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The original Wednesday Addams, Lisa Loring, has died at age 64

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Wednesday Addams is the morbid child from "The Addams Family" franchise.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIC MIZZY'S "THE ADDAMS FAMILY")

A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

With her stiff, buttoned-up black dress, pale skin and long, dark braids, Wednesday has been portrayed by many actors over the years.

INSKEEP: But Lisa Loring was the first to bring it to the screen in the 1960s TV show.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE ADDAMS FAMILY")

LISA LORING: (As Wednesday Addams) Lurch, where are you, Lurch? It's me, Wednesday.

MARTÍNEZ: Among her many mischievous hobbies, her character liked to play with spiders and detonate dynamite.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE ADDAMS FAMILY")

LORING: (As Wednesday Addams) Don't you trust me? I'm your friend.

INSKEEP: Loring died on Saturday at age 64, according to her agent, Chris Carbaugh. He says Loring loved her time working on the show.

CHRIS CARBAUGH: I just think she had a blast with it. You know, she was a 6-year-old kid, and, you know, she had fun on set. She liked having fun with her cast mates. So it was like a game to her.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE ADDAMS FAMILY")

LORING: (As Wednesday Addams) This is the latest. It's called The Drew.

MARTÍNEZ: In one of the most famous scenes from the show, Wednesday teaches the family's butler, Lurch, how to dance.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE ADDAMS FAMILY")

LORING: (As Wednesday Addams) Come on. Now you try it.

TED CASSIDY: (As Lurch) Me?

INSKEEP: Six-year-old Wednesday shuffles her feet side to side and swings her arms enthusiastically, tossing her pigtails around.

MARTÍNEZ: The dance was one source of inspiration for Jenna Ortega, who plays Wednesday in the Netflix series.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JENNA ORTEGA: I paid homage to Lisa Loring, the first Wednesday Addams. I did a little bit of her shuffle that she does.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GOO GOO MUCK")

THE CRAMPS: (Singing) You better duck when I show up - the goo goo muck.

INSKEEP: Ortega's reimagining of Wednesday's dance has become a viral TikTok dance sensation of its own, of course, introducing a whole new generation to the character.

CARBAUGH: Lisa's legacy will be, obviously, Wednesday Addams. She made that character famous, and it has passed from generation to generation.

MARTÍNEZ: Carbaugh says that, as a 6-year-old girl, she couldn't have known the impact that character would have on so many generations of people and that she loved meeting fans of all ages.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIC MIZZY'S "THE ADDAMS FAMILY") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Milton Guevara

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