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Carolyn Sue Jones (April 28, 1930 – August 3, 1983) was an Americanmarker actress.

Jones began her film career in the early 1950s, 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 a few years, and in 1964 she began playing the role of Morticia Addams in the television series The Addams Family, receiving a Golden Globe Award nomination for her work.

Life and career

Early life

Jones was born in Amarillo, Texasmarker, the daughter of Cloe Jeanette (née Southern) and Julius Alfred Jones. After moving to California she joined the Pasadena Playhousemarker in 1947.


Jones secured a contract Paramount Pictures and made her first film in 1952. In 1953, she married aspiring film-maker Aaron Spelling (converting to Judaism upon their marriage) and her film career began to gain momentum. She 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 into a Joan of Arc statue, brought her good reviews.

She was cast in From Here to Eternity, but a bout with pneumonia forced her to withdraw. Donna Reed, almost a decade Jones's senior, was recast in her role and won an Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance.

Early in her career, she appeared in two Rod Cameron syndicated series, City Detective and State Trooper, as Betty Fowler in the 1956 episode, "The Paperhanger of Pioche". About this time, she guest starred in Ray Milland's CBS sitcom, Meet Mr. McNutley. In the 1962-1963 season, Jones guest starred on CBS's The Lloyd Bridges Show, which Spelling created. While married to Spelling, she appeared on the NBC program, Here's Hollywood.

Jones appeared in Invasion of the Body Snatchers and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for The Bachelor Party. In 1958, she shared a Golden Globe Award for "Most Promising Newcomer" with Sandra Dee and Diane Varsi, and appeared with Elvis Presley in King Creole.

In 1959, she played opposite Frank Sinatra in Frank Capra's A Hole in the Head, Dean Martin in Career, and Anthony Quinn in Last Train from Gun Hill. In 1960, she guest starred with James Best and Jack Mullaney in the episode "Love on Credit" of CBS's anthology series The DuPont Show with June Allyson, a Four Star Television production. By 1963, she and Spelling were separated, and by 1964 they were divorced. In 1964, with a long coal black wig, Jones began playing Morticia Addams in the television series The Addams Family, a role which brought her success as a comedienne and a Golden Globe Award nomination.

Literary Work

The front and back covers of Twice Upon a Time by Carolyn Jones

In 1971, Jones wrote a novel titled, Twice Upon a Time, which was published by Trident Press. The story follows the life of Susan Maxwell, a "glamorous movie star" through her work as an actress and through her romances. There are similarities with this character and Jones herself, as it explores Hollywood life, as well as the character's roots in Texas; Jones herself was raised in Texas.

Personal life and illness

Her acting career began to decline after the end of The Addams Family in 1966, and while she continued to act, her roles were sporadic. While appearing in the television series Capitol in 1982, she was diagnosed with colon cancer and she played many of her scenes in a wheelchair.


Jones was married three times: to television producer Aaron Spelling from 1953 until their divorce in 1964; her voice coach, Herbert S. Greene, from 1968 until their divorce in 1977; and British actor Peter Bailey-Britton from 1982 until her death.


Chemotherapy did little to slow the course of her cancer and she died in 1983, aged 53, at her home in West Hollywood, Californiamarker, a month after her last marriage.

Jones reportedly told her sister, Bette Moriarty, that she wanted her epitaph to be, "She gave joy to the world." Her body was entombed at Melrose Abbey Memorial Park Cemetery in Anaheim, Californiamarker, beside her mother.



  1. The Addams Family's Carolyn Jones: A Descendant of Geronimo?
  2. Death Certificate
  3. NNDB

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