In Morticia's Shadow: The Life & Career of Carolyn Jones

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By James Pylant. Softcover (2012), 260 pp. + ix, illus., indexed.

 

Before captivating America as Morticia in the 1960s hit television series The Addams Family, actress Carolyn Jones appeared in 30 movies (including starring roles with Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra) and had a decade-long marriage to producer Aaron Spelling. But the road to Hollywood from her native Amarillo, Texas, was studded with rejection, typecasting, and unwanted comparisons to an actress who hated her: Bette Davis. Determined to succeed, Carolyn reinvented herself by enduring plastic surgery and dyeing her blonde hair black. Hollywood rewarded its rising star with an Oscar nomination and The Addams Family, which would become a curse, overshadowing the future of her acting career.

 

“I'm Morticia . . . and I'm doomed!”

In Morticia’s Shadow is the true story of Carolyn Jones: a lonely childhood in Texas Panhandle, blind loyalty to a devoted mother, attempts to erase all trace of a long-absent father, four marriages, her scathing indictment of Hollywood through the pages of a best-selling novel, a courageous battle with cancer, and a triumphant return to television as the evil Myrna Clegg in Capitol. Author James Pylant unveils the real Carolyn Jones, with access to her correspondence and journal, as well as interviews with her family, friends, and fellow actors. What emerges is an intimate portrait of the iconic actress, a consummate professional who created a mystique not only for Morticia but for herself.

 

"a complete and comprehensive account . . . In Morticia's Shadow is a 'must read' . . ."

 

          —The Midwest Book Review

 

Also available on Kindle 

   

 

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