Lisa Loring, known best for her role as Wednesday Addams in the original The Addams Family sitcom, has passed away on Saturday at the age of 64, after suffering a “massive stroke”.
Her daughter, Vanessa Foumberg, shared the news with The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday night.
“She went peacefully with both her daughters [Vanessa and Marianne] holding her hands,” she said.
Loring’s longtime friend, Laurie Jacobson, paid tribute on Facebook, as well, where she shared how the stroke was brought on and the “difficult decision” her family had to make to end her suffering while admitted at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, CA.
“It is with great sadness that I report the death of our friend, Lisa Loring,” she wrote, on Sunday. “4 Days ago she suffered a massive stroke brought on by smoking and high blood pressure. She had been on life support for 3 days. [On Saturday], her family made the difficult decision to remove it and she passed [Saturday] night.
“She is embedded in the tapestry that is pop culture and in our hearts always as Wednesday Addams,” she added. “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.
“RIP, Lisa,” she concluded. “Damn, girl…you were a ton of fun.”
Loring was born on February 16, 1958 in the Marshall Islands. She made her first television appearance in 1964 on an episode of Dr. Kildare, an NBC medical drama. That same year, Loring earned her memorable role as Wednesday Addams at the mere age of 5 and a half.
In 2017, Loring did a YouTube interview with The Nerd Soapbox at “Monsterpalooza”, where she talked about what it was like on set for The Addams Family.
After being asked what it was like being an actor at such a young age, Loring said, “I had to learn to memorize before I could read,” to which she said her mother and grandmother helped her the most with that.
As for her relationship with the people who worked on the show with her, she said, “It was like a real family — you couldn’t have picked a better cast and crew. And, you know, Carolyn Jones, John Astin — Gomez and Morticia — were like parents to me. They were great.”
“Everybody was really wonderful,” she added.
In addition to The Addams Family, she also appeared in The Pruitts of Southampton, Fantasy Island, and Barnaby Jones. She also reprised her Wednesday role in the 1977 TV reunion movie, Halloween with the New Addams Family, before acting as a recurring character on the soap drama, As the World Turns.
Her acting career stretched to a few slasher horror movies — including Iced, Blood Frenzy, and Savage Harbor — before it was cut short due to a heroin addiction. She married four times, welcoming two daughters, Vanessa and Marianne, whom she shared with her first and second husbands, respectively.
Loring’s death comes at a time when her groundbreaking role as Wednesday Addams — an adaptation of The New Yorker comic written by Charles Addams starting in 1938 — has revamped thanks to Tim Burton’s Netflix recreation centered on the deadpan, devilish daughter of the “mysterious and spooky” family, titled, Wednesday, which starred Jenna Ortega as the lead.
Ortega went on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last month where she talked about Loring’s influence on her own role as Wednesday.
“I paid homage to Lisa Loring, the first Wednesday Addams. I did a little bit of her shuffle that she does.”
Loring is survived by her two daughters and two grandchildren, Emiliana and Charles.