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Christina Ricci

Christina Ricci
File:Christina Ricci by David Shankbone.jpg
Ricci at the premiere of Speed Racer at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival
Born (1980-02-12) February 12, 1980 (age 36)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Education Morristown-Beard School
Professional Children's School
Alma mater Montclair High School
Occupation Actress
Years active 1990–present
Spouse(s) James Heerdegen (m. 2013)
Children 1

Christina Ricci (born February 12, 1980)[1] is an American actress, who began her acting career appearing in commercials and received early recognition as a child star. 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 years old, respectively. Following her success with the Addams Family films, she earned somewhat of a "teen icon" status thanks to appearances in various big budget productions, notably Now and Then (1995) and Casper (1995), marketed for younger audiences before making a transition into adult-oriented roles with the art house drama The Ice Storm (1997). 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 Sleepy Hollow (1999) and later received praise for her performance in the drama Monster (2003), which marked a return to the darker material she had generated attention for earlier in her career.

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. In 2011–12, she starred in the short-lived television series Pan Am as stewardess Maggie Ryan. In 2013 she starred in the Lifetime production Lizzie Borden Took an Ax as the titular role. The television biopic is based on the true story of a Massachusetts woman tried and acquitted for the murders of her father and stepmother. In October 2014, it was announced that Lizzie Borden Took an Axe will return as an additional series, chronicling the aftermath of the events that took place in the biopic. Ricci will reprise her lead role in the series.

Aside from her acting career, Ricci married dolly grip James Heerdegen in October 2013 and gave birth to a son in August 2014.[2] She is also the national spokesperson for the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).[3]

Early life

Ricci was born in Santa Monica, California, the fourth and youngest child of Sarah (Murdoch), a real estate agent, and Ralph Ricci, a lawyer and a group therapist.[1][4] 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 all had sons. So they married more Irish women, there were more sons, and more Irish women. Now I'm basically Scots-Irish."[5]

The 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.[citation needed] After one year, she left the high school for the Professional Children's School in New York City.[6] Her siblings are Rafael (born 1971), Dante (born 1974), and Pia (born 1976).[7][8] Ricci's parents separated in 1993, when she was 13, and she has not spoken to her father since.[9]


Early work

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.[10]

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.

Her next project, the live-action adaptation of Casper, was her first in a lead role. The feature received mixed critical reviews, but it was a success at the box office, being the year's eighth highest grossing film. She also starred in Now and Then, a coming-of-age film about four 12-year-old girls and their friendship during the 1970s to the 1990s. Ricci played the younger version of Rosie O'Donnell. Now and Then was another box office success, and received favorable comparisons to Stand by Me, being called "the female version" of the film.[citation needed] She 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, Ricci began to appear in more adult roles, beginning with her role as the troubled, sexually curious Wendy Hood in Ang Lee's critically acclaimed The Ice Storm.

Adult roles

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".[11]

Later films included Sleepy Hollow (alongside 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 "unsung hero" of the film.[12] Ricci had earlier been turned down four times for the role of Dolores Haze in Lolita.[citation needed] She later turned down the role of Ronna in Go because of scheduling conflicts,[citation needed] as well as a role in Loser.[citation needed] Ricci was originally slated to play the lead in Ghost World (2001), but by the time it was filmed she was too old for the role and had moved on to other projects.[citation needed] Ricci made a cameo appearance on Beck's successful album Guero, providing vocals on "Hell Yes".[citation needed]

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.[13] 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.[14]

On December 4, 1999, she appeared as the guest host on Saturday Night Live. She performed parodies of Britney Spears and the Olsen twins. During one of her skits, she accidentally punched actress Ana Gasteyer in the face. The skit was a parody of the Sally Jessy Raphael show, in which she played a 13-year-old runaway who sleeps with dogs, and required her to fake-punch Gasteyer, but accidentally ended up really hitting Gasteyer in the eye. Although Ricci initially reacted by putting her hands over her mouth in surprise, she quickly fell back into character.[citation needed]

In 2006, Ricci stated that she feels that at 5 ft 1 in (155 cm) she is "too short" to ever be an A-list actress, saying she tends "to look really small on camera".[15] She has also said that she believes that she does not have much control over her career, specifying that she still has to audition for film parts.[16]

Her 2007 film, Black Snake Moan received mixed reviews, with Rotten Tomatoes tallying an overall score of 66 percent.[17] 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 it Ricci's best performance.[citation needed] 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.[18] For her role in Black Snake Moan, Ricci was required to lose several pounds and wore a 40 lb (18 kg) chain during filming.[19]

In 2006, Ricci starred in Penelope, a modern fairytale;[20] 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.[21] Ricci played a young detective who temporarily partners with Grace, played by Holly Hunter.[22]

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.[23]

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.[24] 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 the infamous 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 portrays the character in a limited-series version The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, also on Lifetime.[25]

Personal life

"It's such a different world than it was when I was coming of age. I don't know how these young people keep it together with all the demands on them with social media and the internet. I had normal growing pains and issues and it was difficult but not disastrous. But I feel like if I was trying to do that in this environment, the way that society is now, I would probably be a total disaster."

