Place of Death
West Hollywood, California
Cause of Death
Claim to Fame
Morticia fromThe Addams Family
Has Detailed Data (New)
Profile Bio Text
Grew up in Amarillo, Texas with her mother Jeanette and sister Bette living in her step-grandfather Charles Baker`s house. Was a radio announcer in high school and while working for her degree at the Pasadena Playhouse in California before she became famous.
Her career in movies started to take off in 1953. At the same time she proposed to then boyfriend Aaron Spelling (he wouldn`t propose to her because he felt he didn`t make enough to support them, her salary was 10 times what his was at the time). When things started going really well in the mid fifties she moved her mother Jeanette and sister Bette from Texas to southern California to be near her.
When Aaron`s acting career didn`t take off she recommended that he become a writer.
She was well known at the studios not only for her acting but for pushing Aaron`s scripts in order to get his new career off the ground (she pounded the pavement everywhere for him). They built a house together in Beverly Hills, just around the
corner from the Beverly Hills Hotel and at the backside of Milton Berle`s estate.
In the very early sixties when Aaron`s career started to take off they started to grow apart from their careers taking them in different directions. They separated in `63 and their divorce was final in `64 (though Aaron really never got over her). She didn`t ask for alimony and he signed over their Beverly Hills house to her ( they had only built it together a few years earlier).
In 1964 the offer came to play Morticia on "The Addams Family" she jumped at it because the character intrigued her. She had been given many offers for new TV shows written for her but she didn`t like them because they were too much like the other regular shows that were playing on TV at the time. She really learned to love playing Morticia because the character had her sense of humor (as she, her family, and friends would easily attest to being true). The show also secured her financial future for a time.
During this time she started to date Bud Moss and on October 31 1965 they announced their engagement with a Halloween party at Carolyn`s house in Beverly Hills that even included the double headed turtle prop from the "Addams Family" set floating in the pool.
Only a few months after her engagement to Budd Moss her show "Addams Family` was canceled. Not because of poor ratings (it was still doing very well) but because a few network executives who never really understood the show used the excuse of "we`re taking the network in a new direction and this show does not fit that idea" in order to cancel it.
Oddly enough the show`s direct competition in theme (The Munsters) was canceled the same time (they actually started on TV only a week apart also).
The loss of the show did upset her but she moved on as any consummate actress would (and took home "Morticia`s" chair to use at her desk in her bedroom at home).
In the summer of `66 she got to do something she always wanted which was to do musical theater. She got to do "High Spirits" playing the ghost Elvira (being a role model for the future goth late night character in a few ways).
Her career in movies and TV started to slow down in the late `60s (sporadic guest roles on Batman and other series) as happened to many of her contemporaries. So she did the Broadway play and tour show of Harold Pinter`s "The Homecoming". While doing this she ran into her old voice coach and famous musical director on Broadway Herbert Greene. He had a car accident earlier in which he had lost 100 pounds in recovery and looked better than he ever had. At the same time Carolyn`s career lull made her feel vulnerable. They became close and married on December 19, 1968 (to the dismay & shock of her friends and family).
The friends of hers that knew Greene tried to warn her about him but she was feeling
low and wasn`t willing to listen. Even her own sister Bette was thrown that she was
marrying Greene because she thought Bud was still the one which shows how sudden this came about.
Herbert Greene was very insecure as his career had slumped years earlier, so he was working as a voice coach in semi-retirement. Unfortunately he felt it necessary to destroy her confidence and move her away from everyone who cared about her just so he could strengthen his hold on her (even her own sister Bette saw very little of her during the time she was married to Greene). He tried making her into a housewife out in the desert of Palm Springs. He made her believe she should retire, that her career as an actress was past.
She tried to make it work with him but her first true love "acting" was foremost on
her mind and she started to see through his lies and what he was trying to do to her.
She left him in 1976 in order to move back to Los Angeles and re-establish her career.
Their divorce was final in 1977. The divorce paperwork had shown that she had even payed him alimony for a year. It was also known that in a last ditch effort to get her to stay Herbert had supposedly "accidently" shot himself with a shotgun only weeks before she finally walked out. His cry for pity hadn`t worked and she left anyway.
Fortunately Aaron was ready willing and able to help her even though he was remarried with two kids. She had helped him when he was starting so he was more than happy to help her get re-established in Hollywood.
In mid 1977 while doing theater she had met the man she would spend the rest of her life with, Peter Bailey-Britton. At first they were just friends but it quickly grew into love.
When Carolyn`s mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in spring 1979 she moved her (Jeanette) into her west Hollywood home to make her last few months as comfortable as possible. Chloe Jeanette Jones died on November 16, 1979.
Carolyn was working her way to rebuilding her career when in March of 1981 she vomited blood. After the doctors diagnosed her they found that cancer had ravaged her colon and metastasis had sent it to the liver.
After surgery and the subsequent start of chemo-therapy she was doing relatively well for a time and had told most that she was getting treated for ulcers.
Unfortunately in the summer of `82 the cancer had returned with a vengeance and despite the subsequent surgery she was given a terminal diagnosis by her doctors that same summer.
At this time she had won the lead in a new soap opera called "Capitol".
She and Peter were married on September 25, 1982.
She played the part of Myrna Clegg on "Capitol" that first season even when she got progressively worse and had to do it in a wheelchair.
In mid July 1983 she fell into a coma and on August 3, 1983 she died at home in west Hollywood.
She was good friends with June Allyson, Jim Backus, John Astin and Patty Duke.
more to come........
La Airosa High School, Amarillo, TX (1947)
Pasadena Playhouse, Pasadena, CA (1950)
Full Name at Birth
Carolyn Sue Jones (April 28, 1930 – August 3, 1983) was an American 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 another 20 years. In 1964 she began playing the role of Morticia Addams, as well as her sister Ophelia in the television series The Addams Family, receiving a Golden Globe Award nomination for her work.
Couple Profile Source
www.biography.com/people/carolyn-jones-183550, www.nndb.com/people/473/000049326/, www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=1427
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