Wednesday Star Has Passed Away

Lisa Loring, the original Wednesday Addams actress, has passed away at the age of 64.

By Charlene Badasie | Updated

Wednesday Series Original
Lisa Loring as Wednesday Addams

Lisa Loring, the actress who portrayed Wednesday in the 1964 Addams Family sitcom, has died at the age of 64. Speaking to Variety, the news was confirmed by her daughter, Vanessa Foumberg, who said her mother succumbed to a stroke. “She went peacefully with both her daughters holding her hands,” she told the publication. Laurie Jacobson, a close friend of the star, also reported her passing on Facebook.

“It is with great sadness that I report the death of our friend, Lisa Loring,” Jacobson wrote about the Wednesday actress. “Four days ago she suffered a massive stroke brought on by smoking and high blood pressure.” After being on life support for three days, her family made the difficult decision to remove it. “She is embedded in the tapestry that is pop culture and in our hearts always as Wednesday Addams.”

Although she portrayed the oldest Addams sibling many decades ago, Lisa Loring’s work as Wednesday resurged following the Netflix series starring Jenna Ortega. Created by cartoonist Charles Addams, Wednesday is typically portrayed as a morbid, emotionally reserved child fascinated by the macabre. She is always seen with a pale complexion and black pigtails.

Lisa Loring was the first actress to bring Wednesday to life on screen. In the original Addams Family series, the character is sweet-natured and serves as a foil to her family’s weirdness. Her favorite hobby is raising spiders, and she is also a ballerina.

Throughout the show, she is seen carrying a Marie Antoinette doll, which her brother guillotines at her request. In the pilot episode, she is 6 years old.

The show produced 64 episodes over two seasons, which aired from 1964 through 1966. Following her work as Wednesday on The Addams Family, Lisa Loring appeared in several popular shows. This included The Phyllis Diller Show, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., Fantasy Island, and Barnaby Jones. She also had a recurring role as Cricket Montgomery on As the World Turns.

Lisa Loring Wednesday
Lisa Loring in As the World Turns

Years later, she went on to reprise her role as Wednesday in the 1977 television movie Halloween with the New Addams Family. Her last acting credit was in 2015 with the film Doctor Spine. Still, Lisa Loring will mostly be remembered as Wednesday Addams. With her deadpan delivery, she paved the way for other actresses to portray the character.

Much like Lisa Loring, Christina Ricci played a young Wednesday in the 1991 hit movie, The Addams Family. She went on to reprise the role for the sequel, Addams Family Values. In 2022, Jenna Ortega took up the mantel as a teenage version of the character. During an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, she said her version of the pop-culture icon was inspired by Loring.

Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams

“I paid homage to Lisa Loring, the first Wednesday Addams,” she told Jimmy Fallon via CNN Entertainment. “I did a little bit of her shuffle that she does.” Created by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, the Netflix series revolves around Wednesday Addams, who is determined to solve a monster mystery at her new boarding school.

The series stars Jenna Ortega alongside Gwendoline Christie, Riki Lindhome, Jamie McShane, Hunter Doohan, Percy Hynes White, Emma Myers, Joy Sunday, Georgie Farmer, and Naomi J. Ogawa. Christina Ricci also makes several guest appearances. Lisa Loring would definitely approve of these Wednesday stars.