Entertainment

Whatever Happened To Christina Ricci?

Christina Ricci turned 40 in 2020, having been famous for 30 of those years. Widely thought of as one of the best child stars of her generation, she was 10 years old when she played the role of Cher's younger daughter in Mermaids, and just 11 when she starred as Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family. With her withering stare, sardonic humor, and "I don't care what you think of me" attitude, Ricci's breakout performance as Wednesday marked her as a poster child for dark, gloomy, disaffected kids of the '90s. 

With the Addams Family films and her lead role in the hit studio film Casper behind her, it seemed the actor was primed to be a huge star for years to come. So what happened? Always a nonconformist, Ricci gravitated to smaller, edgy independent films, building a reputation for portraying young, alienated, sexually curious and/or manipulative women in films like The Ice StormThe Opposite of Sex, and Black Snake Moan. Although she often got rave reviews, she didn't have the same sort of mainstream success she achieved as a child. Off-screen, Ricci was uncomfortable with her fame. At times, she struggled with her self-image as she aged and fought serious personal demons.

Though her feature-film career never ended, Ricci made a deliberate move toward television in the early 2000s, producing several of her own acting projects. In recent years, she has portrayed some of the most infamous and interesting characters of the 19th and 20th centuries, such as Lizzie Borden and Nellie Bly - both of whom she tackled in well-received films for the Lifetime Television network. Off-screen, she and her husband welcomed their first child in 2014.