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Christina Ricci Bio
Christina Ricci (born February 12, 1980) 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 eleven and thirteen 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), which were marketed for younger audiences before making a successful transition into adult-oriented roles with the art house drama The Ice Storm (1997) at the age of seventeen.
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 big-budget Gothic horror Sleepy Hollow (1999) and later received praise for her performance in the drama Monster (2003), portraying the girlfriend of a notorious female serial killer.
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 2014, she starred in the Lifetime production Lizzie Borden Took an Ax as the titular role, marking a return to the darker roles she had generated attention for earlier in her career. In 2015, she reprised the role in the limited series The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, chronicling the aftermath of the events that took place in the biopic. Aside from her acting career, Ricci married dolly grip James Heerdegen in October 2013 and gave birth to a son in August 2014. She is also the national spokesperson for the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).
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.
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. Both films were commercially successful, and critics singled out Ricci’s performance as being one of the highlights of the first film and its sequel.
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. 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. 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.
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”.
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. Ricci made a cameo appearance on Beck‘s successful album Guero, providing vocals on “Hell Yes“. 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.
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.
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.
Her 2007 film, Black Snake Moan received mixed reviews, with Rotten Tomatoes 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 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. 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 Linney, Brian 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. 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 reprised the character in a limited series The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, also on Lifetime.
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