Lisa Loring, 1st Wednesday Addams, Dies at 64

Lisa Loring, the former child star who was the first actor to bring Wednesday Addams to life, died at 64 on Saturday, four days after suffering a massive stroke.

One of TV's most indelible characters (Image via ABC)

Loring's passing was reported by Laurie Jacobson on Facebook Sunday. Jacobson reported, "It is with great sadness that I report the death of our friend, Lisa Loring. 4 Days ago she suffered a massive stroke brought on by smoking and high blood pressure. She had been on life support for 3 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."


Lisa Loring - Original Wednesday Addams - Dies of a Stroke at 64 ... She had been on life support since Wednesday. So sad.

♬ original sound - Matthew Rettenmund/BoyCulture

Ironically, she suffered the deadly stroke on Wednesday.

Loring was born February 16, 1958, in the Marshall Islands. Growing up in Hawaii and Los Angeles, she was a model as a toddler and made her TV debut in 1964 on an episode of Dr. Kildare.

At just 6 years old, she landed the role of Wednesday on The Addams Family (1964-1966). Though a short-lived series, it went on to become a favorite in reruns and was further revived by feature films and the current series Wednesday, starring Jenna Ortega (b. 2002). That series makes use of a dance sequence that harkens back to a dance Loring performed on the original show with Ted Cassidy (1932-1969) aka Lurch. Ortega's dance has gone superviral in recent months.

Loring also appeared on the series The Phyllis Diller Show (1966) and The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. (1966) before withdrawing from acting for a decade.

She recreated her character for a Halloween special in 1977 and resumed acting, appearing in the TV movie Annie Flynn (1978) and on the series Fantasy Island (1980) and Barnaby Jones (1978 & 1979).

In 1980, she took on her second-most famous role, as Cricket Montgomery on the soap As the World Turns (1980-1983).

We need to examine how we treat our child stars. (Image via tear sheet)

She rarely acted again, limiting her work to the low-budget films Blood Frenzy (1987), Savage Harbor (1987), Iced (1989), Layin' Down the Law (1992), Way Down in Chinatown (2014) and Doctor Spine (2015), which was her swan song.

Loring's personal life was, sadly tumultuous. She was married by 15 and became a teen mom. Divorcing, she remarried in 1981 to actor Doug Stevenson, a fellow soap actor, having another child. Their union also ended in divorce.

Loring at Chiller Theatre 10 years ago (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

In 1987, Loring wed Jerry Butler (1959-2018), a porn star she met while making ends meet as a makeup artist on his film Traci's Big Trick (1987).

The couple's marriage — and Butler's refusal to quit porn — became the stuff of tabloids and tabloid TV, lasting until they split in 1992.

She was wed a final time, in 2003, to Graham Rich. They divorced in 2014.

Though no longer acting, Loring was a staple at autograph shows, and reveled in how fondly Wednesday Addams was remembered by fans.

She is survived by her two children.

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