To modern-day audiences, Jenna Ortega is the face of Wednesday Addams.
But almost six decades before Netflix’s smash hit adaption landed on screens, little known child actress Lisa Loring turned the sweet but gloomy character into a household name.
With her distinctive black plaits and sassy one-liners, Lisa’s portrayal of Morticia and Gomez’s youngest child made a fan favorite among devoted viewers who tuned in every week to watch the successful series, which began in 1964.
Last night, the actress’ good friend Laure Jacobson announced the sad news that Lisa had passed away following a ‘massive stroke’ brought on by smoking and high blood pressure.
Classic cast: The first live-action Addams starred John Astin as Gomez, Carolyn Jones as Morticia, Lisa Loring as Wednesday, Ken Weatherwax as Pugsley and Jackie Coogan as Uncle Fester – pictured in 1965
Left: Lisa Loring in character as Wednesday Addams in 1964. Right: The actress – who passed away over the weekend at the age of 64 – pictured in 2016
With Lisa’s passing, 92-year-old John Astin – who played Wednesday’s father Gomez – is now the last surviving member of the original cast of The Addams Family.
But what about the original cast members who helped bring the iconic roles to life? Things played out in very different ways for the show’s star with some continuing to work in Hollywood – landing notable movie and TV show roles.
Meanwhile, others battled addictions, suffered from health issues, and made a move into the adult entertainment industry.
Here, FEMAIL takes look at what happened to the stars’ careers once the show came to an end.
Gomez Addams played by John Astin
Fans loved John Astin for his portrayal of charming paterfamilias Gomez Addams – pictured right in 2010
John Astin was born in Baltimore, Maryland and studied mathematics at Washington & Jefferson College before he transferred to Johns Hopkins University to study drama.
The actor also voiced Gomez in a cartoon series, for which he landed an Emmy nomination – pictured in 1970
After graduating, he began his career on Broadway as an understudy in Major Barbara while doing voiceover work for commercials.
However, his big break came with a small role in West Side Story in 1961 which led to guest roles until he landed the part of Gomez in The Addams Family.
When the series came to an end, he later reprised the role of Gomez in the 1977 made-for-television film Halloween with the New Addams Family and voiced the role of Gomez in the animated series The Addams Family from 1992 to 1993.
In the Canadian-American television series The New Addams Family, which ran from 1998 to 1999, Astin appeared as Grandpapa Addams, with the role of Gomez played by Glenn Taranto.
Indeed, Astin kept himself busy with a slew of guest spots on TV shows such as Night Court, Webster and The Facts of Life.
He also kept dipping his toe into big screen projects such as National Lampoon’s European Vacation and Freaky Friday, while he also made appears on stage frequently over the years.
During his career, he received an Oscar nomination for Prelude, a short film which he directed, wrote and produced. He also landed an Emmy nomination for the cartoon voice of Gomez.
Astin starring as Evil Roy Slade in the 1992 made-for-television Western comedy
His love life became headline news at the time after he was married to actress Patty Duke from 1973 to 1985.
When that relationship came to an end, he found love again with Valeria Ann Sandobal. The pair have been together in Baltimore ever since they tied the knot in 1989.
Astin has three sons with his first wife Suzanne Hahn. Meanwhile, he shares a biological son with Patty Duke, and he also adopted her son from an earlier marriage.
Morticia Adams played by Carolyn Jones
Carolyn Jones was the first actress to don the long black wig famously linked with matriarch Morticia Addams
The famous scene in which Gomez kisses Morticia’s arm has become a staple in future iterations of the show
Carolyn Jones was born in Amarillo, Texas in April 1930. Due to suffering from severe asthma, the young star wasn’t able to go to the movies as often as she wanted which led her to become obsessed with Hollywood.
Jones was already a recognizable star once she landed the role of Morticia after starring in King Creole alongside Elvis Presley – pictured in 1958
After she decided to become an actress, her grandfather paid for her to enroll at the Pasadena Playhouse in California.
It proved to be a life-changing opportunity as Jones secured a contract with Paramount Pictures after being spotted by a talent scout at the Playhouse.
