Born Carolyn Baker in Amarillo, Texas on April 28, 1929, glamorous Carolyn Jones had a difficult life before finding fame in films and television. Abandoned by her father during the depths of the Depression, Jones was a sickly child who was raised by her grandparents. From an early age she harbored a great desire to be an actress; soon after graduating from high school, Jones made her way to Hollywood and studied at the Pasadena Playhouse. After toiling in small stage productions for a few years, she was spotted by a talent scout and soon signed with Paramount. However, after a few small roles in such films as Road to Bali and Off Limits (both 1953), Paramount declined her option. However, after leaving Paramount Jones landed a breakthrough role as Vincent Price's victim-turned-wax-figure Cathy Gray in the Warner Bros. release House of Wax (1953). This role paved the way for supporting roles in A pictures and starring roles in the B's. The same year Jones married future producer Aaron Spelling, who was then a struggling actor. Jones and Spelling parted company in 1964.

the films of carolyn jones

House of Wax (1953)

Carolyn Jones and Phyllis Kirk

With Phyllis Kirk in the Warner Bros. 3-D horror thriller House of Wax

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Carolyn JonesKing Donovan, Dana Wynter, Carolyn Jones, and Kevin McCarthy

LEFT: Promotional photo from the Allied Artists sci-fi release Invasion of the Body Snatchers. RIGHT: With King Donovan, Dana Wynter, and Kevin McCarthy

Baby Face Nelson (1957)

Mickey Rooney and Carolyn JonesMickey Rooney and Carolyn Jones

With Mickey Rooney in the low-budget gangster flick Baby Face Nelson

Johnny Trouble (1957)

Carolyn Jones and Ethel BarrymoreCarolyn Jones

From the Warner Bros. drama Johnny Trouble. LEFT: With Ethel Barrymore in her last film. RIGHT: Jones as Julie Horton

King Creole (1958)

Elvis Presley and Carolyn Jones

From Paramount's King Creole, one of Elvis Presley's best films

Career (1959)

Anthony Franciosa and Carolyn Jones

From Paramount's drama Career with Anthony Franciosa

A Hole in the Head (1959)

Carolyn Jones and Frank Sinatra

Lobby card from Frank Capra's A Hole in the Head with Frank Sinatra

Last Train from Gun Hill (1959)

Anthony Quinn and Carolyn Jones

With Anthony Quinn in the Paramount western Last Train from Gun Hill

The Man in the Net (1959)

Charles McGraw and Carolyn Jones

With Charles McGraw in the Alan Ladd vehicle The Man in the Net, an engaging late film noir

Ice Palace (1960)

Robert Ryan, Carolyn Jones, Richard Burton, and Martha HyerDiane McBain and Carolyn Jones

LEFT: With Robert Ryan, Richard Burton, and Martha Hyer in the Warner Bros. drama Ice Palace. RIGHT: With Diane McBain

Sail a Crooked Ship (1961)

Carolyn Jones and Dolores Hart

With Dolores Hart in the Columbia comedy Sail a Crooked Ship

The Dick Powell Show (1961-1963 NBC TV Series)

Gerald Mohr and Carolyn Jones

Gerald Mohr roughs up Carolyn Jones in an episode of The Dick Powell Show titled The Sea Witch, originally airing on October 23, 1962

A Ticklish Affair (1963)

Shirley Jones and Carolyn Jones

With Shirley Jones in MGM's romantic comedy A Ticklish Affair

The Addams Family (1964-1966 ABC TV Series)

Jackie Coogan and Carolyn JonesCarolyn Jones and John Astin

From the ABC series The Addams Family. LEFT: With Jackie Coogan as Uncle Fester. RIGHT: With John Astin as Gomez Addams

Batman (1966-1968 ABC TV Series)

Adam West and Carolyn Jones

Jones portrayed Marsha, Queen of Diamonds on several episodes of Batman. Also pictured is Adam West

Heaven with a Gun (1969)

Carolyn Jones, Angelique Pettyjohn, Jessica James, and Glenn Ford

From the MGM western Heaven with a Gun with Angelique Pettyjohn, Jessica James, and Glenn Ford

Capitol (1982-1987 CBS TV Series)

Carolyn Jones and Constance Towers

Promotional photo from the CBS daytime drama Capitol with Constance Towers

later years

Following the cancellation of The Addams Family in 1966, Carolyn Jones' career began to slide. With few film roles in sight, Jones made a number of television appearances, including a memorable turn on Batman as Marsha, Queen of Diamonds. She also went back to stage work, acting in The Homecoming on Broadway for a period in 1967. She remarried the following year, this time to director Herbert Green; during this marriage Jones worked very little, taking on occasional roles in films and television. However, the marriage didn't last. Upon her divorce in the mid 1970s, she went back to work with a vengeance, acting in the horror film Eaten Alive (1977; with Neville Brand and Mel Ferrer) and in several made-for-television films and miniseries. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1980, and although she went through chemotherapy, the cancer came back around the time that she was cast in the CBS daytime drama Capitol. Nonetheless, Jones stayed with the role and even remarried. Sadly, she passed away on August 3, 1983 at the age of 54. Jones was survived by her third husband.

