A blog about classic television, movies, and radio, by the author of "Joan Davis: America's Queen of Film, Radio and Television Comedy," among others.
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Remembering Carolyn Jones
Sometimes an actress plays a single role so well that it becomes a defining point in her career, bringing her a new level of fame but also making it difficult to move on to new characterizations. For Carolyn Jones, born April 28, 1930, it was her two-year stint as Morticia on TV's The Addams Family that tended to overshadow much of what came before and after. An Oscar nominee for her supporting role in The Bachelor Party (1957), Miss Jones also appeared in classic films like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. But the slinky, sensuous perfection of her TV alter ego was too distinctive to be quickly forgotten.
She died young, of cancer, in 1983, her illness forcing her to relinquish a juicy villainous role in the daytime soap opera, Capitol, which she'd begun the previous year. The role of Myrna Clegg might have been a mid-life game changer for the talented actress. Instead, sadly, it became her final bow.