On Jan. 28, 2023, former child actor Lisa Loring died at the age of 64, reportedly after having "suffered a massive stroke brought on by smoking and high blood pressure."
Loring was perhaps best known in her role as Wednesday Addams on "The Addams Family," which aired on TV from 1964 through 1966. She also appeared on episodes of the soap opera, "As the World Turns."
On Jan. 29, Variety.com reported that her daughter, Vanessa Foumberg, confirmed the news that had previously been posted on Facebook by a friend. The friend 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. 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.
Despite this information being reported about Loring's cause of death, on Jan. 30, the Twitter account @DiedSuddenly_ tweeted erroneously about the news anyway, implying a COVID-19 vaccine caused her death.
The account's owner, who apparently pays $8 per month for the Twitter Blue service in order to display a blue checkmark, mentioned Loring's passing with the hashtag "#diedsuddenly," despite there being no evidence that her cause of death had anything to do with COVID-19 vaccines or booster shots.
The account's name references the widely debunked "died suddenly" conspiracy theory, which we've reported about before. In recent months, the usage of the two words "died suddenly" had become a way to push a rumor that posits, without credible evidence, that COVID-19 vaccines have increased incidences of people suddenly dying with little to no warning.
Other tweets also made baseless reference to COVID-19 vaccines causing Loring's death.
We previously shut down a rumor posted by the same @DiedSuddenly_ account that misled users about the story of COVID survivor Claire Bridges.
Despite being shown to be misleading, the account did not appear to ever issue any sort of correction as a way of showing accountability.
Earlier in January, a rumor was promoted that Lynette "Diamond" Hardaway of the right-wing Diamond and Silk duo had "died suddenly." The apparent implication was that the COVID-19 vaccine was to blame. In fact, the rumor even appeared to be pushed at Hardaway's funeral by her former colleague, Rochelle "Silk" Richardson.
However, The Associated Press did some digging and found that Hardaway's death certificate said she died of "heart disease due to chronic high blood pressure."
The apparent strategy for some users who push the "died suddenly" conspiracy theory (other than to pay to receive a blue checkmark) is to publish news about young people, athletes, and celebrities as soon as they pass away, with the implication that the COVID-19 vaccine was at least partially to blame. Sometimes, this is done before more is known about the cause of death.
By the time the person's cause of death is reported days or weeks later, with official records being revealed that do not make any mention of COVID-19 vaccines as being part of the cause of death, the users who initially pushed the misleading news choose to not issue any corrections. Their strategy has apparently been to ignore the authoritative information coming from records and medical professionals. Instead, they look to find fresh stories of more recently deceased people, so they can continue to push the same kinds of rumors in an endless, baseless fashion.
This story will be updated if more details come to light regarding Loring's cause of death.