Lisa Loring, Original Wednesday Addams Actress, Dead at 64

Lisa Loring, best known as the first actress to play Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family sitcom in the mid-1960s, has died. Loring passed away Saturday, Jan. 28 after suffering a stroke, her daughter Vanessa Foumberg confirmed to Variety, sharing that her mother "went peacefully with both her daughters holding her hands." Loring was 64.

TV writer and producer Laura Jacobson, Loring's close friend, also confirmed the actress' passing in a message shared to Facebook. In the Sunday post, Jacobson shared news of Loring's death "with great sadness." Jacobson explained that Loring "suffered a massive stroke brought on by smoking and high blood pressure" just four days prior to her death and "had been on life support for 3 days." Jacobson said that on Saturday, "her family made the difficult decision to remove it and she passed last night." She added, "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."

Born Lisa Ann DeCinces in 1958, Loring moved to Los Angeles with her mother following her parents' divorce. It was there that she was given the stage name Lisa Loring and began modeling at 3, per The Hollywood Reporter. After making her TV debut on an episode of the NBC medical drama Dr. Kildare in 164, Loring went on to land what would become the most memorable role of her career: a young Wednesday Addams in ABC's, MGM-produced live-action television adaptation of Charles Addams' New Yorker cartoons. Loring was just 5 when she began work on the half-hour comedy series, and she became beloved in the role, well-remembered for her shimmying frug dance called "The Drew" frug, which recently regained attention after Jenna Ortega did her own interpretation of the dance on Netflix's Wednesday.

After The Addams Family finished its two-season run, a total of 64 episodes, Loring went on to star as Susan "Suzy" Pruitt on ABC's Phyllis Diller-led sitcom The Pruitts of Southampton, which also starred her The Addams Family co-star John Astin, who is now the last surviving member of the original cast of The Addams Family. She also appeared on an episode of The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., Fantasy Island, and Barnaby Jones, before landing a recurring role as Cricket Montgomery on As the World Turns from 1980 to 1983. In 1977, she, along with all of the original cast members, returned for the NBC telefilm Halloween With the New Addams Family.

Following news of her passing, Butch Patrick, who played Eddie Munster on The Munsters, paid tribute to Loring on Facebook, writing, "Very sorry to hear of my dear friend Lisa Loring's passing. We were very close and worked together often. I know she was very weak. I was in her company just a few weeks ago. Godspeed my friend."

Lorings' other credits include Savage Harbor, Blood Frenzy, and the film Doctor Spine, which marked her final acting credit in 2015. She is survived by two daughters, Marianne and Vanessa, as well as her grandchildren, Emiliana and Charles.