Christina Ricci

Christina Ricci
Christina Ricci
Born February 12, 1980 (1980-02-12) (age 31)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1990–present
Partner Owen Benjamin (2008–09)[1][2]

Christina Ricci (born February 12, 1980) is an American actress. Ricci received initial recognition and praise as a child star for her performance as Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family (1991) and Addams Family Values (1993), and her role as Kat Harvey in Casper (1995). Ricci made a transition into more adult-oriented roles with The Ice Storm (1997), followed by an acclaimed performance in Buffalo 66 (1998) and then The Opposite of Sex (1998), for which she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress. She continued her success with well-received performances in Sleepy Hollow (1999), Monster (2003) and Penelope (2006). In 2006, Ricci was nominated for an Emmy award for her role as a paramedic in the ABC drama Grey's Anatomy. She currently stars in the television show Pan Am.


Early life

Ricci was born in Santa Monica, California, the fourth and youngest child of Sarah (née Murdoch), a former Ford Model and real estate agent, and Ralph Ricci, a lawyer and psychiatrist.[3] Regarding her ancestry, Ricci has stated that "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."[4]

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.[5] 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]


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. The critic's son 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.[9] After this, she did several commercials starting at the age of six, until she finally got her big screen debut in Mermaids in 1990 as Cher's younger daughter. The young actress made enough of an impression to land more work; later she appeared in the video of the film's soundtrack "The Shoop Shoop Song". The following year, she starred as the morbidly precocious Wednesday Addams in the film adaptation of The Addams Family. The role would help to establish Ricci as an actress known for playing dark, unconventional characters – she went on to play Wednesday again in the film's 1993 sequel, Addams Family Values, which became another box office draw,[citation needed] and more screen time was provided for Ricci's performance as Wednesday.

Her next project, Casper, received mixed critical reviews, but was a success at the box office, being the year's eighth highest grossing film.[10] After Casper, she 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. 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 Golddiggers: 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.[citation needed] 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 (which featured her first on-screen nude scene.[citation needed]) She 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 to turn down the role of Ronna in Go because of scheduling conflicts.[citation needed] Ricci was turned down four times for the role of Dolores Haze in Lolita.[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 part and had moved on to other projects.[citation needed] Ricci also turned down a role in Loser.[citation needed] Ricci made a cameo appearance on Beck's successful album Guero, providing vocals on "Hell Yes".

Ricci at the Gramercy Park Hotel, 2007

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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

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".[13] 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.[14]

Ricci with Emile Hirsch in 2008 at the premiere of Speed Racer.

Her 2007 film, Black Snake Moan received mixed reviews, with tallying an overall score of 66 percent.[15] 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.[16]

For her role in Black Snake Moan, Ricci was required to lose several pounds and wore a 40 lb (18 kg) chain during filming.[17] Apart from having to lose weight, Ricci ate only food items without any nutritional value to achieve her unhealthy appearance.[18]

In 2006, Ricci starred in Penelope, a modern fairytale; and in 2008 she played the female lead in the Wachowski brothers' feature film adaptation of Speed Racer. She also signed on for three episodes of TNT's crime drama Saving Grace during its second season.[19] Ricci played a young detective who temporarily partners with Grace, played by Holly Hunter.[20]

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.[21]

In September 2011, Ricci began a starring role in the ABC television series Pan Am, set in the 1960s.

Personal life

Ricci will be appearing in national ads for emergency contraception.[5] She supported John Kerry's presidential bid in 2004.[22]

After making the top of PETA's worst-dressed list[23] and receiving a letter from the animal rights group, Ricci decided to give up wearing fur.[24]

Ricci has several tattoos: 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), a fairy 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.[25][26][27]

She was briefly engaged to fellow actor Owen Benjamin.[1][2]