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carolyn jones trailers

Watch the trailer for House of Wax (1953)


Midnight Lace (1981) with Mary Crosby, Gary Frank, Celeste Holm, Shecky Greene, and Susan Tyrrell
The Dream Merchants (1980) with Mark Harmon, Vincent Gardenia, Morgan Fairchild, Howard Duff, Eve Arden, and Kaye Ballard
Good Luck, Miss Wyckoff (1979) with Anne Heywood, Donald Pleasence, Robert Vaughn, Earl Holliman, Ronee Blakley, and Dorothy Malone
Halloween with the New Addams Family (1977) with John Astin, Jackie Coogan, Ted Cassidy, Lisa Loring, and Ken Weatherwax
Eaten Alive (1977) with Neville Brand, Mel Ferrer, Marilyn Burns, Stuart Whitman, and Robert Englund
Little Ladies of the Night (1977) with David Soul, Louis Gossett Jr., Linda Purl, Clifton Davis, Paul Burke, Lana Wood, and Dorothy Malone
Color Me Dead (1969) with Tom Tryon
The Dance of Death (1969) with Laurence Olivier
Heaven with a Gun (1969) with Glenn Ford, Barbara Hershey, David Carradine, Noah Beery Jr., Virginia Gregg, and Roger Perry
A Ticklish Affair (1963) with Shirley Jones, Gig Young, Red Buttons, Edgar Buchanan, Edward Platt, and Billy Mumy
How the West Was Won (1962) with Carroll Baker, Lee J. Cobb, Henry Fonda, Karl Malden, Gregory Peck, George Peppard, Robert Preston, Debbie Reynolds, James Stewart, Russ Tamblyn, Eli Wallach, John Wayne, and Richard Widmark
Sail a Crooked Ship (1961) with Robert Wagner, Dolores Hart, Ernie Kovacs, Frankie Avalon, Frank Gorshin, Jesse White, and Harvey Lembeck
Ice Palace (1960) with Richard Burton, Robert Ryan, Martha Hyer, Jim Backus, Ray Danton, Diane McBain, and Shirley Knight
Career (1959) with Anthony Franciosa, Dean Martin, Shirley MacLaine, Joan Blackman, and Donna Douglas
Last Train from Gun Hill (1959) with Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, Earl Holliman, Brad Dexter, and Ziva Rodann
A Hole in the Head (1959) with Frank Sinatra, Edward G. Robinson, Eleanor Parker, Thelma Ritter, Keenan Wynn, and Joi Lansing
The Man in the Net (1959) with Alan Ladd, Diane Brewster, John Lupton, Charles McGraw, and Susan Gordon
King Creole (1958) with Elvis Presley, Walter Matthau, Dolores Hart, Dean Jagger, Vic Morrow, and Jan Shepard
Marjorie Morningstar (1958) with Gene Kelly, Natalie Wood, Claire Trevor, Martin Milner, Edd Byrnes, and Ruta Lee
Baby Face Nelson (1957) with Mickey Rooney, Jack Elam, John Hoyt, Elisha Cook Jr., and Dabbs Greer
Johnny Trouble (1957) with Ethel Barrymore, Cecil Kellaway, Jesse White, Edd Byrnes, Stuart Whitman, and Nino Tempo
The Bachelor Party (1957) with Don Murray, E.G. Marshall, Jack Warden, and Larry Blyden
The Opposite Sex (1956) with June Allyson, Joan Collins, Dolores Gray, Ann Sheridan, Ann Miller, Leslie Nielsen, Jeff Richards, Agnes Moorehead, Charlotte Greenwood, Joan Blondell, and Alice Pearce
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) with James Stewart, Doris Day, Alan Mowbray, Hillary Brooke, and Alix Talton
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) with Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, King Donovan, and Virginia Christine
The Tender Trap (1955) with Frank Sinatra, Debbie Reynolds, David Wayne, Celeste Holm, and Lola Albright The Seven Year Itch (1955) with Marilyn Monroe, Tom Ewell, Evelyn Keyes, and Sonny Tufts
East of Eden (1955) with Julie Harris, James Dean, Raymond Massey, Burl Ives, Richard Davalos, Jo Van Fleet, and Albert Dekker
Desiree (1954) with Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Merle Oberon, Michael Rennie, and Cameron Mitchell
Three Hours to Kill (1954) with Dana Andrews and Donna Reed
Shield for Murder (1954) with Edmond O'Brien, Marla English, John Agar, and Claude Akins
The Saracen Blade (1954) with Ricardo Montalban, Betta St. John, and Michael Ansara
Geraldine (1954) with John Carroll, Mala Powers, and Jim Backus
Make Haste to Live (1954) with Dorothy McGuire, Stephen McNally, and John Howard
The Big Heat (1953) with Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Jocelyn Brando, and Lee Marvin
The War of the Worlds (1953) with Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, and Les Tremayne
House of Wax (1953) with Vincent Price, Frank Lovejoy, Phyllis Kirk, Dabbs Greer, and Charles Bronson
Off Limits (1953) with Bob Hope, Mickey Rooney, and Marilyn Maxwell
Road to Bali (1952) with Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour, Michael Ansara, and Jane Russell
The Turning Point (1952) with William Holden, Edmond O'Brien, Alexis Smith, Tom Tully, Ed Begley, Don Porter, and Neville Brand

