R.I.P. Lisa Loring, the original Wednesday Addams

Lisa Loring
Lisa Loring

Lisa Loring, who played Wednesday Addams on the original The Addams Family sitcom, died on Saturday at the age of 64. Her daughter, Vanessa Foumberg, confirmed the news to Variety, and shared that her mother passed from a stroke.

“She went peacefully with both her daughters holding her hands,” Foumberg said.

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In a statement shared to Facebook, Loring’s friend Laurie Jacobson also confirmed her death, writing that Loring’s stroke occurred as a result of smoking and high blood pressure.

“[Loring] had been on life support for 3 days. Yesterday, her family made the difficult decision to remove it and she passed last night,” Jacobson wrote. “She is embedded in the tapestry that is pop culture and in our hearts always as Wednesday Addams.”

The first-ever portrayer of the pigtailed menace, Loring took on the role of Wednesday Addams in 1964, when she was just six years old, and remained a cast member for the show’s entire duration, until 1966. Loring’s take on the character first outlined in Charles Addams’ cartoons for The New Yorker helped set the tone for future Wednesdays, including Christina Ricci and Jenna Ortega. Last month during an appearance on The Tonight Show, Ortega directly cited Loring as an inspiration for the viral dance Wednesday performs in Tim Burton’s recent Netflix series.

“I paid homage to Lisa Loring, the first Wednesday Addams,” Ortega told Jimmy Fallon. “I did a little bit of her shuffle that she does.”

Post-The Addams Family, Loring nabbed a recurring role on As The World Turns as Cricket Montgomery, who she played from 1980 to 1983. During her career, Loring also performed in The Pruitts of Southampton, The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., Fantasy Island, and Barnaby Jones.

Concluding her online eulogy, Jacobson described Loring as “beautiful, kind” and “a loving mother” with a “huge” legacy in entertainment.

“And the legacy for her family and friends — a wealth of humor, affection and love will long play in our memories,” Jacobson wrote. “RIP, Lisa. Damn, girl...you were a ton of fun.”

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