Lisa Loring, original Wednesday Addams actress, dead at 64
Lisa Loring, best known for being the first actress to play Wednesday Addams on the original sitcom The Addams Family, has died at the age of 64.
Loring’s daughter, Vanessa Foumberg, confirmed to Variety that her mother died of a stroke on Saturday.
“She walked peacefully with her two daughters holding hands,” Foumberg said.
Laurie Jacobson, Loring’s girlfriend, also reported her death on Facebook, saying she “suffered a massive stroke brought on by smoking and high blood pressure.”
“She was on life support for three days. Yesterday her family made the difficult decision to remove it and she died last night,” Jacobson wrote. “She’s woven into the carpet of pop culture and in our hearts forever as Wednesday Addams.”
Following the news of her death, fans flocked to social media to pay tribute to her. One person tweeted: “Farewell Lisa Loring, the person who DEFINED Wednesday Addams at a time when she was just a frowning newspaper cartoon.”
Loring was the blueprint for the pale, pigtailed Wednesday after she was cast on the 1964 sitcom The Addams Family. She took over the role when she was six and played the death-obsessed character until the show ended two years later.
In 1977, she appeared as Wednesday Sr. in the TV movie Halloween with the New Addams Family.
Loring’s deadpan portrayal of the character, based on the Charles Addams New York cartoons, paved the way for other actresses, including Christina Ricci, who starred in the hit 1991 film The Addams Family and its sequel Addams Family Values. “
Jenna Ortega said her version of the pop culture icon was also inspired by Loring, following the premiere of Tim Burton’s Netflix horror comedy Wednesday last year.
“I paid my tribute to Lisa Loring, the first Wednesday Addams. I did a bit of her shuffle that she does,” Ortega said during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in December.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Loring was born Lisa Ann DeCinces in the Marshall Islands and got her stage name when she started modeling at the age of 3.
After her role as Wednesday in The Addams Family, Loring joined Phyllis Diller’s sitcom The Pruitts of Southampton. She later landed a recurring role on As the World Turns as Cricket Montgomery.
Her acting credits also include the shows The Girl From UNCLE, Fantasy Island, and Barnaby Jones.