Lisa Loring, the actor who played the original Wednesday Addams, passed away aged 64 on Saturday, 28th January. According to her daughter Vanessa Foumberg, “she went peacefully with both her daughters holding her hands.”
The actor was born in 1958, beginning her career as a child model aged three. When she was six, she landed a role on the NBC medical drama Dr Kildare before starring as Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family that same year. She starred as the iconic character for 64 episodes before joining the cast of The Pruitts Of Southhampton, which shared much of the same team as The Addams Family.
Loring continued to act in the 1980s, turning her focus towards slasher horrors such as Blood Frenzy and Savage Harbour. She even worked as a makeup artist on pornographic shoots using the alias Maxine Factor. During this time, she met adult film actor Jerry Butler, whom she would marry in 1987 before divorcing in 1992.
In a tribute to her friend, Laurie Jacobson wrote on Facebook, “Four days ago, she suffered a massive stroke brought on by smoking and high blood pressure. She had been on life support for three days. Yesterday, her family made the difficult decision to remove it, and she passed last night. She is embedded in the tapestry that is pop culture and in our hearts always as Wednesday Addams. Beautiful, kind, a loving mother, Lisa’s legacy in the world of entertainment is huge. And the legacy for her family and friends – a wealth of humour, affection and love will long play in our memories. RIP, Lisa. Damn, girl…you were a ton of fun.”
Other actors, such as Christina Ricci and Jenna Ortega, have since played Wednesday, a testament to the beloved nature of Loring’s character. Netflix’s recent show Wednesday, which places the titular character in a modern setting, has become one of the streaming service’s most popular shows.