Lisa Loring, original Wednesday Addams, dies at 64

Lisa Loring, who played the original Wednesday Addams on TV series The Addams Family, has died at the age of 64.

Lisa Loring

Lisa Loring, the original Wednesday Addams, has died at the age of 64 following a stroke. One of her daughters announced, “She went peacefully with both her daughters holding her hands.”

According to a friend, Lisa Loring “suffered a massive stroke brought on by smoking and high blood pressure.” They added, “She had been on life support for 3 days. 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.”

Wednesday Addams–the daughter of Gomez and Morticia and youngest member of the Addams Family–is undoubtedly one of the most iconic female characters of the macabre. After all, how many other young children have pet spiders and lizards? Or a headless dolly? Through just one character and 64 episodes of The Addams Family, Lisa Loring solidified herself as an icon of the genre.

Wednesday Addams has of course been played by other actresses, most notably Christina Ricci in the movies The Addams Family (1991) and The Addams Family Values (1993) and, more recently, Jenna Ortega on Netflix’s Wednesday. While both Ricci and Ortega have personified the character for their given generations, the groundwork Lisa Loring laid has undoubtedly been a significant influence on both.

“I paid homage to Lisa Loring, the first Wednesday Addams,” Ortega previously stated. “I did a little bit of her shuffle that she does.” The original Wednesday dance, just like Ortega’s version, has subsequently become an online sensation, albeit nearly 60 years after it first hit televisions sets (in the 1966 episode “Lurch’s Grand Romance”).

In addition to The Addams Family, Lisa Loring had a selection of other credits. Most were small bits on shows like Fantasy Island and Barnaby Jones, but she did land a larger part on the soap opera As the World Turns in the 1980s. Her most recent credit was in the 2015 horror-comedy Doctor Spine. She did reprise Wednesday Addams after the series went off the air in 1966 for the 1977 television movie Halloween with the New Addams Family.

Send your condolences to the late Lisa Loring below.

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