Edgar Allan Poets are big fans of Carolyn Jones, we have always found her gaze fascinating… those mysterious eyes that always seemed to hide something.
A True Icon That Left Us Too Soon!
The choice to play the role of the languid and sensual Morticia of the Addams Family in the homonymous TV series was not an easy one for Carolyn Sue Jones. The actress – born on April 28, 1930 in Amarillo, Texas – was starting a promising career in film in the early 1960s, and abandoning Hollywood for the small screen did not seem the right choice. To push her towards this decision was Aaron Spelling, her husband at the time who, although they were already on bad terms and close to divorce, advised her to accept the offer made to her by producer David Levy.
At the time Aaron Spelling was not yet the famous television producer he would become a decade later with a string of hits such as Love Boat, Starsky & Hutch, Charlie’s Angels, Fantasy Land, Dynasty, Melrose Place, Beverly Hills 90210 in which his daughter Tori, had by his second wife Candy, made her debut as an actress.
After suffering from asthma as a girl, when her father left the family she was raised by her grandparents who paid her tuition to attend the “Pasadena Playhouse”, where she obtained her diploma in 1950, and then she married a classmate, Don Donaldson, a man who will leave no trace in his life. In those years she did plastic surgery to modify her nose in order to be more photogenic and ready for the role of actress.
The marriage of Carolyn Jones and Aaron Spelling dates back to 1953, when both were at the beginning of their career: she pushed her new husband to become a television producer, effectively setting him towards global success. Their union ended in 1964, just before the first season of 34 episodes of the “Addams Family” was broadcast, which premiered on September 18 of that year.
Before transforming the character of Morticia into a worldwide icon and immediately recognizable by all, Carolyn had starred in some Hollywood films with some success. Her first film in 1952, The Turning Point, in which she was not credited. In 1953 another small part not credited as a hostess of a nightclub in “The Big Heat”, while in The Mask of Wax “(House of Wax) he played the role of a woman transformed by Vincent Price in a statue. Fred Zimmermann wanted her for “From Here to Eternity” in the role of Alma “Lorene” Burke, but due to a bad pneumonia Jones was forced to give up and her place was taken by Donna Reed who thanks to her performance she won the Oscar for best supporting actress.
After her marriage to Aaron Spelling (for which she converted to the Jewish religion), the woman married for the third time in 1968 with Herbert Greene, musical director on Broadway, arranger and co-producer as well as her singing teacher: they separated in 1977.
In 1964 Jones covered her brown hair with a long black wig to play Morticia Addams in the television series “The Addams Family”, a role that made her famous.
She was a guest star on the 1960s television series “Batman” playing Marsha, the queen of diamonds. Her last role – starting in 1981 – was that of Myrna, the matriarch of the Clegg clan in the soap opera “Capitol”.
The following year she was diagnosed with colon cancer and in September, realizing she was dying, she married the man she had been living with for several years, actor Peter Bailey-Britton. At the wedding, she wore a lace veil and ribbon to hide the hair loss caused by chemotherapy.
In July 1983 she went into a coma in her home in West Hollywood, California, where she died on August 3. Carolyn Jones was cremated the next day and buried at “Melrose Abbey Memorial Park & Mortuary” in Anaheim, California.
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