Remembering Carolyn Jones, born April 28, 1930 and passed away August 3, 1983.
Carolyn Sue Jones was an American actress of television and film. Jones began her film career in the early 1950’s, and by the end of the decade had achieved recognition with a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for The Bachelor Party (1957) and a Golden Globe Award as one of the most promising actresses of 1959. Her film career continued for another 20 years. In 1964, she began playing the role of Morticia Addams (as well as her sister Ophelia and the feminine counterpart of Thing, Lady Fingers), in the original black and white television series The Addams Family.
She made her first film, The Turning Point, in 1952.
In 1953, she married aspiring filmmaker Aaron Spelling. She appeared in several episodes of Dragnet, credited as Caroline Jones in several episodes; had an uncredited bit part as a nightclub hostess in The Big Heat, and a role in House of Wax as the woman who is converted by Vincent Price’s character into a Joan of Arc statue. In 1954, she played Beth in Shield for Murder,
In 1956, Jones appeared in Invasion of the Body Snatchers and in Alfred Hitchcock’s remake of his own film, The Man Who Knew Too Much. In 1957, she had the lead in the episode “The Girl in the Grass” on CBS’s Schlitz Playhouse, with once again Ray Milland and Nora Marlowe.
Jones appeared three times as a guest star on the television series Wagon Train, in the first-season episode “The John Cameron Story” (1957) and in the later color episodes “The Jenna Douglas Story” (1961) and “The Molly Kincaid Story” (1963).
In 1958, Jones was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for The Bachelor Party, and she also shared a Golden Globe Award for “Most Promising Newcomer” with Sandra Dee and Diane Varsi, and appeared with Elvis Presley in King Creole.
Jones was diagnosed with colon cancer in March 1981, but continued to work while telling colleagues she was being treated for ulcers. After a period of apparent remission, the cancer returned in 1982. In July 1983, she fell into a coma at her home in West Hollywood, California, where she died on August 3, 1983. She 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.
In 1964, using a long coal-black wig, the brunette Jones began playing Morticia Addams on the television series The Addams Family, a role which brought her success as a comedian and a Golden Globe Award nomination. She guest-starred on the 1960s TV series Batman, playing Marsha, the Queen of Diamonds, and in 1976 appeared as the title character’s mother, Hippolyta, on the Wonder Woman TV series. In 1976, she played a madam running a rural whorehouse in Tobe Hooper’s follow-up movie after The Texas Chain Saw Massacre which was Eaten Alive, and featured Neville Brand, Roberta Collins, and Robert Englund. Her last role was that of Myrna, the scheming matriarch of the Clegg clan, on the soap opera Capitol from the first episode in March 1982 until March 1983, though she already knew that she was dying of cancer. During her occasional absences, veteran actress Marla Adams subbed for her.
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