Former child actress Lisa Loring, who played Wednesday Addams in the Sixties macabre sitcom The Addams Family, has died at the age of 64. Ms. Loring had passed away on Saturday, January 28, 2023, at the Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California, due to multiple ongoing health issues including a stroke triggered by high blood pressure.
Lisa Loring was born Lisa Ann DeCinces February 16, 1958, in the Marshall Islands on Kwajalein Atoll. At the time the Marshall Islands were a United Nations Trust Territory administered by the United States. She spent her childhood in Hawaii and California. She started modeling at the age of 3 and acting before she turned six. Because she could not read yet when she was cast as Wednesday Addams, she was forced to learn to become a good memorizer at a young age.
The main cast (clockwise from top left): Gomez (John Astin), Lurch (Ted Cassidy, 1930-1983) 1932-1979), Pugsley ((Ken Weatherwax,1955-2014), Morticia (Carolyn Jones,1930-1983), and Wednesday (Lisa Loring,1958-2023).
Lisa Loring was born February 16, 1958, in the Marshall Islands on Kwajalein Atoll. At the time the Marshall Islands were a United Nations Trust Territory administered by the United States. She spent her childhood in Hawaii and California. She started modeling at the age of 3 and acting when she was only six. Her first role was as a guest on Dr. Kildare.
She was best known for creating the role of the delightfully macabre Wednesday Addams, the sweet little girl who played with decapitated dolls. Christina Ricci and Jenna Ortega would later recreate the role in other adaptations.
It is unfair to Lisa Loring and her family to remember her for only two years of her life. She had other roles as an actress, and was married four times. She wa a wife, motherm and a grandmother. Wednesday Addams was only two years out of her childhood, but thanks to syndicated reruns and DVDs, to millions of her fans she will forever be a seven year old girl dancing with her butler.
After The Addams Family, she co-starred with Phyllis Diller on The Pruitts of Southampton, where she played Suzy Pruitt. She also had a recurring role as Cricket Montgomery on the soap opera As the World Turns
Butch Patrick, who played Eddie Munster on “The Munsters,” also remembered her 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.”
Writer/producer Laurie Jacobson left the best eulogy: “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 humor, affection and love will long play in our memories. RIP, Lisa. Damn, girl…you were a ton of fun.”
Between the Sixties and the Eighties she had several guest roles on such TV shows as The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., Fantasy Island, and Barnaby Jones. She appeared in several made for TV movies, including Halloween with the New Addams Family. One of her best-known film roles was as Roxey in Savage Harbor (1987). It was one of three slasher films she appeared in, the other two being Blood Frenzy (1987) and Iced (1988). Her final theatrical role was as Miss Rhonda in the Horror-comedy Dr. Spine (2015).
Lisa Loring is survived by two daughters, Vanessa Foumberg and Mariane Stevenson, both of whom were at their mother’s side as she passed, holding her hands. She is also survived by her grandchildren.
Lisa Loring was wed four times.
She was married briefly to Farrell Foumberg, married 197, divorced 1974). In 1981 she married Doug Stevenson, they divorced in 1983. Her third husband was actor Jerry Butler that marriage lasted from 1987 to 1992. In 2003 she married Graham Rich. They separated in 2008, but did not divorce until 2014.
With Lisa Loring’s passing, John Astin is the only member of The Addams Family main cast left to us.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.
She and Buddy Ebsen worked well together. Just a few years before that *Barnaby Jones*’ episode “Indoctrination of Evil,” they could have done a remake of *The Wizard of Oz*. Then he could finally play the Scarecrow instead of losing out by being recast as the Tinman and having that awful problem with the makeup that made him leave. And she could have been Dorothy.