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Lisa Loring, original Wednesday Addams of ‘The Addams Family’, dies at 64

By CHUCK SMITH Published Jan 30, 2023 5:29 pm

Actress Lisa Loring, the actor who played Wednesday Addams in the first screen adaptation of The Addams Family, has died at the age of 64, Deadline reports.

In a Facebook post posted on Saturday, Jan. 28, Laurie Jacobson, Loring’s close friend, shared that the actress passed away after being taken off life support after suffering a “massive stroke.”

“It is with great sadness that I report the death of our friend, Lisa Loring. Four days ago she 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 said.

She added, “She is embedded in the tapestry that is pop culture and in our hearts always as Wednesday Addams. Beautiful, kind, a loving mother, Lisa’s legacy in the world of entertainment is huge. And the legacy for her family and friends — a wealth of humor, affection and love will long play in our memories.”

Loring is best known for originating the role of Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family/ sitcom based on the New Yorker cartoons by Charles Addams. The show, which catapulted The Addams Family into one of the most recognizable properties in US media, was the first to take the unnamed New Yorkers cartoons into characters—a family with interests in the macabre and the supernatural—with names and actual stories. The sitcom ran from 1964 to 1966.

Loring reprised her role as Wednesday in the 1977 television movie Halloween with the New Addams Family. She also had a recurring role in the US soap opera As The World Turns.

Loring was only five years old when she played Wednesday Addams, the sweet-natured and strange daughter of Gomez and Morticia Addams. Her portrayal, along with the character’s now iconic pigtails and her penchant for the gothic, had continued to establish Wednesday Addams in succeeding media iterations and adaptations.  

The Addams Family is experiencing a resurgence in pop culture thanks to the hit Netflix show Wednesday, starring Jenna Ortega as the titular character. In a tweet last year, Ortega thank Loring for inspiring her “gothic” dance choreography for one of the scenes of the show. The dance, which Ortega choreographed herself, became viral online and has helped turn Wednesday into one of the biggest shows of 2022.