She began to make guest appearances on television shows for the next decade while also standing out with parts in films such as House of Wax, The Seven Year Itch and acting opposite Elvis Presley in King Creole.
She has a leading role in 1956 flick, Invasion of the Body Snatchers and went on to get an Academy Award nomination for her part in The Bachelor Party.
Jones also won a Golden Globe for her part in Marjorie Morningstar, meaning she was already a recognizable star once she landed the role of Morticia.
Following the successful run of The Addams Family, she went back to episodic TV work, appearing in notable shows such as the miniseries Roots.
Jones then reprised the role of Morticia in the 1977 NBC reunion film, Halloween with the New Addams Family.
During her career, Jones was married a total of four times, including a short-lived marriage to future uber-producer Aaron Spelling (who famously had a hand in creating hit TV shows such as Charlie’s Angels, Dynasty, Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place) from 1953 to 1964.
Carolyn Jones as Lisa Whittaker in cop show, The Mod Squad – pictured in 1969
While working on CBS daytime soap opera, Capitol, in 1981, the actress was diagnosed with colon cancer – pictured 1970
She was then married to Tony Award-winning Broadway musical director Herbert Greene from 1968 to 1977. Jones never had any children.
While working on CBS daytime soap opera, Capitol, in 1981, the actress was diagnosed with colon cancer. She chose to keep it a secret and told her cast members that she was being treated for stomach ulcers.
The cancer quickly spread to her liver and her stomach, but the star powered through the pain to film her scenes – many of which saw her in a wheelchair.
The actress died on August 3, 1983 at the age of 53 and she donated her Morticia costume and wig to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – pictured 1965
In September of the following year, she married her boyfriend of five years, actor Peter Bailey-Britton. She wore a lace and ribbon cap to hide the loss of her hair from chemotherapy.
In July 1983, she fell into a coma at her home in West Hollywood, California, where she died on August 3, 1983 at the age of 53,
Jones donated her Morticia costume and wig to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, while a collection of Addams Family scripts were donated by Bailey-Britton to UCLA.
Wednesday Addams played by Lisa Loring
Lisa Loring first introduced the world to the creepy-cool Wednesday Addams, who fast became a fan-favorite
Lisa Loring was born in February 1958, in Kwajalein, Marshall Islands. The actress began her career aged three as a child model before she then ventured into acting.
Her big break came in the form of Wednesday Addams and she continued acting after the show came to an end.
Her character was sweet but gloomy, and loved collecting creepy pets including a lizard named Lucifer, a black widow spider named Homer as well as a headless doll.
Her later roles included a reunion with her TV family as Wednesday Sr. in the made-for-TV film, Halloween with the New Addams Family.
Her personal life soon started to overshadow her career after she got married to her childhood sweetheart, Farrell Foumberg in 1973, aged 16. The couple had a child the following year but soon got divorced in the months that followed.
In recent years, Loring (bottom left) took time to celebrate the show on social media and attended many fan events
This led to a turbulent period for the star who was unable to turn to family for help. Her mother, who was an alcoholic, developed complications due to her addiction and died in 1974.
Loring made a TV comeback at 22 as the ‘troubled teen’ Cricket Montgomery on As the World Turns from 1980 to 1983, but she was unable to land lucrative roles in the years that followed.
After her second marriage to Doug Stevenson failed and she continued to be unhappy with the direction her career was taking, she made a move into the adult entertainment industry.
During this time, Loring was exposed to drugs which played a hand in ending her third marriage to Paul Siederman.
When they divorced, the actress was prompted to enter a drug rehab program for heroin abuse after she found a friend who had committed suicide. After that, she continued pursuing a Hollywood career, landing a handful of smaller roles.
Some of Loring’s notable roles include Roxey in the 1988 action-drama film Death Feud and Vera in the 2014 comedy-horror science-fiction movie Way Down in Chinatown.
After she became sober, Loring also got a job at an interior design company in Santa Monica.
The mother-of-two remarried for the fourth time in 2003 to Graham Rich. The marriage ended in 2008, but they did not finalize the divorce until 2014.