Year Title Role Notes
1990 Mermaids Kate Flax Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress in a Supporting Role Motion Picture
1991 Hard Way, TheThe Hard Way Bonnie
1991 Addams Family, TheThe Addams Family Wednesday Addams Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor
Nominated—Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress – Motion Picture
1993 Cemetery Club, TheThe Cemetery Club Jessica
1993 Addams Family Values Wednesday Addams Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor
1995 Casper Kathleen 'Kat' Harvey Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor
Nominated—Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress – Feature Film or Video
1995 Now and Then Young Roberta Martin Nominated—Young Artist Award for Best Cast – Feature film or Video
1995 Golddiggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain Beth Easton
1996 Bastard Out of Carolina Dee Dee
1996 Last of the High Kings, TheThe Last of the High Kings Erin Also known as Summer Fling
1997 Little Red Riding Hood Little Red Riding Hood Short film
1997 That Darn Cat Patti Randall Nominated—Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Movie Actress
Nominated—Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress – Feature Film or Video
1997 Ice Storm, TheThe Ice Storm Wendy Hood Nominated—Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress – Feature Film or Video
1998 Souvenir Young Orlando (voice)
1998 Buffalo '66 Layla Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Seattle International Film Festival – Golden Space Needle Award – Best Actress
Nominated—Chlotrudis Award for Best Actress
1998 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Lucy
1998 Opposite of Sex, TheThe Opposite of Sex Dede Truitt Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress
Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Seattle International Film Festival – Golden Space Needle Award – Best Actress
Nominated—American Comedy Award for Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture
Nominated—Chlotrudis Award for Best Actress
Nominated-Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead
1998 Small Soldiers Gwendy Doll (voice)
1998 Pecker Shelley Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
1998 Desert Blue Ely Jackson
1998 I Woke Up Early the Day I Died Teenage Hooker
1999 200 Cigarettes Val
1999 No Vacancy Lillian
1999 Sleepy Hollow Katrina Van Tassel Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress
Saturn Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Actress
Nominated—Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress – Feature Film or Video
2000 Bless the Child Cheri Post Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actress
2000 Man Who Cried, TheThe Man Who Cried Suzie Character born "Fegele Abramovich"
2001 All Over the Guy Rayna Wyckoff
2001 Prozac Nation Elizabeth Wurtzel
2002 Gathering, TheThe Gathering Cassie Grant
2002 Laramie Project, TheThe Laramie Project Romaine Patterson
2002 Pumpkin Carolyn McDuffy Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Actress
2002 Miranda Miranda (Alice)
2003 Anything Else Amanda
2003 Monster Selby Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (shared with Charlize Theron)
2003 I Love Your Work Shana
2005 Cursed Ellie
2006 Black Snake Moan Rae Premiere at the Butt-Numb-A-Thon on December 9, 2006; wide release on March 2, 2007
2006 Home of the Brave Sarah Schivino
2006 Penelope Penelope Wilhern
2008 Speed Racer Trixie Fontaine Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Actress
2008 New York, I Love You Camille
2009 After.Life Anna Taylor
2009 All's Faire in Love Kate
2010 Alpha and Omega Lilly (voice)
2011 Born to Be a Star Kathy
2011 Bel Ami Clotilde Post-production
2011 War Flowers Sarabeth Ellis Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1990 H.E.L.P. Olivia 1 episode
1996 Simpsons, TheThe Simpsons Erin (voice) 1 episode
2002 Ally McBeal Liza Bump 7 episodes
2002 Malcolm in the Middle Kelly 1 episode
2005 Joey Mary Teresa 1 episode
2006 Grey's Anatomy Hannah Davies 2 episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress – Drama Series
2009 Saving Grace Offcr. Abby Charles 3 episodes
2011 Project Runway Guest judge 1 episode
2011 Pan Am Maggie Television Series


Audio book

Video game

  • The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon- Cynder, the black dragon


  1. ^ a b Christina Ricci is Engaged![dead link] US Weekly, March 17, 2009
  2. ^ a b Everett, Cristina (June 4, 2009). "Christina Ricci calls off her engagement to 'All's Faire in Love' co-star Benjamin Owen". New York Daily News. 
  3. ^ "Christina Ricci Biography (1980–)". Retrieved December 29, 2007. 
  4. ^ "The Minx Effect". Archived from the original on November 23, 2003. Retrieved November 22, 2007. 
  5. ^ a b "Biography for Christina Ricci". Retrieved December 29, 2007. 
  6. ^ Bard Goldfarb (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 – Interview". Find Articles. Retrieved November 24, 2007. 
  7. ^ "The Minx Effect". The Face. October 1998. 
  8. ^ "The littlest Addams". New York Magazine. November 18, 1991. p. 18. 
  9. ^ Hill, Logan. The Tao of Christina Ricci, New York Magazine. February 21, 2008. Retrieved February 24, 2008.
  10. ^ "1995 in film". July 2011. 
  11. ^ "Biggest Oscar Snubs Ever".,,20007870_20164474_20178653_20,00.html. 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. ^ Jeannette Walls (August 24, 2006). "Notes from all over...". MSNBC. Retrieved August 23, 2006. 
  14. ^ "Weight Hampered Christina Ricci's Career". August 23, 2006. Retrieved August 23, 2006. 
  15. ^ "Black Snake Moan". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 3, 2007. 
  16. ^ "Black Snake Moan (2007)". Retrieved April 4, 2007. 
  17. ^ Coleman, Jason. "Black Snake Moan". The Two-One-Three. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved February 20, 2007. 
  18. ^ "Christina Ricci's sugary diet for Snake Black Moan". Yahoo! News. February 23, 2007. [dead link]
  19. ^ McNary, Dave (October 16, 2008). "Ricci, Neeson believe in After.Life". Variety. 
  20. ^ "Christina Ricci headed to "Saving Grace"". July 14, 2008. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  21. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Time Stands Still Ticket Sales Begin June 3; Tony Nominee Opens Oct. 7",, 3 June 2010. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  22. ^ "Christina Ricci's Federal Campaign Contribution Report". Newsmeat. Retrieved August 23, 2006. 
  23. ^ "PETA's 2006 Worst Dressed List!". PETA. November 28, 2006. Retrieved June 1, 2007. 
  24. ^ "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
  25. ^ "Christina Ricci looks stunning in a daring backless dress...". Daily Mail. October 21, 2008. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  26. ^ "Christina Ricci — Spooky starlet". Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  27. ^ "Christina gets her tats out". The Sun. October 21, 2010. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 

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