Ricci began her 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 something 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. Although she has developed a reputation for being a prominent independent film actress, Ricci has appeared in many box office hits—to date, the films in which she has starred have amassed a gross in excess of $1.7 billion.
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. From 2011 to 2012, she starred as a stewardess in the short-lived series Pan Am. In 2014, she starred in the titular role of the Lifetime film Lizzie Borden Took an Ax, 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.
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