Lisa Loring, the television actor who played the first iteration of the young and macabre Wednesday Addams, passed away on Jan. 28 after suffering a stroke at the age of 64. Loring’s daughter Vanessa Foumberg confirmed the news to Variety, explaining that “She went peacefully with both her daughters holding her hands.”
Even though her character Wednesday might have been excited about finally being in death’s cold embrace, friends of Loring and fellow actors, including those in the Netflix series Wednesday, mourned her passing, remembering her as warm and full of life.
Jenna Ortega, the star of the smash hit series, reacted via her Instagram Stories on Tuesday, sharing two black and white photos of the actress playing Wednesday as a child, along with a simple caption: “Absolutely devastated. Thank. you for everything.”
Christina Ricci, who brought Wednesday Addams to life in the 1991 movie The Addams Family and its sequel, Addams Family Values, also shared the news on her Instagram Story with a simple broken heart emoji.
Jeanna Ortega, who plays the titular character in Netflix’s Wednesday, also paid tribute to the late and great Loring before her passing, even though the world wasn’t quite aware until now. Loring was one of the many influences Ortega listed as inspiration for her original dance in the series.
Specifically, Ortega gives a nod to Loring’s dance moves, called “The Drew,” which appears in the 1964 episode “Lurch Learns To Dance.” In the episode, Wednesday swings her arms in an angular fashion as her legs wiggle around, urging Lurch to do the same.
“Thanks to Siouxsie Sioux, Bob Fosse’s Rich Man’s Frug, Lisa Loring, Lene Lovich, Denis Lavant, and archival footage of goths dancing in clubs in the 80’s. Helped me out on this one,” Ortega wrote in a November tweet featuring the ubiquitous dance scene to the Cramp’s “Goo Goo Muck.”
“RIP Lisa Loring…” Luis Guzman, who plays Gomez Addams, wrote on Twitter. “You set the stage for a Beautiful Wednesday…”
“Very sorry to hear of my dear friend Lisa Loring’s passing. We were very close and worked together often,” The Munsters actor Butch Patrick wrote in a Facebook post. “I know she was very weak. I was in her company just a few weeks ago. Godspeed my friend.”
Fellow Wednesday star Catherine Zeta-Jones also shared her sorrow for Loring’s passing with a sweet photo of Loring as the original Wednesday Addams. “R.I.P. Lisa Loring,” she wrote, adding a black heart emoji that feels appropriate to send off the first Wednesday Addams.
Following her role as Wednesday, Loring appeared on The Girl From U.N.C.L.E, Fantasy Island, and Barnaby Jones. She also had a recurring role as Cricket Montgomery in the soap opera As The World Turns from 1980 to 1983.
Loring is survived by her two daughters, Marianne and Vanessa.