In recent years, Loring took time to celebrate the show on social media and wished her ‘TV dad’ John Astin a happy birthday message on Twitter in 2016 when she posted a GIF of him exchanging a knowing smile with co-star Carolyn Jones.
Last night, Lisa’s friend Laure Jacobson announced that the actress had sadly passed away at the age of 64 after being taken off life support on Saturday.
Lisa Loring pictured in August 1983. The actress went on to star in the 1988 action-drama film Death Feud and Vera in the 2014 comedy-horror science-fiction movie Way Down in Chinatown
Lisa pictured at a Breast Cancer Fund celebrity meet and greet. She leaves behind daughters Marianne and Vanessa following her death over the weekend
Jacobson wrote: ‘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.’
Paying tribute to Lisa’s work, Laure continued: ‘She is embedded in the tapestry that is pop culture and in our hearts always as Wednesday Addams. 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.’
Lisa is survived by her two daughters Marianne and Vanessa, and her grandchildren, Emiliana and Charles.
Her daughter Vanessa Foumberg confirmed her mother’s death to Variety, saying: ‘She went peacefully with both her daughters holding her hands.’
Pugsley Addams played by Ken Weatherwax
Ken Weatherwax was already a skilled child star by the time he was hired to play Pugsley Addams
He delighted fans by making appearances at Addams Family-related events with former co-stars over the years – pictured with John Astin (Gomez) and Felix Silla (Cousin Itt) in 2006
Ken Weatherwax was born in Los Angeles, California, into a show-business family.
His aunt was actress and dancer Ruby Keeler, while his half-brother, Joey D. Vieira, played ‘Porky’ on the first three seasons of Lassie under the stage name of Donald Keeler.
His uncles were Frank and Rudd Weatherwax, Lassie’s trainers and owners of the first dog to play the role.
Despite initially following joining the family business, Weatherwax lost interest in acting once The Addams Family came to an end.
He decided to join the U.S. Army aged 17, and was focused on that until he agreed to reprise his role as Pugsley aged 21 at the 1977 reunion film Halloween with the New Addams Family.
Soon he began to establish a career behind the camera as a movie studio grip and set builder.
Meanwhile, he delighted fans by making appearances at Addams Family-related events with former costar Lisa Loring.
The two remained lifelong friends until Weatherwax’s death from a heart attack on December 7, 2014.
Lurch played by Ted Cassidy
Ted Cassidy was a fan-favorite as Lurch and only began saying his iconic line, ‘you rang’ by accident
Ted Cassidy was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania but raised in Philippi, West Virginia. In his youth, he was academically gifted and attended third grade at age six.
He also had athlete interests after joining the football and basketball teams during his freshman year of high school aged 11.
Cassidy found steady work in a variety of other television shows throughout the 1960s and 1970s and even played Lurch in some of his guest appearances – pictured 1966
Cassidy played college basketball for the Hatters at Stetson University before graduating with a degree in speech and drama.
He married Margaret Helen Jesse in 1956, and they moved to Dallas, Texas where he launched his career launched when he worked as a midday DJ on WFAA in Dallas.
During his time, he gave an in-studio report from WFAA radio station on the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated and was among the first to interview eyewitnesses.
He famously played Lurch on The Addams Family but also played Thing – unless the characters were sharing a scene together.
Though the character of Lurch was originally intended to be mute, when Cassidy ad-libbed ‘You rang?’ in response to the butler call, and immediately became his signature line.
When the show ended, he went on to play or voice the Lurch in other shows such as Batman, The New Scooby-Doo Movies as well as the 1973 animated series adaptation of The Addams Family.
Cassidy found steady work in a variety of other television shows throughout the 1960s and 1970s.
He had a prominent role on NBC’s The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as Injun Joe who was the blood-enemy of Tom Sawyer and Huck, as well as Star Trek: The Original Series and I Dream of Jeannie.
The actor also played Thing – unless the characters were sharing a scene together and someone else took over – pictured with Felix Silla as Cousin Itt in 1965
In 1979, Cassidy underwent surgery at St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles to have a benign tumor removed from his heart.