— Ricci, on the pressures of today's youth growing up in the media spotlight.[26]

Ricci dated actor and director Adam Goldberg in 2005.[27] She began dating actor Owen Benjamin in 2008 after they met on the set of their film All's Faire in Love. They became engaged in March 2009, but ended the engagement in June 2009.[28] In February 2013, Ricci announced her engagement to dolly grip James Heerdegen, whom she met while working on Pan Am in 2012.[29] They married on October 26, 2013 in Manhattan.[30] In May 2014, it was announced that Ricci and Heerdegen were expecting their first child.[31] In early August 2014, Us Weekly, followed by other outlets, reported without confirmation that Ricci had recently given birth to a son.[32]

After making the top of PETA's worst-dressed list[33] and receiving a letter from the animal rights group, Ricci decided to give up wearing fur.[34]

Ricci and artist Jessicka Addams are listed in several art publications as Los Angeles artist Mark Ryden's muses. Ricci's image has appeared in over 10 of his oil paintings and numerous sketches.[35][36][37]

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 youngster), an Edward Gorey figure on the inside of her right wrist, praying hands on her left hip (this tattoo was originally a bat), the name "Jack" on her right thigh for a dead 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 ribcage as well as a bouquet of sweet pea on her lower back.[38][39][40]

Ricci is the National Spokesperson for the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).[3][41]



Year Title Role Notes
1990 Mermaids Kate Flax
1991 Hard Way, TheThe Hard Way Bonnie
1991 Addams Family, TheThe Addams Family Wednesday Addams
1993 Cemetery Club, TheThe Cemetery Club Jessica
1993 Addams Family Values Wednesday Addams
1995 Now and Then Roberta Martin
1995 Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain Beth Easton
1995 Casper Kathleen "Kat" Harvey
1996 Bastard Out of Carolina Dee Dee
1996 Last of the High Kings, TheThe Last of the High Kings Erin
1997 Little Red Riding Hood Little Red Riding Hood Short film
1997 That Darn Cat Patti Randall
1997 Ice Storm, TheThe Ice Storm Wendy Hood
1998 Buffalo '66 Layla
1998 Opposite of Sex, TheThe Opposite of Sex Dede Truitt
1998 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Lucy
1998 Small Soldiers Gwendy Doll (voice)
1998 Pecker Shelley
1998 I Woke Up Early The Day I Died Teenage Hooker
1998 Desert Blue Ely Jackson
1999 200 Cigarettes Val
1999 No Vacancy Lillian
1999 Sleepy Hollow Katrina Van Tassel
2000 Bless the Child Cheri Post
2000 Man Who Cried, TheThe Man Who Cried Suzie
2001 All Over the Guy Rayna Wyckoff
2001 Prozac Nation Elizabeth Wurtzel
2002 Pumpkin Carolyn McDuffy
2002 Miranda Miranda
2003 Gathering, TheThe Gathering Cassie Grant
2003 Anything Else Amanda Chase
2003 I Love Your Work Shana
2003 Monster Selby Wall
2005 Cursed Ellie Myers
2006 Penelope Penelope Wilhern
2006 Black Snake Moan Rae Doole
2006 Home of the Brave Sarah Schivino
2008 Speed Racer Trixie
2008 New York, I Love You Camille Segment: "Shunji Iwai"
2009 All's Faire in Love Kate
2009 After.Life Anna Taylor
2010 Alpha and Omega Lilly Voice role
2011 California Romanza Lena Short film
2011 Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star Kathy McGee
2012 Bel Ami Clotilde de Marelle
2012 War Flowers Sarabeth Ellis
2013 Smurfs 2, TheThe Smurfs 2 Vexy Voice role
2013 Around the Block Dino Chalmers
2014 The Hero of Color City Yellow Voice role


Year Title Role Notes
1990 H.E.L.P. Olivia Episode: "Are You There, Alpha Centauri?"
1996 Simpsons, TheThe Simpsons Erin (voice) Episode: "Summer of 4 Ft. 2"
2002 Laramie Project, TheThe 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 Good Wife, TheThe Good Wife Therese Dodd Episode: "Anatomy of a Joke"
2014 Lizzie Borden Took an Ax Lizzie Borden Lifetime Network movie
2015 The Lizzie Borden Chronicles Lizzie Borden Limited series; April 5 premiere date on Lifetime

Other works

Music videos
Video games
Audiobook[citation needed]
  • Gossip Girl – Narrator
  • Gossip Girl "You Know You Love Me" – Narrator

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1991 Young Artist Awards Best Young Actress Supporting Role in a Motion Picture Mermaids Won
1996 Saturn Awards Best Performance by a Younger Actor[citation needed] 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[citation needed] I Woke Up Early The Day I Died Won
2000 Saturn Awards Best Actress Sleepy Hollow Won
2000 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Favorite Actress – Horror[citation needed] Sleepy Hollow Won
2001 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Favorite Supporting Actress – Suspense[citation needed] Bless the Child Won
2001 Young Hollywood Awards Hottest, Coolest Young Veteran[citation needed] 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


