It’s a sad day today for The Addams Family fans, after Lisa Loring, who is best known as the first actress to play Wednesday Addams in the original sitcom, has died at the age of 64. According to her long-time agent, Chris Carbaugh, Loring “passed away on Sunday surrounded by her family.”
“She brought to life one of the most iconic characters in Hollywood history that is still celebrated today,” Carbaugh stated. “Lisa loved sharing her memories and meeting all her fans across the world.”
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The former child star, who was a mother and a grandmother, made an impact on so many lives and quickly became popular for her portrayal of Wednesday. Her agent went on to say that, “she will be missed dearly.”\
Lisa Loring Dies at 64
Laurie Jacobson, Loring’s friend, also reported her death on Facebook, saying that she had “suffered a massive stroke brought on by smoking and high blood pressure.”
“She had been on life support for 3 days. Yesterday, her family made the difficult decision to remove it and she passed last night,” Jacobson added. “She is embedded in the tapestry that is pop culture and in our hearts always as Wednesday Addams.”
Following the tragic news of her death, several fans took to social media to pay tribute, with one person writing on Twitter, “Farewell to Lisa Loring, the person who DEFINED Wednesday Addams at a time when she was just a frowning newspaper drawing.”
Loring was the first child to portray Wednesday and made her pigtails an iconic part of American television, after being cast in the sitcom back in 1964. She went on to take on the role when she was just 6 years old, playing the death-obsessed character until the show ended 2 years later.
In 1977, she wanted to appear as Wednesday senior in the television film Halloween with the New Addams Family. Her deadpan delivery of the fan-favorite character, which is based on the New York Cartoons by Charles Adams, quickly paved the way for other actresses including Christina Ricci, who starred as Wednesday in the 1991 hit movie The Addams Family as well as its sequel, Addams Family Values.
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Still relevant in 2022, Jenna Ortega, who portrayed Wednesday in the popular Netflix TV series, Wednesday, says that she was also heavily inspired by Loring. “I paid homage to Lisa Loring, the first Wednesday Addams. I did a little bit of her shuffle that she does,” Ortega said 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 was quickly given a stage name when she started modeling at the age of three. Following her portrayal of Wednesday, she went on to join Phyllis Diller’s sitcom, The Pruitts of Southampton. She later landed a recruiting role in As the World Turns, playing Cricket Montgomery.
Rest in peace, Loring.