The tumor had formed as a result of the long-term effects of the condition acromegaly. It was reportedly responsible for his deep voice, facial structure, and played a part in his height.
However, complications arose several days later while he was recuperating at home. He died in hospital on January 16, 1979, at age of 46.
Uncle Fester played by Jackie Coogan
Jackie Coogan was famously one of the most impactful child stars in Hollywood history, long before playing Uncle Fester – pictured in 1964
Jackie Coogan was famously one of the most impactful child stars in Hollywood history. He was born in Los Angeles, California in 1914, to an acting family as his father John Henry Coogan Jr. was already working in the industry.
The actor began his career by working alongside Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin discovered him in the Orpheum Theatre, a vaudeville house in Los Angeles, and cast him in a small role in A Day’s Pleasure (1919).
The following year, Chaplin cast Coogan as the abandoned child raised by his Tramp character in the silent comedy-drama The Kid (1921). His performance as a sad-eyed street urchin melted the hearts of silent-film audiences and helped make him Hollywood’s first major child star.
By 1922, Coogan was cast in the iconic title role in Oliver Twist, directed by Frank Lloyd.
However, things weren’t going as well behind-the-scenes as it was later revealed that Coogan’s mother and stepfather had squandered a large part of his estimated $3 to $4 million ($44 to $65 million in 2022 dollars) fortune.
Coogan’s father had died before he turned 21 and discovered the truth, and the furious actor sued his mother – ultimately only ever receiving $250,000 of his remaining earnings.
The legal battle focused attention on child actors and resulted in the 1939 enactment of the California Child Actor’s Bill, often referred to as the ‘Coogan Act’ or the ‘Coogan Law’.
It required that a child actor’s employer set aside 15% of the earnings in a trust (called a Coogan account) and specified the actor’s schooling, work hours and time off.
Coogan enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1941 and soon made a transfer to Army Air Forces where he participated in several high-risk flights with British and U.S. troops.
The actor died in 1984 at the age of 69 after having a long history of heart trouble and hypertension – pictured in 1965
When he returned to the States, he began acting again which soon led to the role of Uncle Fester.
After the show ended, he continued to work regularly with appearances on the Perry Mason series, The Brady Bunch and I Dream of Jeannie.
He also worked on The Partridge Family, The Wild Wild West, Hawaii Five-O and McMillan and Wife, until his retirement in the middle 1970s.
Coogan was married four times and had four children. He eventually died on March 1, 1984 at the age of 69 after having a long history of heart trouble and hypertension.
At Coogan’s request, his funeral was open to the public and was attended by several fans and his co-star John Astin delivered the eulogy.
Grandmama played by Blossom Rock
Blossom Rock had been acting under the name Marie Blake but switched back to her actual name by the time she played Grandmama on The Addams Family – pictured in 1964
Blossom Rock was born in August 1895 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a child, Rock first performed in vaudeville with her younger sister, Jeanette.
She chose to adopt the name Marie Blake when she launched her film career, beginning as a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract player in 1937 with an uncredited appearance in My Dear Miss Aldrich.
Her first credited major part was Love Finds Andy Hardy in 1938, and she then played a notable onscreen role as Sally, the hospital switchboard operator, in MGM’s popular Dr. Kildare series from 1938 to 1942.
Rock returned to using her real name in the 1950s before she went on to become a household name by playing Grandmama on The Addams Family.
The family became a modern sensation with 1991’s The Addams Family, which featured a star-packed cast that included Anjelica Huston as Morticia, Raul Julia as Gomez, Christopher Lloyd as Uncle Fester and a young Christina Ricci as Wednesday
Catherine Zeta-Jones transforms into Morticia Addams in the new Netflix series Wednesday; pictured with (L-R) Jenna Ortega (Wednesday), Luis Guzmán (Gomez) and Isaac Ordonez (Pugsley)
The actress suffered a stroke in December 1967 that affected her speech and prevented her from reuniting with fellow castmates for the Halloween with the New Addams Family TV film.
However, she watched on in support from the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital.
Rock died at age 82 on January 14, 1978, in Los Angeles, California.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk