Family episode "Morticia's Romance."

"Darling, you remembered," Morticia says.

"How can I forget our 13th anniversary? It started on the stroke of midnight!" Gomez responds.

In this early second season episode, fans were finally treated to Morticia and Gomez sharing their "how we met story," along with watching plenty of other less traditional ways the famously smitten couple celebrated their marriage.

There's a myth in The Addams Family lore that cartoon creator Charles Addams modeled Morticia off his first wife Barbara Jean Day, whom he married in the early 1940s, but the truth is much more magical than that.

In actuality, the cartoonist had drawn Morticia for the first time in 1933, almost a decade before he met Barbara. But because she looked so much like Morticia, many people assumed she was the template for the cartoon. And the most romantic among us could spin this history into a fantasy, believing that Addams literally dreamed up his first wife and inked her into becoming flesh and bone in the real world.

This rumor that Barbara Jean was the inspiration for Morticia is likely due to a LIFE Magazine spread that included a posed photo of Charles drawing Morticia while Barbara Jean modeled his pre-drawn cartoon image.

In his life, Charles Addams married three "Morticias,” always drawn to the same type of woman as his most famous female cartoon character.

He divorced Barbara Jean after eight years, with the fatal flaw in their marriage his desire to not have children.

Charles never wanted a Wednesday or Pugsley of his own.

The second "Morticia" that Charles married is a much more unfortunate tale that mirrors in many ways the Uncle Fester plot from the 1993 movie Addams Family Values.

In that movie sequel, Fester's bride plans to murder him for his inheritance. In Charles' life, his lawyer once suggested his second wife had sinister plans that were not too far off.

Charles married his second wife, also named Barbara, in 1954. She was a talented lawyer who went by Barbara Barb, and the story goes that she had Morticia's looks with a scheming heart. (She even reportedly got a nose job to look more like Morticia.)

During their marriage, Barbara Barb ended up seizing control of The Addams Family TV and movie franchises. Charles asked for a divorce two years into wedlock — after she asked him to take out a life insurance policy. The rumor is Charles had to sneak behind her back to consult the lawyer who advised him against signing up for the life insurance without her noticing.

The third "Morticia," you might say, was the charm for Chas.

By the age of 70, Charles had lived a life full of romances with utter beauties. But his marriage to Barbara Barb had wounded him. After their divorce, he was a bachelor for 24 years. At different times, he was seen about town with stunners like Greta Garbo and Jackie Kennedy on his arm.

Then in 1981, Chas married his true love Marilyn Matthews Miller, who went by "Tee."

Their wedding took place in a pet cemetery, exchanging vows on a burial plot holding the remains of five dogs and one turtle.

She wore black velvet and he wore a pin-stripe suit. Standing under a Japanese pine tree, the lovely brunette kissed Charles (who she called Charlie), joining the Addams family.

When a Kokomo Tribune reporter asked Tee in 1991 what she liked about Charlie, she said, "He was an unusually gentle man, basically a romantic."

In Charles' cartoons, he didn't just draw Gomez swooning for Morticia. His bleeding heart for lovelorn figures frequently appeared on the page, an expression of his own drive to find love.

The men he drew were always looking for love. Maybe it was a lonely lighthouse keeper catching a lace-bound heart tossed to him by the sea, or an old man approaching a heavily locked fortress, just to slide a hopeful valentine under the gate.

The women he drew were frequently receiving way more love than they expected, like in one cartoon where a woman on a park bench scatters breadcrumbs, only to attract a swarm of inch-tall men instead of pigeons or ducks.

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lifif91330 2 months ago
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harlow1313 2 months ago
Like Charles, I rather fancy undead chicks.
F5Twitster 2 months ago
"During their marriage, Barbara Barb ended up seizing control of The Addams Family TV and movie franchises. Charles asked for a divorce two years into wedlock. Charles asked for a divorce two years into wedlock — after she asked him to take out a life insurance policy."

They were married in 1954 and began divorce proceedings in 1956. WHAT TV and movie franchises? The TV series began in 1964, and the first movie was released in 1991 -- three years after Charles Addams's death.
CaptainDunsel 2 months ago
I'm sorry, but something doesn't track here. The article says "During their marriage, Barbara Barb ended up seizing control of The Addams Family TV and movie franchises. " But if they were married in 1954 and divorced two years later, as the article indicates, then there WAS NO Addams Family TV or movie franchise.
"Oh MeTV Staff! You got some 'splainin' to do!"
StrayCat CaptainDunsel 2 months ago
Actually, they didn't explain it properly. Through some legal maneuvering (while they were still married) Barb managed to get property rights control over the Addams Family cartoons. Several years later when the TV series began filming she enjoined them with a cease and desist order effectively holding up production until they paid her a bunch more money.
CaptainDunsel StrayCat 2 months ago

And the clouds were parted...
MrsPhilHarris 2 months ago
That was interesting. I wonder if wife #2 did have a plan. 🤔
RobertM 2 months ago
Married in a pet cemetery? I think that there's a Stephen King novel in there someplace.
LoveMETV22 3 months ago
Ok, So a pet cemetery. Well to each their own.
dinska LoveMETV22 2 months ago
I wonder if they weren't allowed to hold it in a regular cemetery or if they just preferred the pet cemetery?
Pacificsun 3 months ago
Nicely written. Great background story on the Addams Family. Thank you!
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