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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), Penelope (2006) and Black Snake Moan (2007). In 2006 Ricci was nominated for an Emmy award for her role as a paramedicin the ABC drama Grey's Anatomy. In 2011–12 she played Maggie Ryan in the television show Pan Am.

Early life[edit source | editbeta]Edit

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 a group therapist. 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."

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

Career[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Early work[edit source | editbeta]Edit

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. 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 a character actress known for playing dark, unconventional roles – she went on to play Wednesday again in the film's 1993 sequel, Addams Family Values, which became another box office draw, 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. 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'DonnellNow and Then was another box office success, and received favorable comparisons to Stand by Me, being called "the female version" of the film. 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.

More recent roles[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Ricci subsequently appeared in films like the independent hit Buffalo '66 (in which she played Vincent Gallo's unwitting abductee-turned-girlfriend), John WatersPecker, and Don RoosThe 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".

Later films included Sleepy Hollow (alongside Johnny Depp), and Prozac Nation (which featured her first on-screen nude scene). 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. Ricci had earlier been turned down four times for the role of Dolores Haze in Lolita. She later turned down the role of Ronna in Go because of scheduling conflicts, as well as a role in Loser. 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. Ricci made a cameo appearance on Beck's successful album Guero, providing vocals on "Hell Yes"

[1][2]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. 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.

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.

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". 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.

[3][4]Ricci with Emile Hirsch in 2008 at the premiere of Speed Racer.

Her 2007 film, Black Snake Moan received mixed reviews, with rottentomatoes.com tallying an overall score of 66 percent. 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. 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.

For her role in Black Snake Moan, Ricci was required to lose several pounds and wore a 40 lb (18 kg) chain during filming.

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. Ricci played a young detective who temporarily partners with Grace, played by Holly Hunter.

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 LinneyBrian d'Arcy James and Eric Bogosian. She replaced Alicia Silverstone, who played the role of Mandy in its Manhattan Theater Club engagement.

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. Ricci recently flew to Sydney to begin work on an Australian film called Around The Block.

Personal life[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Ricci has appeared in national ads for emergency contraception. She supported John Kerry's presidential bid in 2004.

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

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 kid), 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 ofsweet pea on her lower back.

She was briefly engaged to fellow actor Owen Benjamin.She announced her engagement to dolly grip James Heerdegen in 2013, after having met on the set of Pan Am in 2012.

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

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