Lisa Loring as Wednesday Addams

Original Wednesday Actress, Lisa Loring, Dead at 64

by Emmaly Anderson

Lisa Loring, most well-known for being the first actress to play Wednesday Addams on The Addams Family TV series, died at the age of 64 on Saturday. According to a statement given to CNN by agent Chris Carbaugh, she passed away surrounded by family. Loring’s good friend Laurie Jacobson announced her death on Facebook, stating that she suffered a “massive stroke brought on by smoking and high blood pressure” and had been on life support for 3 days. Jacobson wrote that Lisa Loring is “embedded in the tapestry that is pop culture and in our hearts as Wednesday Addams.” 

Fans and fellow celebrities took to social media to mourn the iconic actress and celebrate her cultural impact, such as the rock band Garbage, who thanked Loring for “making weird girls seem so cool.”  


At just six years old, Loring was cast as Wednesday in the original The Addams Family sitcom, which ran from 1964 to 1966. She reprised the role in the 1977 television movie Halloween with the New Addams Family. Her morbid, deadpan delivery set the standard for all future iterations of Wednesday Addams, who had previously only been depicted in Charles Addams’ New Yorker cartoons and had not yet been given a name. Christina Ricci’s arguably most popular portrayal of Wednesday in the 1991 and 1993 films The Addams Family and Addams Family Values bore an uncanny resemblance to Loring’s character, both in style and attitude. 

 Most recently, Lisa Loring served as inspiration for Jenna Ortega’s appearance as Wednesday in the 2022 Netflix series of the same name, particularly in the dancing scene that went viral. Season two, episode 29 of the original The Addams Family series includes a scene where Wednesday (Loring) teaches Lurch (Ted Cassidy), the family’s butler, how to perform the 1960s dance trend “The Drew.”


Ortega choreographed the dance sequence herself and stated that in addition to goth icons such as Siouxsie Sioux, she drew inspiration from that scene. The current Wednesday star included Loring in her list of thank-yous regarding the now-iconic dance scene on Twitter, and told Jimmy Fallon that she intentionally paid homage to Lisa Loring in the choreography. 

Following The Addams Family’s two-season run, Lisa Loring went on to appear in such series as The Pruitts of Southampton, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., Fantasy Island, Barnaby Jones, and As The World Turns. She also appeared in the genre movies Savage Harbor and Blood Frenzy later on in the 1980s, and under the name “Maxine Factor,” worked as a makeup artist on adult films. 

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

Top Photo: Screengrab from YouTube

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