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Actress Carolyn Jones was born Carolyn Baker on April 28, 1930, in Amarillo, Texas. Best known for her portrayal of the gothic matriarch Morticia on The Addams Family, Jones started out in the theater. At the age of 15, she signed up for acting classes at the Pasadena Community Playhouse, and it was at a playhouse production that she caught her first big break. An agent saw her perform and signed her to her first movie role, in The Turning Point (1952), alongside William Holden.
Other early film credits include House of Wax (1953), The War of the Worlds (1953), The Tender Trap (1955) and The Bachelor Party (1957). Jones received an Academy Award nomination for her work on The Bachelor Party, and went on to appear in more than 30 films during her career.
In addition to film, Jones made numerous appearances on television. She played parts on Dragnet, Playhouse 90, Colgate Comedy Hour, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Wagon Train, Batman and Wonder Woman, among others.
But it was Carolyn Jones's role as the caring, slightly creepy Morticia on The Addams Family that garnered her the most attention. The series was based in part on the cartoons of Charles Addams and depicted the adventures of a ghoulish family living in a rundown mansion, much to the horror and confusion of their neighbors. Audiences delighted in watching Morticia and her wacky, macabre husband, Gomez (played by John Astin), handle the day-to-day challenges of raising their children and managing their extremely odd household. While the show only ran from 1964 to 1966, it was syndicated for many years thereafter.
Jones married three times. Her first marriage was to producer Aaron Spelling in 1953. The pair divorced in 1964. Four years later, she married composer-arranger Herbert Green, and they were divorced in 1977. Jones wed actor Peter Bailey-Britton in 1981.
Carolyn Jones died of cancer on August 3, 1983, in West Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.
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