Lisa Loring, the original Wednesday Addams of The Addams Family , dies at 64
Lisa Loring, who played the original Wednesday Addams in the 1960s Addams Family sitcom, died Saturday from a stroke, her rep confirmed to EW. She was 64.
Chris Carbaugh of C and V Promotions, Loring's agent, said that the actress passed away "surrounded by her family."
"Lisa was a very loving mother, grandmother, and friend with a lifetime of amazing stories and experiences," he said. "She brought to life one of the most iconic characters in Hollywood history that is still celebrated today. Lisa loved sharing her memories and meeting all her fans across the world. She will be missed dearly."
Laurie Jacobson, a friend of Loring, also posted on Facebook, stating Loring's stroke was "brought on by smoking and high blood pressure."
"She had been on life support for 3 days," Jacobson wrote on Sunday. "Yesterday, her family made the difficult decision to remove it and she passed last night. She is embedded in the tapestry that is pop culture and in our hearts always as Wednesday Addams."
ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images; Everett Collection Lisa Loring, the original Wednesday Addams actress from 'The Addams Family,' died at 64.
Loring gained renewed cultural relevance in part due to Wednesday, the Netflix series starring Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams. Appearing on The Tonight Show in December, Ortega said she "paid homage to Lisa Loring, the first Wednesday Addams" for her now-viral dance sequence on the show.
"I did a little bit of her shuffle that she does," she said. "Of course they cut out of camera when I did do it, but it's there! I know it is!"
That shuffle is "the Drew" frug dance, which has gained a new life of its own, thanks to clips of a young Loring performing it on The Addams Family on TikTok and other social media.
Having been a child model since the age of 3, Loring won the part of Wednesday when she was five years old. John Astin and Carolyn Jones played Gomez and Morticia Addams, Jackie Coogan played Uncle Fester, Ted Cassidy played Lurch, Ken Weatherwax played Pugsley Addams, Marie Blake played Grandmama, and Felix Silla played Cousin Itt on the black-and-white sitcom that ran from 1964-1966.
In a clip from a video interview that's resurfaced in light of Loring's death, she says she couldn't read at the time, but her signature "pout" sold the producers.
"The character of Wednesday Addams, as being a little girl, was sometimes difficult for me because she had to be morose," Loring says. "I was never allowed to smile. The pout was the thing, and yet I worked with these people... who were so funny and so wonderful and I was just so happy."
Loring went on to appear in The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., Fantasy Island, Barnaby Jones, As the World Turns, Svage Harbor, Doctor Spine, and more.