Loring was just five when she starred in the 1964 TV adaptation of Charles Addams’ macabre cartoons – a performance that has set the character’s tone for decades
Lisa Loring, the actor who played Wednesday Addams in the first screen adaptation of The Addams Family, has died at the age of 64 from a stroke.
Loring died on Saturday night in hospital surrounded by family, her daughter told Variety.
“She went peacefully with both her daughters holding her hands,” she said.
Loring’s personal friend, the author Laurie Jacobson, wrote on Facebook that Loring had “suffered a massive stroke brought on by smoking and high blood pressure” and had been on life support for three days before her family decided to remove it on the weekend.
Loring played Wednesday Addams from 1964 to 1966 in the first adaptation of Charles Addams’ New Yorker cartoons, taking on the role when she was just five years old. Her performance as the macabre Addams daughter, with her gothic streak and classic pigtails, has reverberated through film and TV, greatly influencing following depictions of the character. A recent Netflix adaptation starring Jenna Ortega spawned a viral dance inspired by Loring’s angular moves from the original series. Ortega thanked Loring when the dance gained traction online. Loring was born Lisa Ann DeCinces in the Marshall Islands in 1958, later moving to Hawaii and then Los Angeles with her mother. She began modelling when she was three and landed her first role on television soon after, in the medical drama Dr. Kildare. After breaking out as Wednesday Addams, she took roles in the sitcom The Pruitts of Southampton and spy drama The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., before being cast in a recurring role on As the World Turns, a long-running daytime soap. She also appeared in a number of slashers in the late 80s, including Blood Frenzy, Iced, and Savage Harbor. In the same period, she worked as a makeup artist on the set of adult film Traci’s Big Trick – where she met her third husband, adult film actor Jerry Butler, on set. Her marriage to Butler was the source of much media interest, and the couple had several public spats over Loring’s dissatisfaction with Butler’s continued involvement in the adult film industry. They eventually divorced in 1992. Loring is survived by her daughters, Marianne and Vanessa, as well as her grandchildren, Emiliana and Charles.
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