  1. ^ a b "Christina Ricci Biography (1980– )". Retrieved December 29, 2007. 
  2. ^ "Christina Ricci welcomes baby boy". USA Magazine. August 8, 2014. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Christina Ricci Joins RAINN as National Spokesperson",, 25 April 2007.
  4. ^ "Christina Ricci". Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "The Minx Effect". Archived from the original on November 23, 2003. Retrieved November 22, 2007. 
  6. ^ Goldfarb, Bard (February 2004). "Christina Ricci: at age 8, she arrived to an audition with a black eye and freaked the casting director out. Fifteen years later, she's still keeping the surprises coming[[:Template:Spaced ndash]]Interview". Find Articles. Retrieved November 24, 2007.  Wikilink embedded in URL title (help)
  7. ^ "The Minx Effect". The Face. October 1998. 
  8. ^ "The Littlest Addams". New York Magazine. November 18, 1991. p. 18. 
  9. ^ "Christina Ricci". October 31, 2001. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  10. ^ Hill, Logan. "The Tao of Christina Ricci", New York Magazine, 21 February 2008. Retrieved February 24, 2008.
  11. ^ "Biggest Oscar Snubs Ever". Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  12. ^ CBC (March 4) (2004) 'Rings' wins big while Arcand takes one for Canada CBC News Online Retrieved on (April 18) (2008).
  13. ^ "Christina Ricci". Television Academy. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  14. ^ "Richard Fish (Greg Germann) and Eliza Bump (Christina Ricci) get". In Case of Emergency. BuddyTV. Retrieved August 10, 2012. 
  15. ^ Walls, Jeannette (August 24, 2006). "Notes from all over...". MSNBC. Retrieved August 23, 2006. 
  16. ^ "Weight Hampered Christina Ricci's Career". August 23, 2006. Retrieved August 23, 2006. 
  17. ^ "Black Snake Moan". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 3, 2007. 
  18. ^ "Black Snake Moan (2007)". Retrieved April 4, 2007. 
  19. ^ Coleman, Jason. "Black Snake Moan". The Two-One-Three. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved February 20, 2007. 
  20. ^ Holden, Stephen (February 29, 2008). "Cursed With a Face Only a Sow Could Love". The New York Times. 
  21. ^ McNary, Dave (October 16, 2008). "Ricci, Neeson believe in After.Life". Variety. 
  22. ^ "Christina Ricci headed to "Saving Grace"". July 14, 2008. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  23. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Time Stands Still Ticket Sales Begin June 3; Tony Nominee Opens Oct. 7",, 3 June 2010. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  24. ^ Soloski, Alexis (11 April 2012). "The Course to the Stage Never Did Run Smooth". New York Times. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  25. ^ "Lifetime's The Lizzie Borden Chronicles - First Look Photos and Premiere Date Revealed - Dread Central". Dread Central. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  26. ^ "Christina Ricci brings edge to Redfern riots drama Around the Block". The Sydney Morning Herald. June 13, 2014. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Beck at a Certain Age". The New York Times. March 6, 2005. Retrieved December 29, 2014. 
  28. ^ Arnold, Shayna Rose; Jordan, Julie (June 3, 2009). "Christina Ricci, Fiancé Call Off Engagement". People. Retrieved October 27, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Christina Ricci Engaged to James Heerdegen". 2013-01-14. Retrieved 2013-08-02. 
  30. ^ Jordan, Julie (October 27, 2013). "Christina Ricci Weds James Heerdegen". Retrieved October 27, 2013. 
  31. ^ Leon, Anya; Jordan, Julie (May 24, 2014). "Christina Ricci Expecting First Child". People. Retrieved May 24, 2014. 
  32. ^ Marquina, Sierra (August 8, 2014). "Exclusive: Christina Ricci Welcomes Baby Boy With Husband James Heerdegen". Us Weekly. Retrieved August 12, 2014. 
  33. ^ "PETA's 2006 Worst Dressed List!". PETA. November 28, 2006. Retrieved June 1, 2007. 
  34. ^ "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
  35. ^ Anderson, Kirsten. [1] Opening Night: Marion Peck's "Animals" at Michael Kohn Projects. Hi-Fructose April 5, 2013
  36. ^ Anderson, Kirsten. [2] Report from Mark Ryden's "The Snow Yak" show in Tokyo, Hi-Fructose February 12, 2009
  37. ^ [3] Tuesday, FORCES of GEEK May 26, 2009 "Ryden off into the sunset"
  38. ^ "Christina Ricci looks stunning in a daring backless dress...". Daily Mail. October 21, 2008. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  39. ^ "Christina Ricci — Spooky starlet". Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  40. ^ "Christina gets her tats out". The Sun. October 21, 2010. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  41. ^ "Christina Ricci's Federal Campaign Contribution Report". Newsmeat. Retrieved August 23, 2006. 

External links

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