Carolyn Jones

Happy birthday to actress Carolyn Jones, born Apr 28, 1930 in Amarillo, TX.  Many of us know her only as Morticia from The Addams Family TV series (1964-66), CarolynJonesbut long before her famous sitcom role, Carolyn Jones had a successful movie and television career that included a healthy dose of film noir.  Growing up in Texas, Jones moved to California when she was 15 to enroll in the Pasadena Playhouse, where she was eventually discovered by a Paramount talent scout.  Throughout the 1950s, Jones worked consistently in both film and television, starting with her first screen appearance in a small uncredited part in the classic noir film The Turning Point (1952) with William Holden.  She went on to play supporting roles in several notable films: House of Wax (1953) with Vincent Price, The Seven Year Itch (1955) with Marilyn Monroe, The Tender Trap (1955) with Frank Sinatra, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) with Kevin McCarthy, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) with Jimmy Stewart, The Bachelor Party (1957) with E.G. Marshall, Career (1959) with Dean Martin and Shirley MacLaine, and How the West Was Won (1962) with Jimmy Stewart.  For her role as The Existentialist in The Bachelor Party, Jones received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination.  We appreciate Jones for her film noir performances in: The Big Heat (1953) with Glenn Ford, Make Haste to Live (1954) with Dorothy McGuire, Shield for Murder (1954) with Edmond O’Brien, Baby Face Nelson (1957) with Mickey Rooney, and The Man in the Net (1959) with Alan Ladd.  In the latter two films, Jones was a top-billed co-star.  In 1964, she got the part of Morticia Addams on The Addams Family series, which brought her worldwide fame, but also created such a strong on-screen identity, that she found it challenging to get work after the show was cancelled.  Some of her post-Addams Family roles include: Batman (1966-67) as Marsha, Queen of Diamonds, Roots (1977) as Mrs. Moore, and Wonder Woman (1976-77) as Queen Hippolyta.  In 1982, Jones was cast in a new soap opera, Capitol, but shortly after the show launched, she was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer.  Insisting on continuing to work even while undergoing chemotherapy, Jones completed the first season, often appearing in a wheelchair.  Jones succumbed to the cancer in 1983 at age 53.

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