Capitol, 1982-1987 CBS daytime TV series. Jones portrayed Myrna Clegg during the first season (1982-1983). Also in the cast were Julie Adams, Rory Calhoun, Richard Egan, Anthony Eisley, Paul Mantee, Julie Parrish, and Lana Wood
The French Atlantic Affair, 1979 ABC miniseries. Jones portrayed Peg
Roots, 1977 ABC miniseries. Jones portrayed Mrs. Moore
The Addams Family, 1964-1966 ABC TV series. Jones portrayed Morticia Addams

Fantasy Island, episode Daddy's Little Girl/The Whistle, originally aired January 30, 1982
Fantasy Island, episode The Chateau/White Lightning, originally aired February 7, 1981
Quincy M.E., episode Stain of Guilt, originally aired January 14, 1981
Fantasy Island, episode With Affection, Jack the Ripper/Gigolo, originally aired November 29, 1980
Fantasy Island, episode Tattoo's Romance/Handy Man, originally aired November 10, 1979
The Love Boat, episode Cindy/Play by Play/What's a Brother For?, originally aired October 27, 1979
Quincy M.E., episode Last of the Dinosaurs, originally aired December 16, 1977
Quincy M.E., episode Valleyview, originally aired May 13, 1977
The New Adventures of Wonder Woman, episode Wonder Woman in Hollywood, originally aired February 16, 1977
The New Adventures of Wonder Woman, episode The Feminum Mystique: Parts 1 and 2, originally aired November 6 and 8, 1976
Ellery Queen, episode The Adventure of the Hardhearted Huckster, originally aired March 21, 1976
Kolchak: The Night Stalker, episode Demon in Lace, originally aired February 7, 1975
Ironside, episode Raise the Devil: Parts 1 and 2, originally aired September 12, 1974
The New Perry Mason, episode The Case of the Frenzied Feminist, originally aired December 16, 1973
Circle of Fear, episode The Summer House, originally aired October 13, 1972
Dan August, episode The Assassin, originally aired April 8, 1971
The Virginian, episode The Legacy of Spencer Flats, originally aired January 27, 1971
The Name of the Game, episode Why I Blew Up Dakota, originally aired December 4, 1970
Love, American Style, episode Love and the Advice Givers/Love and the Geisha/Love and Take Me Along, originally aired November 10, 1969
Mod Squad, episode Lisa, originally aired November 4, 1969
Bracken's World, episode King David, originally aired October 3, 1969
The Danny Thomas Hour, episode Fame Is a Four-Letter Word, originally aired October 30, 1967
Rango, episode What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing Holding Up a Place Like This?, originally aired February 17, 1967
Batman, episode Penguin's Disastrous End, originally aired February 2, 1967
Batman, episode Penguin Sets a Trend, originally aired February 1, 1967
Batman, episode Penguin Is a Girl's Best Friend, originally aired January 26, 1967
Batman, episode Marsha's Scheme of Diamonds, originally aired November 24, 1966
Batman, episode Marsha, Queen of Diamonds, originally aired November 23, 1966
The DuPont Show of the Week, episode Jeremy Rabbitt - The Secret Avenger, originally aired April 5, 1964
Burke's Law, episode Who Killed Madison Cooper?, originally aired January 24, 1964
Burke's Law, episode Who Killed Sweet Betsy?, originally aired November 1, 1963
Wagon Train, episode The Molly Kincaid Story, originally aired September 16, 1963
Dr. Kildare, episode The Mask Makers, originally aired October 18, 1962
The Dick Powell Theatre, episode The Sea Witch, originally aired October 23, 1962
The Lloyd Bridges Show, episode Just Married, originally aired October 16, 1962
Frontier Circus, episode Stopover in Paradise, originally aired February 22, 1962
The Dick Powell Theatre, episode Goodbye, Hannah, originally aired November 21, 1961
Wagon Train, episode The Jenna Douglas Story, originally aired November 1, 1961
The Dick Powell Theatre, episode Who Killed Julie Greer?, originally aired September 26, 1961
Zane Grey Theater, episode Blood Red, originally aired January 29, 1961
The DuPont Show with June Allyson, episode Love on Credit, originally aired November 17, 1960
Zane Grey Theater, episode Picture of Sal, originally aired January 28, 1960
