Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Lisa Loring, who played the original Wednesday Addams on the TV show The Addams Family, has died. Her daughter, Vanessa Foumberg, confirmed to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, that she died of a stroke.
Though the characters began as a newspaper cartoon created by Charles Addams in 1939, The Addams Family evolved into a popular '60s TV show that aired in reruns for decades, as well as multiple movies. Last year, the Netflix TV series Wednesday starring Jenna Ortega, was the highest-rated debut on the streamer.
Loring was 64. Her friend Laurie Jacobson said Loring was a smoker who suffered from high blood pressure.
"She had been on life support for 3 days," Jacobson posted on Facebook. "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 enjoyed a lifetime of fame given her association with the storied fictional family, especially in the age of comedy and sci-fi conventions and websites. Loring appeared on the sitcom The Pruitts of Southampton with Phyllis Diller and on TV series ranging from Fantasy Island, The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. and Barnaby Jones. She also played Cricket Montgomery on the soap opera As the World Turns from 1980 - 1983.
"She went peacefully with both her daughters holding her hands," Foumberg told Variety. Loring is survived by Foumberg and another daughter, Marianne.
Loring was born Lisa Ann DeCinces to a military family in the Marshall Islands on Feb. 16, 1958. After her parents separated she was raised by her mother Judith in Hawaii and Los Angeles.
She began her career as a child model and was first cast in the TV show Dr.Kildare. Loring played Wednesday from the ages of 6 to 8 during the two-season of the original TV show in the '60s.
On The Addams Family, Wednesday was an odd, pale child always dressed in black, collected spiders and played with headless dolls. She was a droll character who rarely smiled, but was the heart of the eccentric family that included her and her brother Pugsley, played by Kenneth Patrick Weatherwax. He died in 2014. Weatherwax, Loring, and most of the rest of The Addams Family sitcom cast reprised their roles for the 1977 made-for-TV movie Halloween with the New Addams Family.
Loring acted in genre films like Savage Island and Iced in the '80s.
Wednesday has since been played by Christina Ricci in The Addams Family movies and now by Ortega, who says she used Loring as inspiration for her now-viral dance.
"I paid homage to Lisa Loring, the first Wednesday Addams," Ortega said on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last month. "I did a little bit of her shuffle that she does."
Per Variety, Butch Patrick, who played Eddie Munster on The Munsters, a similarly themed '60s sitcom about a family of kindhearted monsters, posted his condolences to his Facebook page.
"Very sorry to hear of my dear friend Lisa Loring's passing," he wrote. "We were very close and worked together often.I know she was very weak. I was in her company just a few weeks ago. Godspeed my friend."
Notable Deaths of 2023