(CNN) — Lisa Loring, best known as the first actress to play Wednesday (Merlina) Addams in the original sitcom “The Addams Family,” has died at the age of 64.
Loring’s daughter, Vanessa Foumberg, confirmed in a statement to Variety that her mother died Saturday of a stroke.
“She left in peace with her two daughters holding hands,” Foumberg said.
Loring’s friend Laurie Jacobson also reported his death on Facebook, saying he had “suffered a massive stroke caused by smoking and high blood pressure.”
“I had been on life support for 3 days. Yesterday her family made the difficult decision to have it removed and she passed away last night,” Jacobson wrote. “She will remain embedded in the tapestry that is pop culture and in our hearts forever as Wednesday Addams.”
Following the news of her death, fans took to social media in droves to pay tribute, with one person tweeting: “Farewell to Lisa Loring, the person who DEFINED Wednesday Addams at a time when she was just a drawing of newspaper with a frown.
Loring was the blueprint for the pale, pigtailed Merlina after she was cast in the sitcom “The Addams Family” in 1964. She took the role when she was six years old and played the death-obsessed character until the show ended two years ago. later.
In 1977, he appeared as Wednesday Sr. in the television movie “Halloween with the New Addams Family.”
The deadpan expression of Loring’s character, based on the Charles Addams cartoons in the New Yorker, paved the way for other actresses, including Christina Ricci, who played Merlina in the 1991 hit film “The Addams Family” and its sequel. , “Addams Family Values”.
Jenna Ortega said her take on the pop culture icon was also inspired by Loring, following the release of Netflix’s Tim Burton-directed horror-comedy “Wednesday” last year.
“I paid tribute to Lisa Loring, the first Wednesday Addams. I did a little bit of the walking that she does,” Ortega said during an appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” in December.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Loring was born Lisa Ann DeCinces in the Marshall Islands and received her stage name when she started modeling at age 3.
After her stint as Wednesday on “The Addams Family,” Loring joined Phyllis Diller’s sitcom “The Pruitts of Southampton.” He later landed a recurring role on “As the World Turns,” playing Cricket Montgomery.
Her acting credits also include the shows “The Girl From UNCLE,” “Fantasy Island” and “Barnaby Jones.”