Jenna Ortega plays Wednesday Addams now, but over 60 years before Netflix’s wildly successful adaptation hit the big screen, child actress Lisa Loring made the endearing but depressing figure a household name. Loring died on Saturday.
With her trademark black plaits and sarcastic one-liners, Lisa’s portrayal of the youngest child of Morticia and Gomez quickly became a fan favorite among the devoted fans who tuned in every week to see the popular series, which debuted in 1964.
Also Read| Who was Lisa Loring? Wednesday Addams star from 1960s The Addams Family dies
Here’s a list of actors who brought The Addams Family to life:
Lisa Loring aka Wednesday Addams
Lisa Loring was born in the Marshall Islands, in February 1958. The actress started her career at age three as a child model before moving into acting. Her major break came in the form of Wednesday Addams, and she kept acting after the show ended. In one of her later roles, she reunited with her TV family as Wednesday Sr. in the made-for-TV movie Halloween with the New Addams Family.
Some of Loring’s well-known roles include Roxey in the 1988 action-drama thriller Death Feud and Vera in the 2014 comedy-horror science fiction film Way Down in Chinatown.
On January 28, 2023, Loring died as a result of complications from a stroke brought on by high blood pressure.
John Astin aka Grandpapa Addams
John Astin, 92, who portrayed Wednesday’s father Gomez on The Addams Family, is now the only living member of the show’s original cast as Lisa Addams has passed away. The show’s stars saw a variety of outcomes, with some staying in Hollywood and gaining significant roles in films and television programs. Others, however, struggled with addictions, had health problems, or entered the adult entertainment industry.
His big break, however, came in 1961 with a little part in West Side Story, which paved the way for guest appearances before he was offered the role of Gomez in The Addams Family.
After the show ended, he later returned to the part of Gomez in the made-for-television movie Halloween with the New Addams Family in 1977, and from 1992 to 1993, he voiced the character in the animated series The Addams Family.
Astin played Grandpapa Addams in the 1998–1999 television series The New Addams Family, with Glenn Taranto playing Gomez.
Along with appearing on stage frequently, he continued to dabble in big-budget films like Freaky Friday and National Lampoon’s European Vacation. He also received an Oscar nomination for his short-film Prelude.
Carolyn Jones aka Morticia Addams
In April 1930, Carolyn Jones was born in Amarillo, Texas. She started making cameos on TV shows and made a name for herself with roles in movies including King Creole, The Seven Year Itch, and House of Wax, where she appeared alongside Elvis Presley.
In 1956’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers, she plays the lead role. Later, for her work in The Bachelor Party, she received an Academy Award nomination. Jones was already a well-known actress when she was cast as Morticia because she had won a Golden Globe for her performance in Marjorie Morningstar.
She returned to doing episodic TV work after The Addams Family’s successful run, making memorable appearances in shows including the miniseries Roots.
The actress received a colon cancer diagnosis in 1981 while filming the CBS daytime serial series Capitol. She made the decision to keep it a secret, informing her cast members that she was receiving stomach ulcer treatment.
The star persevered despite the pain to record her sequences, many of which featured her in a wheelchair as cancer swiftly spread to her stomach and liver. She went into a coma in July 1983 and passed away on August 3 at the age of 53 in West Hollywood, California.
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Ken Weatherwax aka Pugsly Addams
Ken Weatherwax was born into a show business family in Los Angeles, California. He made the decision to enlist when he was 17 years old, and he remained committed to it until he consented to reprise his Pugsley part when he was 21 years old in the 1977 reunion movie Halloween with the New Addams Family.
He speedily started to build a career in the film industry as a grip and set function.
Ted Cassidy aka Lurch
Ted Cassidy was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was academically gifted as a child and started third grade at the age of six.
He is best known for his role as Lurch on The Addams Family, but he also played Thing, unless the two characters were present in the same scene. Although Lurch was supposed to be mute at first, when Cassidy improvised the line “You rang?” in answer to the butler’s call, it instantly became his catchphrase.
He continued to play or voice the Lurch after the show’s finale in other programmes like Batman, The New Scooby-Doo Movies, and the 1973 animated series adaption of The Addams Family.
He appeared prominently in Star Trek: The Original Series, I Dream of Jeannie, and NBC’s The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as Injun Joe, Tom Sawyer and Huck’s mortal enemy.
At St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles, Cassidy underwent surgery in 1979 to have a benign growth from his heart removed. But while he was resting at home a few days later, issues occurred. At the age of 46, he passed away in a hospital on January 16, 1979.
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Jackie Coogan aka Uncle Fester
Jackie Coogan was among the most influential child stars in the annals of Hollywood. His father, John Henry Coogan Jr., was already employed in the acting business when he was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1914.
The Kid, a silent comedy-drama starring Chaplin’s Tramp persona, was released the next year, and Coogan was cast as the child left behind and fostered by Tramp (1921). He became Hollywood’s first significant child celebrity thanks to his portrayal of a teary-eyed street urchin in silent films. By 1922, Frank Lloyd’s production of Oliver Twist had Coogan in the classic lead role.
Coogan joined the American Army in 1941 and soon after transferred to the Army Air Forces, where he took part in a number of dangerous flights alongside American and British soldiers. When he got back to the States, he started acting once more, which quickly led to him getting the part of Uncle Fester.
He continued to work steadily after the show ended, making frequent cameos on shows including I Dream of Jeannie, The Brady Bunch, and the Perry Mason series. Up until his retirement in the middle of the 1970s, he also contributed to Hawaii Five-O, The Wild Wild West, The Partridge Family, and McMillan and Wife.
Coogan had a long history of cardiac issues and hypertension, and on March 1, 1984, he passed away at the age of 69.