Born on February 12, 1980, in Santa Monica, California, Christina Ricci made her feature debut in Mermaids in 1990. The next year she played Wednesday Addams in the film adaptation of The Addams Family. She deftly transitioned to critically acclaimed adult roles in her roles in The Ice Storm, Buffalo '66, The Opposite of Sex and Monster. In 2014, she portrayed acquitted axe murderer Lizzie Borden in the Lifetime television movie Lizzie Borden Took an Ax and the limited series The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, which premiered the following year. In 2017, she took on the role of Zelda Fitzgerald, the wife and muse of author F. Scott Fitzgerald, in the Amazon series Z: The Beginning of Everything.
Early Life and Career
Actress Christina Ricci was born on February 12, 1980, in Santa Monica, California. The youngest of four children of a lawyer father and realtor mother, Ricci attended Glenfield Middle School in Montclair, New Jersey, before enrolling at the Professional Children's School in New York City. The precocious, outspoken young actress made her feature debut as Cher's youngest daughter in Mermaids (1990). The role proved to be a stepping stone, and Ricci landed the part of Wednesday Addams in the film adaptation of The Addams Family the following year. She later reprised the role for the sequel in 1993.
In 1995, Ricci starred in Casper, the live-action film based on the cartoon character Casper the Friendly Ghost. Subsequent films included the comedy-drama Now and Then (1995), Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain (1995) and That Darn Cat (1997).
Dark Roles on Film
Unlike many child stars, Ricci deftly handled the transition to adult roles, evidenced in her nuanced performance in Ang Lee's The Ice Storm (1997), in which she plays a sexually provocative teenager. Subsequent roles included an abductee-turned-girlfriend in Buffalo '66 (1998) and the dark, treacherous Dedee in The Opposite of Sex (1998), for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination.
By the late 1990s, Ricci had become one of the most in-demand young actresses in Hollywood. In 1999, she starred in the indie flicks 200 Cigarettes and Desert Blue with Casey Affleck and Kate Hudson. She also took on the role of the Gothic princess Katrina Van Tassel opposite Johnny Depp's Ichabod Crane in Tim Burton's adaptation of Sleepy Hollow (1999). In 2000, she starred in the supernatural thriller Bless the Child and as a World War II Jewish refugee in The Man Who Cried. In 2003, Ricci signed on for the horror thriller Cursed, directed by Wes Craven. Ricci followed with yet another dark role as the lead in the film Black Snake Moan (2006).
In 2006, she was nominated for an Emmy for her guest appearance on the TV medical drama Grey's Anatomy. Ricci made her Broadway debut in 2009 playing the role of Mandy in Time Stands Still.
She continued taking on dramatic roles with her portrayal of Lizzie Borden, the ax-wielding teacher who was accused of killing her parents, in the Lifetime TV movie Lizzie Borden Took An Ax (2014). She returned to the role a year later in the Lifetime limited series The Lizzie Borden Chronicles. In 2017, she starred as Zelda Fitzgerald, the wife and muse of author F. Scott Fitzgerald, in the Amazon series Z: The Beginning of Everything.
Ricci began dating Owen Benjamin in 2008 while filming All's Faire in Love (2009). In March of the following year, the pair got engaged, but only three months after their engagement the couple separated.
On October 26, 2013, Ricci married James Heerdegen, a camera dolly grip, in New York City. The couple met in 2011 on the set of the series Pan Am (2011-12). Ricci gave birth to their son, Freddie, in 2014.
As a spokesperson for the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), Ricci has raised awareness to prevent sexual violence.
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