Actress. She is best remembered for her role of Morticia Frump Addams on "The Addams Family" television show (1964-1966). Born Carolyn Sue Jones in Amarillo, Texas, her father abandoned the family in 1933 when he lost his job in the Great Depression, and her mother moved the family in with her parents, then also living in Amarillo. As a child, she suffered from asthma, but loved to go to the movies, and while in school, she won several awards for speech, poetry and dramatics. In 1947, she was accepted to the acting school at the Pasadena Playhouse, and played summer stock to gain experience and to supplement her income, until her graduation in 1950. Initially working as an understudy at the Players Ring Theatre, she stepped in for the star where she was seen by a Paramount Studios talent scout. She soon appeared in her first movie, "The Turning Point" (1952). Let go from her contract six months later, she moved to television, where she met struggling director Aaron Spelling. They married in April 1953, but Carolyn decided against having children, as she felt she could not have both a career and children. In 1953, she was selected for the role of Alma Burke in "From Here to Eternity" (1953), but had to withdraw due to pneumonia, and the role went to Donna Reed instead. She became noted for her role of the philosophical nymphomaniac in "The Bachelor Party" (1957), in which she surprised the cast by dying her hair black and cutting it short. The look was startling, but it served her well in later roles. Although she was nominated for an Academy Award for "The Bachelor Party" (which she lost), she was rewarded with roles in such notable films as Elvis Presley's "King Creole" (1958), and "Career" (1959). Even as her husband's career began to take off, the couple separated in October 1963, and they divorced on good terms in August 1964, with Carolyn asking for no alimony. In 1964, she began playing Morticia in the television series, "The Addams Family" and won success as a comedienne; her role was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. When "The Addams Family" show ended in 1966, her career went into a decline, and although she continued to act, her roles came less frequently, partly due to her being typecast. She married her voice coach, Herbert Greene, and they moved to Palm Springs, California. After seven years, she divorced him and returned to Hollywood, to restart her stalled career. For the next 15 years, she was seen in guest roles on such television series as Batman, The Danny Thomas Hour, The Mod Squad, Love American Style, The Virginian, Ironside, Wonder Woman, Quincy ME, and Fantasy Island. Her last role was as Myrna Clegg, in the television soap opera series, "Capitol" (1982-83), and when she was diagnosed with colon cancer, she continued to play her scenes in a wheelchair. Although chemotherapy slowed the cancer, she knew she was dying, and she married her long-term boyfriend, Peter Bailey-Britton, in September 1982. She died the following year in Hollywood, California, at the age of 53.
Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson
1923–2006 (m. 1953)