Lisa Loring, the first actress to play Wednesday Addams on the original “The Addamses” sitcom, has died at the age of 64.
Loring’s daughter, Vanessa Foumberg, confirmed in a statement to Variety that her mother died of a stroke on Saturday.
“Her two daughters walked away peacefully holding her hand,” Foumberg said.
Lorraine’s friend, Laurie Jacobson, also reported her death on Facebook, saying she suffered a “major stroke from 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 away last night,” Jacobson wrote. “She is embedded in the pop culture tapestry and will always be Wednesday Adams in our hearts.”
Following the news of her death, fans flocked to social media to pay their respects, with one tweeting: “Farewell to Lisa Lorraine, the man who defined Wednesday Adams when she was just a wrinkled A newspaper drawing of the brow.”
Lorraine was the inspiration for pale, dreadlocked Wednesday on the 1964 sitcom “The Addams Family.” She took over the role at age 6 and played the death-obsessed character until two years after the show ended.
In 1977, she played Old Wednesday in the TV movie Halloween in the New Addams Family.
Lorraine’s deadpan adaptation of the character from Charles Addams’ New Yorker cartoon paved the way for other actresses, including Christina Ricci, She played Wednesday in the hit 1991 film “The Addams Family” and its sequel “Addams Family Values.”
Jenna Ortega said her rendition of the pop culture icon was also inspired by Loring, following last year’s Tim Burton comedy-horror Netflix comedy After Wednesday’s premiere.
“I salute Lisa Loring, the Adams of the first Wednesday. I do a little bit of her shuffle like she does,” Ortega said on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” in December.
Born Lisa Ann DeCinces in the Marshall Islands, Lorraine gained her stage name when she started modeling at age 3, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
After playing Wednesday on The Addams Family, Lorraine joined Phyllis Diller on the sitcom The Pruitts of Southampton. She later landed a recurring role in The World Turns, playing Cricket Montgomery.
Her acting credits also include the shows “Uncle’s Girl”, “Fantasy Island” and “Barnaby Jones”.
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