Charles Addams' description went like this:
Gomez Addams is an athletic, acrobatic, and eccentric multi-billionaire. Though an extremely successful businessman, having acquired much of his wealth through investments, he seems to have little regard for money and will casually spend thousands of dollars on any whimsical endeavor (a fact that often mortifies visitors of the Addams household). Gomez's investments are guided more by whimsy than strategy, yet luck rarely fails him. "It's not for nothing that they call me "The Plunger"," he once boasted, an apparent reference to sticking doggedly with a stock despite low fluctuations, although this nickname was in fact bestowed upon him not by Wall Street investors but by the Plumbers' Union. According to The New Addams Family, he has 20-20 vision, and the heart of a 20-year-old track star -- Mama had performed the surgery herself.
In the original sitcom, Gomez owned businesses around the world, including a crocodile farm ("Crocodiles Unlimited"), a buzzard farm, a salt mine, a tombstone factory, a uranium mine, and many others. It was not unheard of for him to simply forget that he owned a controlling interest in a business or to draw a check on the wrong bank.
As a young man, Gomez was, per flashback in "Morticia's Romance," a perennially sickly youth, gaining perfect health only after meeting Morticia. He nevertheless studied law (voted "Most Likely Never to Pass the Bar"), and although he rarely practices, he takes an absurd delight in losing cases, boasting of having put many criminals behind bars while acting as their defense attorney; this is somewhat contradicted in the episode "The Addams Family Goes to Court," where it is noted that while Gomez has never won a case, he has never lost one either ("Perfect record!" boasts Grandmama). In The New Addams Family, Gomez had also studied medicine.
Gomez has offered contradictory views on work; in one episode, he claims that, although his family was wealthy even in his childhood, he nonetheless performed odd jobs and "scrimped and saved [his] kopeks," which he considered character building. When his son Pugsley decided to find a job, however, Gomez was horrified, claiming that "No Addams has worked in 200 years!" Possibly Gomez, who dotes on his children, feels that behavior that was good enough for him is not good enough for Pugsley.
Gomez was played by Raúl Juliá in The Addams Family (1991) and Addams Family Values (1993). The film version of Gomez shares the fun-loving personality of his sitcom counterpart, including his affinity for swordfighting and train sets. However, Gomez is noticeably calmer and more suave in the films than his television counterparts, and even speaks with a bit of an accent. Gomez also regularly plays chess with Thing, the disembodied hand, friend and servant of the family. Another quirk is his tendency to play golf on the roof of his house, enraging his next-door neighbor, who has to contend with golf balls smashing his windows. In the first film, Gomez has lost track of his brother Fester's whereabouts and has not spoken to him in 25 years. Gomez's desire to locate Fester leads him and his family being conned by grifters who want to swindle their fortune. Gomez is so depressed at being thrown out of his own home that he becomes unemployed and spends all day watching daytime TV.
The films differ from the television series in several ways, most significantly that Fester is Gomez's brother (in the television show, he was Morticia's uncle). The Addams Family notes that Gomez's parents were murdered by an angry mob. In Addams Family Values, Gomez and Morticia have a third child named Pubert, a seemingly indestructible baby with a waxed mustache like his father.
In 1998, Tim Curry took up the role in the film Addams Family Reunion. The next year, Gomez was played by Glenn Taranto in the TV series The New Addams Family, where he returned to the madcap attitude of his original 1960s incarnation.