The David Niven Show, episode Portrait, originally aired June 16, 1959
Playhouse 90, episode The Last Man, originally aired January 9, 1958
Schlitz Playhouse, episode High Barrier, originally aired October 18, 1957
Wagon Train, episode The John Cameron Story, originally aired October 2, 1957
The Millionaire, episode The Matt Kirby Story, originally aired September 18, 1957
Climax!, episode The Disappearance of Amanda Hale, originally aired May 30, 1957
G.E. True Theater, episode The Man Who Inherited Everything, originally aired May 19, 1957
Panic!, episode The Airline Hostess, originally aired April 9, 1957
Schlitz Playhouse, episode The Girl in the Grass, originally aired March 15, 1957
Wire Service, episode Dateline Las Vegas, originally aired March 4, 1957
Zane Grey Theater, episode Until the Man Dies, originally aired January 25, 1957
Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre, episode The Little Black Lie, originally aired January 1, 1957
State Trooper, episode The Paperhanger of Pioche, originally aired October 2, 1956
Schlitz Playhouse, episode Boiling Point, originally aired August 17, 1956
The 20th Century-Fox Hour, episode The Hefferan Family, originally aired June 13, 1956
Passport to Danger, episode Athens, originally aired April 19, 1956
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, episode The Cheney Vase, originally aired December 25, 1955
My Favorite Husband, episode The Painting, originally aired November 29, 1955
Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre, episode The Key, originally aired November 15, 1955
Studio 57, episode Diagnosis of a Selfish Lady, originally aired October 23, 1955
The 20th Century-Fox Hour, episode Cavalcade, originally aired October 5, 1955
The Man Behind the Badge, episode The Case of the Desperate Moment, originally aired May 21, 1955
Dragnet, episode The Big Note, originally aired May 5, 1955
Studio 57, episode The Black Sheep's Daughter, originally aired April 26, 1955
Treasury Men in Action, episode The Case of the Black Sheep, originally aired March 31, 1955
Studio 57, episode Call from Robert Jest, originally aired March 29, 1955
The Ray Milland Show: Meet Mr. McNulty, episode Mr. Sargent and the Lady, originally aired February 17, 1955
The Millionaire, episode The Emily Short Story, originally aired February 16, 1955
Treasury Men in Action, episode The Case of the Elder Brother, originally aired February 10, 1955
City Detective, episode A Girl's Best Friend, originally aired February 1, 1955
Four Star Playhouse, episode The Answer, originally aired December 23, 1954
Studio 57, episode Storm Signal, originally aired November 30, 1954
Dragnet, episode The Big Producer, originally aired August 26, 1954
The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse, episode Doubled in Danger, originally aired June 18, 1954
Lux Video Theatre, episode The Outside Witness, originally aired June 3, 1954
Schlitz Playhouse, episode Prisoner in the Town, originally aired May 7, 1954
Dragnet, episode The Big Frame, originally aired April 22, 1954
Mr. & Mrs. North, episode Model for Murder, originally aired April 13, 1954
Dragnet, episode The Big Girl, originally aired April 1, 1954
The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse, episode The Silence, originally aired March 26, 1954
The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse, episode Account Closed, originally aired January 15, 1954
Treasury Men in Action, episode The Case of the Careless Murder, originally aired January 6, 1954
City Detective, episode On the Record, originally aired January 1, 1954
Dragnet, episode The Big Waiter, originally aired April 2, 1953
Mr. & Mrs. North, episode Dead Man's Tale, originally aired November 21, 1952
Gruen Guild Theater, episode An Affair at the Embassy, originally aired October 18, 1952
Mr. & Mrs. North, episode A Good Buy, originally aired October 17, 1952

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Watch Carolyn Jones' 1969 thriller Color Me Dead
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This page premiered December 3, 2003.