Oscar Actors: Jones, Carolyn, Supporting Actress (The Bachelor Party)

Research in Progress (May 20, 2021)
Carolyn Jones Career Summary:

Occupational Inheritance: No

Social Class: mother housewife; father barber; Middle class

Race/Ethnicity/Religion

Family:

Education:

Training: Pasadena Playhouse, at 15

Spotting: Talent scout, led to contract at Paramount

Teacher/Inspirational Figure:

Radio Debut:

TV Debut: DuMont series Gruen Playhouse, 1952; aged 22

Stage Debut:

Broadway Debut:

Film Debut: The Turning Point, 1952; aged 22

Breakthrough Role: Bachelor Party, 1957

Oscar Role:

Other Noms: Bachelor Party 1957; aged 27

Other Awards: Globe noms

Frequent Collaborator:

Best/Popular Roles: The Adams Family, TV series, 1964; as Mortitia

Screen Image:

Last Film:

Career Output:

Film Career Span: 1952

Marriage: Aaron Spelling

Politics:

Death: 1983; aged 53; colon cancer

 

Carolyn Sue Jones was born April 28, 1930 and died August 3, 1983

Jones was born in Amarillo, Texas, the daughter of Cloe Jeanette Southern, a housewife, and Julius Alfred Jones, a barber.

She enrolled at the Pasadena Playhouse in California, although at 15 she was still three years under the minimum age; her grandfather paid her tuition.

After being spotted by a talent scout at the Playhouse, Jones secured a contract with Paramount and made her first film, The Turning Point, in 1952.

In 1953, she married the then aspiring filmmaker Aaron Spelling. She appeared in several episodes of Dragnet, credited as Caroline Jones.

She had an uncredited bit part as a nightclub hostess in The Big Heat, and a role in House of Wax as the woman converted by Vincent Price into a Joan of Arc statue.

Jones was cast in the 1953 film From Here to Eternity in the role of Alma “Lorene” Burke, which was written for her. However, a bout with pneumonia forced her to withdraw, and the role went to Donna Reed, who won the Supporting Actress Oscar for it.

Jones made her TV debut on the DuMont series Gruen Playhouse in 1952.

In 1955, Jones appeared on the CBS anthology series Alfred Hitchcock Present in the episode “The Cheney Vase” as a secretary assisting her scheming boyfriend Darren McGavin in attempting an art theft.

In 1956, Jones appeared in Invasion of the Body Snatchers and in Hitchcock’s remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much.

In 1957, she was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Bachelor Party. 

She shared Golden Globe Award for “Most Promising Newcomer” with Sandra Dee and Diane Varsi.

She appeared with Elvis Presley in King Creole.

She was at the peak of her career in 1959, during which she played opposite Frank Sinatra in Capra’s A Hole in the Head, Dean Martin in Career, and Anthony Quinn and Kirk Douglas in Last Train from Gun Hill.

In 1964, wearing a long coal-black wig, Jones began playing Morticia Addams in the TV series The Addams Family. It became her best known role, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination.

She guest-starred on the 1960s TV series Batman, playing Marsha, the Queen of Diamonds, and in 1976 appeared as the title character’s mother, Hippolyta, on the Wonder Woman TV series.

Her last role was playing Myrna, the scheming matriarch of the Clegg Clan, in the soap opera Capitol, from the first episode in March 1982 until March 1983, though she knew that she was dying of cancer.

Her acting career declined after The Addams Family ended in 1966.

Sporadic roles in the 1970s included that of Mrs. Moore, the wife of the plantation owner in the Roots miniseries.

Jones was diagnosed with colon cancer in March 1981, and died on August 3, 1983. at age 53.