Classic Hollywood #103 – Carolyn Jones & Aaron Spelling

Addams Family Actress Carolyn Jones Poses With Husband Aaron Spelling

Carolyn Jones Aaron Spelling c 1962 photo Bill Kobrin

Did two people ever look unhappier?

Or is it just Carolyn Jones who looks incredibly sad?

In 1960 Aaron Spelling said, “Carolyn is the only person in the world I need. We are more than in love. We are each other’s best friends.”

Aaron Spelling was married to Jones from April 5, 1953 until August 6, 1964. Jones was the breadwinner for most of their marriage. When they divorced she requested no alimony.

In a reversal of fortunes, after the marriage dissolved, Spelling went on to become a multi-millionaire as a writer-producer.  Jones had her own money, but her flourishing acting career dwindled after her role as Morticia on The Addams Family had typecast her. During the production of the show, Carolyn didn’t think playing Morticia would affect her negatively. “It has brought me a whole new set of fans – the teenagers. As for getting typed, I’m not worried. I was a star in films before I was a star on TV. People remember that —- I hope.”

Uggggh.

About Carolyn Jones :

When she was a senior in high school, Carolyn was working as a disc jockey at a local radio station in Amarillo, TX.

Was a natural blonde who dyed her hair.

Jones was best friends with actress June Allyson.

Jones was up for the part of Lorene in From Here To Eternity which went to Donna Reed who received an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (1954). Carolyn was ill and never got to shoot her scheduled screen test.

Jones had small parts in many major motion pictures in the 1950s including The Seven Year Itch; House of Wax; The Man Who Knew Too Much; The Tender Trap; The Turning Point; Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Big Heat. These films led to starring roles.

In 1956 Aaron Spelling was considered a bit actor / producer and the husband of the up and coming Carolyn Jones. Spelling was signed as a writer by the William Morris Agency primarily so they could sign Jones. Spelling’s big break came writing for Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theater.

Spelling acknowledged Jones’ contribution to his eventual success saying, When we were first married Carolyn took a lot of acting jobs that were pure trash, so that I could stay home and write. I’ll never forget that.”

In the midst of divorcing, the pair said they still loved one another but could not live together. Probably true since the couple continued to be friends and date each other after the divorce.

Aaron Spelling convinced Jones to take the part as Morticia.

Carolyn wore a long black wig for the Addams Family, but was growing out her own hair so that she could eventually ditch the wig. She found the wig frightfully uncomfortable and hot. Jones figured that within five years she could display her own hair on the show. Unfortunately The Addams Family lasted only two seasons, though lives on forever in syndication.

During her Addams Family success, Carolyn admitted to owning 260 pairs of shoes, saying “It sounds extravagant, but I love shoes!”

The $500 custom made dress Jones wore as Morticia was so tight, her weight did not fluctuate throughout the series. The costume, difficult to walk in, helped her develop a minimal movement appearance which created a “calmness and elegance,” in her character.

According to a March 22, 1966 news article in The Hartford Courant,  Alex Freeman claims Jones did not get along with her Addams Family co-star husband John Astin (Gomez Addams). This is difficult to believe considering the pair’s on-screen chemistry. On record there was no other mention of their supposed “feud.”  Astin completely contradicts Freeman’s assertion in this interview.

 

Carolyn Jones died August 3, 1983 at the age of 53 from colon cancer.

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