Lisa Loring, original Wednesday Addams star, dies aged 64

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Lisa Loring, the actor who played Wednesday Addams in the iconic TV adaptation of The Addams Family, has died aged 64.

Loring died on Saturday night (28 January) at St Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California.

Her daughter Vanessa Foumberg told The Hollywood Reporter said that Loring died of complications from a stroke caused by high blood pressure.

“She went peacefully with both her daughters [Vanessa and Marianne] holding her hands,” she told the publication.

Loring’s friend, Laurie Jacobson, also reported her death on Facebook, writing that Loring was “embedded in the tapestry that is pop culture and in our hearts always as Wednesday Addams”.

Loring is best known for her role playing the pigtail-wearing, pale, death-obsessed character Wednesday in ABC’s sitcom The Addams Family. She took on the role at six years old in 1964 and played the character for two years.

The actor set the framework for the character who would go on to inspire later adaptations of The Addams Family. She was recently praised as an inspiration for Jenna Ortega’s performance in Netflix’s hit series Wednesday.

Loring’s dance called “The Drew”, in an episode when she teaches Lurch to dance, was referenced in the Netflix series when Ortega performed her own interpretation of Wednesday’s dance.

Born Lisa Ann DeCinces on 16 February 1958, in the Marshall Islands, she moved to Los Angeles with her mother when she was very young. She was given the stage name Lisa Loring and began modelling when she was three years old.

Her first television appearance came in 1964, in an episode of the NBC medical drama Dr. Kildare.

Lisa Loring and Felix Silla, who played Cousin Itt in ‘The Addams Family’, together in 2001 (Getty Images)
Lisa Loring and Felix Silla, who played Cousin Itt in ‘The Addams Family’, together in 2001 (Getty Images)

After The Addams Family finished its second season, a total of 64 episodes, Loring joined Phyllis Diller’s sitcom The Pruitts of Southampton (1966-67).

She later appeared in a variety of series including The Girl From UNCLE (1966-67), Fantasy Island and Barnaby Jones (both 1978). She secured a role as Cricket Montgomery on As the World Turns from 1980 to 1983.

Almost all of the original The Adams Family cast was reunited in 1977 for the NBC television movie Halloween with the New Addams Family.

With Loring’s death, John Astin, who played Gomez Addams, Wednesday’s father, is the last surviving member of the original cast of The Addams Family.

Later in the 1980s, she appeared in a string of movies in the late 1980s, starring in Blood Frenzy and Savage Harbor (both in 1987) and Iced (1988). She is believed to have worked as a makeup artist on adult films under the name “Maxine Factor.”

She is survived by two daughters, Marianne and Vanessa.