Remembering Lisa Loring

Actress Who Played the Original Wednesday Addams, Dies at 64

Lisa Loring, best known for her role as Wednesday Addams in the original The Addams Family television show, died on January 28 at 64. 

Her daughter, Vannessa Foumberg, confirmed that her mother had died from a stroke caused by high blood pressure. After being on life support for three days, Foumberg said, “She went peacefully with both her daughters holding her hands.” 

Loring was born Lisa Ann DeCinces in the Marshall Islands in 1958. After her parents divorced, she moved to Los Angeles with her mother. She began modeling when she was three before landing her first role on the medical drama Dr. Kildare.

At only six years old, Loring starred in the first live-action adaptation of Charles Addams’ New Yorker cartoons. The Addams Family ran from 1964 to 1966, producing 2 seasons and 64 episodes. The character Wednesday recently regained popularity following the new Netflix series Wednesday, starring Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams. 

In light of Loring’s death, Ortega shared two photos on Instagram of Loring with the words, “Absolutely devastated. Thank you for everything.” Ortega choreographed the famous viral dance Wednesday does on the show in just two days, and was inspired by “The Drew” frug dance that a young Loring performed in the original sitcom. In an interview on The Tonight Show, Ortega said, “I did a little bit of her shuffle that she [Loring] does. Of course they cut out of camera when I did do it, but it’s there! I know it is!”

Lisa Loring shared in an interview that when she auditioned for her role as Wednesday Addams, she couldn’t read yet. The producer of the show wasn’t prepared for this, but her long hair and “pout” landed her the part. Loring explained that sometimes playing the character was difficult because she wasn’t allowed to smile. “The pout was the thing, and yet I worked with these people… who were so funny and so wonderful and I was just so happy,” she said.

She also appeared on various other shows, including The Pruitts of Southampton, The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., Fantasy Island, and the soap opera As the World Turns. She reunited with other members from the original cast for the 1977 film Halloween with the New Addams Family.

Loring’s friend Laurie Jacobson wrote, “She is embedded in the tapestry that is pop culture and in our hearts always as Wednesday Addams. 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.”

Lisa Loring is survived by her daughters, Marianne and Vanessa, as well as her grandchildren, Emiliana and Charles.