Carolyn Jones was a well-known American actress who was most known for her role as ‘Morticia’ in the television series ‘The Adams Family.’ She played Miss Lilian Smith in ‘The Turning Point,’ Eunice in ‘Road to Bali,’ Deborah in ‘Off Limits,’ Julie Rawlings in ‘How the West was Won,’ and several more roles. She was a highly imaginative girl, and because she had asthma as a child, she was often too sick to go to the movies, despite her love of movies. As a result, she would listen to Danny Kaye and Spike Jones on the radio and read a lot of Hollywood movie magazines at home. Carolyn had a complete makeover from head to toe, including severe nose procedures, to make herself more appealing in movies. Carolyn starred in more than 30 different television shows. She was even nominated for an Academy Award for her role in ‘The Bachelor Party,’ despite the fact that she was only on-screen for five minutes.
Childhood and Adolescence
Carolyn Sue Jones was born in Amarillo, Texas, to Julius Alfred Jones and Cloe Jeanette Southern on April 28, 1930. Her father, Julius, was a barber in the neighborhood, and her mother, Jeanette, was a stay-at-home mom.
Her father abandoned the family in 1934, forcing her mother to relocate with her children to her parents’ home in Amarillo.
Carolyn was a gifted child who received numerous awards at school for dramatics, speaking, and poetry. She had always wished to study at the famed Pasadena Playhouse, and at the age of 15, she enrolled as a student there in 1947. (3 years below the minimum age for admission). Despite the fact that her grandfather consented to pay her fees, she continued to work in summer stock theatre to supplement her income until she graduated in 1950.
Career as an actor
Carolyn began her career as a stand-by actor in the Player’s Ring Theatres, eventually replacing the star of the show when she left to marry. Jones was fortunate enough to be recognized by a Paramount Pictures talent scout, who gave her a screen test that turned out to be rather good. Then, in 1952, she made her film debut opposite William Holden in ‘The Turning Point.’
She began acting in television shows at the same time that she began acting in films. Carolyn made her television debut in 1952 on the show ‘Gruen Playhouse.’ She made many appearances in the television series ‘Dragnet’ in 1953.
In 1953, she played Cathy Gray, a woman who is transformed into a Joan of Arc statue, in the 3-D film ‘House of Wax.’ Carolyn’s performance was well-received, and she received high marks. She then appeared in an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents called “Cheney Vase,” in which she played a secretary who supports her boyfriend in an attempted art robbery.
Carolyn played Theodora “Teddy” Belicec in the 1956 science fiction horror film “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” for which she received critical acclaim. In the same year, she was cast as Cindy Fontaine in the film “The Man Who Knew Too Much” by renowned director Alfred Hitchcock.
As the Existentialist in the 1957 film ‘The Bachelor Party,’ she emerged as a leading lady. She shocked the cast by cutting her hair short and coloring it black for the part. Carolyn was nominated for an Academy Award for ‘Best Supporting Actress’ and shared a Golden Globe award for ‘Most Promising Newcomer’ with Sandra Dee and Diane Varsi for her performance in the film.
Carolyn was nominated for a Golden Globe and a Laurel Award for her performance as Marsha Zelenko in the 1958 dramatic film ‘Marjorie Morningstar.’ In the same year, she played Ronnie in the Elvis Presley-starring picture ‘King Creole.’
From 1960 to 1963, she guest starred in the films “Career” with Dean Martin as Shirley Drake, “Last Train from Gunhill” with Anthony Quinn and Kirk Douglas as Linda, and “The Lloyd Bridges Show” with CBS as Cathy. She received a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal as Carole Durand in two episodes of the television series ‘Burke’s Law’ during this time.
She landed the role of ‘Morticia Addams’ in the television series ‘The Addams Family’ in 1964, for which she is still remembered. Her ability as a comic was highlighted in this performance, which also earned her a nomination for a ‘Golden Globe Award.’ She appeared as ‘Marsha, Queen of Diamonds’ in the television series ‘Batman’ from 1966 to 1967.
She mostly focused on her television career from 1967 until 1976, as ‘Stacey Mc Call’ in ‘The Dany Thomas Hour,’ ‘Lisa Whittaker’ in ‘Mod Square,’ ‘Annie Spencer’ in ‘The Virginian,’ and ‘Justine Cross’ in ‘Ironside,’ to mention a few.
Carolyn made her television debut in 1976 as Wonder Woman’s mother, ‘Hippolyta,’ in the series of the same name. She played “Miss Hattie” in the horror film “Eaten Alive” in 1977, and “Beth” in the drama film “Good Luck, Miss Wyckoff” in 1979. Carolyn played ‘Ellie Ackland/ Clora McAllister/ Jessie De Winter’ in all three seasons of the television series ‘Fantasy Island’ (1979-1982).
Despite having colon cancer, she finished her career portraying ‘Myrna,’ matriarch of the ‘Clegg Clan,’ in the soap opera ‘Capitol,’ from 1982 to 1983. She showed to be a determined performer by performing some parts while confined to a wheelchair and in excruciating agony.
Personal History and Legacy
Carolyn married her 28-year-old classmate Don Donaldson while studying at the Pasadena Playhouse, but the couple separated soon after. In 1953, she married television producer Aaron Spelling for the second time. Because Aaron was struggling at the time, he was scared to propose to her, so Carolyn made the marriage proposal herself. After marrying him, she converted to Judaism. Carolyn also chose against having children since she would be unable to balance her family life with her film profession.
They were a lovely relationship for eleven years before getting separated peacefully in 1964. Carolyn did not seek alimony, and the two remained friends. In 1968, Carolyn married her voice coach Herbert Green (Broadway conductor, co-producer, and musical director). They moved to Palm Springs, California, and began living there. Later in 1977, though, she decided to leave him and return to Hollywood to try her luck once more. She had a great deal of success.
Despite the fact that she had colon cancer and would die any day, she married her actor boyfriend Bailey Britton in 1982 after a five-year relationship. She even wore a lace and ribbon cap to cover her chemotherapy-induced hair loss.
She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1981 and went through chemotherapy in great suffering, but her illness quickly spread to her stomach and liver, and she died on August 3rd, 1983.
Estimated Net Worth
Carolyn Jones is one of the wealthiest TV actresses and one of the most well-known. Carolyn Jones’ net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.