Original Wednesday Addams Dies at 64—See Lisa Loring Through the Years

Lisa Loring began playing the iconic television role at age six.

With the Netflix series Wednesday a certified hit and returning for Season 2, the daughter of the spookiest family in pop culture is big once again. Sadly, the woman who originated the role just passed away at age 64. Lisa Loring played Wednesday Addams on The Addams Family TV series in the 1960s, bringing to life the sullen little girl dressed in all black. It's the character Loring was still best known for, though she did continue acting on and off for years to come.

The news of the former child actor's death became public on Jan. 29, when her friend, Laurie Jacobson, shared on Facebook that Loring had passed. Jacobson said that Loring had suffered a "massive stroke" four days prior "brought on by smoking and high blood pressure" and had been on life support before her family made the decision to take her off of it.

"Beautiful, kind, a loving mother, Lisa's legacy in the world of entertainment is huge," Jacobson wrote. "And the legacy for her family and friends—a wealth of humor, affection and love will long play in our memories."

Read on to find out more about Loring and to see her through the years.

READ THIS NEXT: 6 Classic Sitcom Episodes That Are Wildly Offensive by Today's Standards.

She kept acting after The Addams Family.

Loring is remembered by countless fans for playing Wednesday Addams—a role she took on when she was only six years old—but her acting career didn't stop when the sitcom ended in 1966. She was also in episodes of Fantasy Island, Barnaby Jones, and As the World Turns, and in the TV movie Halloween with the New Addams Family. She mostly retired from acting after the 1980s, but in 2014 and 2015, she was in the comedy-horror movies Way Down in Chinatown and Doctor Spine.

Loring had other career passions as well. In 1995, People reported that she was working at an interior design firm.

She has two daughters.

Lisa Loring in 2002
Lawrence Lucier/Getty Images

Loring was married four times during her life and welcomed two daughters: Vanessa Foumberg, with her first husband Farrell Foumberg, and Marianne Stevenson, with her second husband, Doug Stevenson.

Confirming the news of her death, Vanessa told The Hollywood Reporter, "She went peacefully with both her daughters [Vanessa and Marianne] holding her hands." THR also notes that Loring has two grandchildren, Emiliana and Charles.

For more celebrity news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

She continued to celebrate her famous role.

Loring regularly attended conventions where she met fans of The Addams Family, signed autographs, and gave interviews. In 2017, she talked with The Nerd Soapbox at the convention Monsterpalooza and shared of working on the show, "It was like a real family. You couldn't have picked a better cast and crew. Carolyn Jones, John Astin—Gomez and Morticia—were like parents to me. They were great."

There's a piece of her in the new Wednesday show.

Lisa Loring at the Hollywood Museum in 2016
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

On Netflix's Wednesday, which premiered in 2022, an older version of the character is played by 20-year-old Jenna Ortega. A clip from the show in which Wednesday dances went viral, and Ortega revealed that her moves were inspired in part by Loring.

"I knew there were certain things that I wanted to do," Ortega said on The Tonight Show. "I paid homage to Lisa Loring, the first Wednesday Addams. I did a little bit of her shuffle that she does. Of course, they cut out of camera when I do do it, but it's there. I know it is."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
Filed Under
 •  •  •  •