Jan 7, 2012
They were married in Tee’s pet cemetery in Water Mill, NY in 1980—a surprise for the 60 guests coming for cocktails during the Memorial Day weekend. The wedding party all wore black. It was the union of a wonderful woman of gentle spirit and great generosity and a beguiling man with a subtly wicked sense of humor. Bashful and soft-spoken as he was, he had a devil-child glint in his eyes and a Lugosi-like mouth when he laughed, showing none of his teeth.
Eleven years after his 1988 death, his widow and I formed the not-for-profit Tee and Charles Foundation to protect his legacy as an extraordinary cartoonist with a painterly technique, and to educate people about Charlie’s gift by exhibiting his work worldwide. Following Tee’s passing in 2002, the Foundation dedicated the couple’s Sagaponack homestead, “The Swamp,” as a museum. They had moved there in the mid-1980s, and in true Addams style, they took their cemetery with them—a sweet place where their ashes are interred alongside those of their beloved dogs and cats.
Of the thousands of works Charlie published in his 55 years of cartooning, only 150 were devoted to the group of characters who became known as The Addams Family. But the perfectly off-center humor behind these characters won worldwide adoration even before they became the television and film family we know today. Even for those who never had the thrill of knowing the classy gentleman behind this unique art, Charlie’s family continues to capture the hearts of new generations of cartoon aficionados. We hope today’s doodle inspires you to seek out more of his work.
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