The untimely death of the first Morticia in film history: Carolyn Jones was the first actress to play the role in The Addams Family

Carolyn Jones is best known for being the first actress to ever play Morticia Addams in the first television adaptation of The Addams Family in 1964.

Although Jones was generally quite successful in the cinema of her time, troubles didn’t escape her in the slightest either.

She experienced ups and downs throughout her career, as well as many health problems, tumultuous relationships that led to multiple marriages and even poverty.

It was written in the stars for her to be, in turn, a star

Born on April 28, 1930, in Amarillo, Texas, Carolyn Jones managed to charm everyone with her imagination and love of stories.

It was clear from childhood that destiny would eventually lead Carolyn to Hollywood. Her mother, who was passionate about film, music and Hollywood, instilled her passion for the entertainment industry as a young child. Carolyn was, in fact, named after Carole Lombard, one of her mother’s favorite actresses.

A not-so-happy childhood

Unfortunately, Carolyn’s parents’ relationship was fraught with tension. Driven by his inability to support a family during the Great Depression, the father abandoned his family in 1934, leaving Carolyn’s agoraphobic mother unable to support her daughters on her own.

Carolyn, her mother and sister were forced to move in with her maternal grandparents as a result. As James Plyant explained, “She was very close to her mother, Chloe, who was agoraphobic… And Chloe couldn’t keep a job, so the two girls ended up living with Chloe’s mother and stepfather. They lived in that house in a huddle.”

Carolyn didn’t let her illness define her

“As a child, my health kept me from going to school. I wasn’t healthy enough to be around children, so I was educated by different teachers who came to my home. My condition was mental rather than physical,” the actress confessed.

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So Carolyn devoted herself to her studies, unaware that in real life, extra work and good grades don’t always equate to excellent job opportunities in the future.

It didn’t take long, and she began working as a “bench” performer in the Players’ Ring theatres to gain experience and earn money. She had to pay her grandparents back since they had paid for her schooling.

Later, she became a star of the theater. Jones was lucky enough to be noticed by a talent scout from Paramount Pictures, who gave her a screen test that turned out to be quite good. Then, in 1952, she made her film debut opposite William Holden in The Turning Point.

Success brought him misfortune

Unfortunately, Carolyn got to play two minor roles before her Paramount contract expired, by which time the film industry had also largely forgotten about her. Then things went from bad to worse.

Her financial situation deteriorated to the point where her sister, Bette, had to move in with her to help pay the rent.

Meanwhile, a casting director from Columbia Pictures sought Carolyn for the role of Lorene/Alma in the blockbuster From Here To Eternity. He assured Carolyn that the role would be hers if she passed the screen test.

Carolyn was overjoyed. Previously, as mentioned, she had only appeared in minor roles on the big screen, and this would be her first major role. However, at that point, her health began to fail her again.

The whole universe seemed to be against her

Carolyn came face to face with death the night before the screen test. She ended up in the hospital that night suffering from severe pneumonia. Obviously, that meant she missed her chance to get the role she’d longed for. It went to Donna Reed, who went on to win an Academy Award.

At the same time, Carolyn began to doubt herself, wondering what might have happened if she hadn’t fallen ill at that totally inappropriate moment.

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Played with Elvis Presley

Fate began to be kinder to her later and in 1958 she landed a role in an Elvis Presley film. “The role is brilliant and gives me a chance to sing too. Plus, think of the audience that will be drawn in with Presley’s image. It’s Elvis’s last film before he goes into the army,” Carolyn said in 1958.

King Creole really turned out to be the King’s last film before joining the army. However, filming did not go according to plan. Unfortunately, Carolyn fell ill again. However, this time she kept her role.

What’s more, the two had the honor of sharing romantic scenes.

However, with her health not letting her enjoy too much, Carolyn again felt she was about to faint during filming, so she gave up the kissing scene with Elvis.

She justified her reaction by saying she didn’t want to make Presley sick.

Fortunately for Carolyn, he retained his sense of humor. “It’s all right; maybe I’ll get out of the army that way,” he would tell her.

The role that defined Carolyn Jones

Carolyn joined the Addams Family in 1964 as the iconic Morticia.

When The Addams Family premiered on September 18, 1964, many viewers were surprised by the interesting chemistry between Morticia and Gomez.

The series became a hit and, over the years, took on cult movie credentials. Since then, countless adaptations have been made, and actresses such as Anjelica Huston and, more recently, Catherine Zeta Jones (in Wednesday), have also stepped into Morticia’s shoes.

Everything has an end: life and suffering

Carolyn Jones led a beautiful and luxurious life for decades, despite her health problems and all the setbacks she faced.

She was indeed a brave, determined woman who knew what she wanted. She didn’t stop for a second until she got what she wanted. However, all things must come to an end, just like Carolyn’s life.

Carolyn slipped into a coma in July 1983 and died on August 3, 1983 at her home in West Hollywood, California. At the time, she was 53 years old.

A memorial service was held on August 5 after her cremation at Glasband-Willen Mortuary in Altadena, California.

It was Carolyn herself who made the arrangements before her death, knowing that this would happen.

Before that, she donated her costume and wig to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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