Carolyn Jones

Active - 1934 - 1993  |   Born - Apr 28, 1930 in Amarillo, Texas, United States  |   Died - Aug 3, 1983   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Romance, Crime, Thriller

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Trained at the Pasadena Playhouse, Texas-born Carolyn Jones supported herself as a radio disk jockey when acting jobs were scarce. She entered films as a bit player in 1952, attaining prominence for a role in which (for the most part) she neither moved nor spoke: the waxwork Joan of Arc -- actually one of mad sculptor Vincent Price's many murder victims -- in 1953's House of Wax. In 1957, Jones was Oscar-nominated for her five-minute role as a pathetic "good time girl" in The Bachelor Party; two years later, she stole the show in Frank Capra's A Hole in the Head as Frank Sinatra's bongo-playing girlfriend. During the early 1960s, Jones was married to producer Aaron Spelling, who frequently cast her on such TV series as The Dick Powell Show and Burke's Law. In 1964, Jones achieved TV sitcom immortality as the ghoulishly sexy Morticia Addams on the popular series The Addams Family. Though her TV and movie activities were curtailed by illness in her last decade (she died of cancer in 1983), Carolyn Jones continued making occasional appearances, notably a return engagement as Morticia in a 1978 Addams Family reunion special.

Movie Highlights

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  • When she was just starting out, she worked as a disc jockey when acting jobs were unavailable.
  • Was discovered while studying acting at Pasadena Playhouse.
  • Made her television debut in Schlitz Playhouse of Stars.
  • Cast in From Here to Eternity but had to bow out due to illness; the part went to Donna Reed.
  • Was Oscar nominated for her role in The Bachelor Party (1957) despite being on-screen for only five minutes.
  • In 1964, she took on her most famous role as Morticia Addams on The Addams Family.
  • Joined the cast of the CBS soap Capitol in 1982, but was diagnosed with colon cancer soon after and played most of her scenes in a wheelchair.