‘The Addams Family’: Cher Lost Out On a Lead Role

One of the most iconic Halloween movies of all time is The Addams Family, released in 1991. The movie led to a revival of interest in the characters created by comic book artist Charles Addams and the original TV series by David Levy, and it is considered to be the film that launched the career of successful director Barry Sonnenfeld.

With a star-studded cast, a fun soundtrack, and incredible production design, The Addams Family remains a classic to this day. Many fans cannot possibly imagine any other actress playing the role of Morticia Addams but Anjelica Huston — however, there was another major star in the running for the role, who reportedly lobbied hard to land the part. 

‘The Addams Family’ is a classic movie

The characters created by Charles Addams have been around since the thirties, becoming staples in magazines and newspapers before becoming immortalized in the TV series that launched in the sixties.

The 1991 movie The Addams Family was a long time in the making, with directors such as Tim Burton suggested for directorial duties. Up and coming young director Barry Sonnenfeld ended up in charge of helming the movie, and he definitely did not disappoint.

Sonnenfeld created a unique look and feel to the movie, making it resemble a totally self-contained world. Fans gravitated to the movie right away, and it became a hit. Helping the movie to become such a popular entertainment piece even to this day was the incredible cast of talented actors. 

‘The Addams Family’ featured a star-studded cast

A star-studded cast was featured in The Addams Family, from child actress (and future goth icon) Christina Ricci as Wednesday Addams to Raul Julia as the suave, debonair Gomez Addams. Television icon Christopher Lloyd played fan-favorite Uncle Fester, while characters actors like Dan Hedaya, Elizabeth Wilson, and Carel Struycken rounded out the cast.

However, the actress who made the biggest impression in The Addams Family (as well as the sequel, The Addams Family Values) was Anjelica Huston. Huston, the daughter of iconic director John Huston, worked as a model in her younger years before transitioning to a career in movies.

Huston had the height and impressive looks to truly do justice to the character of Morticia Addams, and her acting skills helped to bring the mysterious, spooky matriarch of the Addams family to life. 

Cher was interested in the role of Morticia in ‘The Addams Family’

Cher
Cher | Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

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Anjelica Huston went on to reprise her role as Morticia in the sequel, The Addams Family Values. Although she went on to work on many other high-profile projects, and has an impressive resume as a director and producer as well, it is likely that her lasting legacy will be as Morticia Addams, the loving wife of Gomez Addams.

However, according to a recent report, there was another big-name celebrity who was interested in tackling the role of Morticia.

As showrunners revealed via Cinema Blend, the actress and singer Cher was very interested in playing Morticia. Still, Sonnenfeld, as well as other creators involved in the film, only ever really wanted Anjelica Huston for the role. “Cher was interested, but we never considered anyone else,” said producer Scott Rudin via EW.

Fortunately for them, Huston was game from day one, and thoroughly embraced the role of Morticia. “I accepted almost immediately,” the actress stated in 1991. “I’ve known the Charles Addams cartoons since I was a little girl. It was a bathroom book in Ireland, and we used to flip through it. Their life really wasn’t unlike ours growing up.”