Skip to main content

A Salute To Carolyn Jones


Most of the world remembers Carolyn Jones as Morticia Addams on the 60's television show The Addams Family, and rightly so. She embodied Morticia in a way that I think no one else could. She struck the perfect balance of creepy and sexy and demure. And while that one role was more than enough for Jones to be remembered for, she did a lot more. She had a very full career including television work and movies both mainstream and genre (read, science fiction and horror).

Born in 1930, Carolyn came to California from Texas at 17 to enroll at the Pasadena Playhouse. That's where she was discovered, and she was soon doing some uncredited small parts in movies including The War of the Worlds and the Hope-Crosby comedy Road to Bali. She was one of Vincent Price's victims in House of Wax. She almost got a big break when she was cast in From Here To Eternity, but unfortunately she had to pull out due to illness and Donna Reed got not only her part but also nabbed an Oscar for playing it. She had some t.v. appearances, and got roles in Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Man Who Knew Too Much. She also made movies with Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Kirk Douglas.

Her biggest role was of course as Morticia in The Addams Family. Jones seems almost custom built for this part. Not only does she have the perfect physique for Morticia, but she also has a perfect combination of creepy, sexy, and demure. Add to this the fact that she can convey more with just her eyes than most actors can with their whole body, and it's easy to see why this character became iconic. It doesn't hurt that she was cast with the amazing John Astin. The two of them portrayed a dark romance that inspired even the most cynical of us to find a love half a fierce as theirs. They were so much fun to watch, that you didn't even care that the show reused the same jokes in almost every episode.

Morticia may have been Jones' best remembered role, but it wasn't her last one. It wasn't even the last one that got her geek cred. She went on to play the Queen of Diamonds in the Adam West Batman series. Apparently she liked doing comic book based shows, because she later played Hippolyta, Wonder Woman's mother in the Lynda Carter series. She also took a more serious turn at horror when she was in Tobe Hooper's Eaten Alive (the movie he did between The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Funhouse). So while she isn't always remembered for being a genre actress, she did quite a lot of work in horror and superhero movies and t.v.  She did a lot of great mainstream work as well, and left behind a very respectable body of work even for people who don't love genre fare as much as I do. So here' s remembering Carolyn Jones, many thanks for the hours of entertainment you have given us.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Nancy Sinatra Gets Nude

Nancy Sinatra was known for her song These Boots are made for Walking. Her musical career didn't  last nearly as long as her famous crooner father's did, but she remained a real looker. In fact, she did a photo shoot for Playboy in her 50's. Another thing that lasted into her 50's, she remained daddy's little princess. This is illustrated by the fact that she got Frank's permission before doing the shoot. The most surprising thing is that the Chairman of the Board agreed to let her show her goods in a nationally published magazine.

A Salute To Elvira

Cassandra Peterson was born in Kansas in 1951. That is a very bland statement of fact for the arrival into this world as the Queen of Halloween. Of course Peterson wasn't born as the seductive Mistress of the Dark. When she was just a small child, she was scalded by boiling water and had severe burns on 35% of her body. She was teased for the scars this left as she was growing up, She says that as a child she was more interested in horror themed toys than the Barbie dolls the other girls were playing with. It apparently didn't take her long to find at least some of her talents. As a teen she worked as a go-go dancer in a local gay bar. Dancing was to be her gateway to becoming an icon beloved the world over. At 17 she went on a trip to Las Vegas. She convinced her parents to let her see a show, and the story has it that the producers noticed her and approached her about becoming a performer herself. Since she was underage she had to get her parents' permission, but they agr

The Original Shrek

Chris Farley was originally cast as the voice of Shrek, and even began work on the movie. Unfortunately he passed before finishing recording his dialog. He was replaced by his friend Mike Myers, who took the character in his own direction.