Lisa Loring, Original Wednesday Addams, Dies at 64

Lisa Loring, the actress who played Wednesday Addams on the original 1960s TV adaptation of The Addams Family, has died. She was 64.

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

“She went peacefully with both her daughters holding her hands,” Foumberg told the outlet.

“It is with great sadness that I report the death of our friend, Lisa Loring,” family friend Laurie Jacobson posted on Facebook 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. Yesterday, her family made the difficult decision to remove it and she passed last night,” Jacobson added.

Loring was born on Feb. 16, 1958, in the Marshall Islands, according to THR, and after her parents divorced, she moved to Los Angeles with her mother. Her first role was on the medical drama Dr. Kildare in 1964.

While Loring is best known for her role on The Addams Family, she also starred in ​​Phyllis Diller’s short-lived sitcom The Pruitts of Southampton, and made appearances on several hit shows including The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.Fantasy Island and Barnaby Jones. She also played Cricket Montgomery in a recurring role on As the World Turns from 1980 to 1983.

The actress’s death comes in the midst of her famous character Wednesday experiencing a resurgence in popularity, thanks to Netflix’s hit show Wednesday.

Loring’s interpretation of the character was “sweet-natured but gloomy, and had a penchant for collecting creepy pets including a black widow spider named Homer and a lizard named Lucifer, as well as playing with a headless doll,” according to Variety.

Jackie Coogan (1914 - 1984) as Uncle Fester, Blossom Rock (1895 - 1978) as Grandmama Addams, and Ted Cassidy (1932 - 1979) as Lurch. Front row, left to right: Lisa Loring as Wednesday Addams, Carolyn Jones (1930 - 1983) as Morticia Addams, John Astin as Gomez Addams, and Ken Weatherwax as Pugsley Addams.
The Addams Family cast circa 1965. Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Loring married four times, according to THR. She tied the knot with childhood sweetheart Farrell Foumberg at age 15 and had her first child, Vanessa, the next year. They divorced in 1974 and she then married actor Doug Stevenson in 1981, which ended in divorce in 1983.

She married adult film star Jerry Butler in 1987, and the two divorced in 1992. Her fourth and final marriage was to Graham Rich, whom she married in 2003 and divorced in 2014. Loring is survived by two daughters: Vanessa, plus Marianne Stevenson.

“She is embedded in the tapestry that is pop culture and in our hearts always as Wednesday Addams,” Jacobson continued in her Sunday tribute to Loring. “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. Damn, girl … you were a ton of fun,” she concluded.

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