Lisa Loring, the former child star who portrayed Wednesday on the original The Addams Family series, has died, a friend announced. She was 64.
The actress “suffered a massive stroke brought on by smoking and high blood pressure” and was on life support for three days, the friend, Laurie Jacobson, wrote late Sunday on Facebook.
Loring’s daughter confirmed her death, telling Variety the actress died Saturday.
“She went peacefully with both her daughters holding her hands,” Vanessa Foumberg said in a statement.
Loring was 6 when she debuted as Wednesday in The Addams Family in 1964. Inspired by the gothic characters from Charles Addams’ cartoons, the ABC series ran for two seasons and more than 60 episodes and also starred Carolyn Jones and John Astin.
Loring returned as Wednesday for the 1977 television film Halloween with the New Addams Family. Her portrayal served as an inspiration to Jenna Ortega, who stars as the character on the Netflix series “Wednesday.”
“I paid homage to Lisa Loring, the first Wednesday Addams. I did a little bit of her shuffle that she does,” Ortega said last month on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Loring, who had two daughters, also appeared on multiple episodes of Barnaby Jones in the late 1970s and As the World Turns during the early ‘80s.
“She is embedded in the tapestry that is pop culture and in our hearts always as Wednesday Addams,” Jacobson wrote. “Beautiful, kind, a loving mother, Lisa’s legacy in the world of entertainment is huge.” – New York Daily News/Tribune News Service