Actress Lisa Loring, who was best known as the first actress to portray Wednesday Addams in the original 1960s “The Addams Family” sitcom, has died at the age of 64.
According to a statement from Loring’s longtime agent Chris Carbaugh, Loring “passed away on Saturday surrounded by her family. Lisa was a very loving mother, grandmother and friend with a lifetime of amazing stories and experiences.”
“She brought to life one of the most iconic characters in Hollywood history that is still celebrated today,” Carbaugh said. “Lisa loved sharing her memories and meeting all her fans across the world.”
Loring’s cause of death was first shared by her friend Laurie Jacobson on Facebook. In the post, Jacobson wrote that Loring had suffered a massive stroke caused by smoking and high blood pressure. “She had been on life support for 3 days,” the post read. “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.”
Loring was born Lisa Ann DeCinces in the Marshall Islands in 1958 and assumed the Loring name at age three after she and her mother moved to LA. After a brief youth modeling career, she was cast as Wednesday Addams in 1964 at six years old, at a time when the character was just a “frowning newspaper drawing”, according to one grieving Twitter user–a reference to the original The Addams Family comic created by Charles Addams. Loring’s role as the death-obsessed Wednesday almost immediately endeared her to the American public, an impression that would last well after the show’s two-year run. Her deadpan portrayal of Wednesday would also pave the way for later actresses, such as Christina Ricci, who took on the iconic role in the 90s and beyond.
In 1977, Loring reprised her role as Wednesday in the television movie “Halloween with the New Addams Family”.
After her Addams Family era, Loring would appear on the sitcom “The Pruitts of Southampton” by Phyllis Diller, and had a recurring role on “As The World Turns”. Other acting credits include the shows “The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.,” “Fantasy Island” and “Barnaby Jones.”