Morticia was a creative, artistic and well-rounded woman. She painted and played the shamisen, a guitar-like instrument. She cultivated plants, was notorious for cutting rose petals off the stems and throwing them away. As a reminder that she was a dangerous woman, Morticia kept pirranha in a fish tank.
Of course, Morticia's heritage was macabre. When a geneology expert told Morticia that he'd traced her ancestors back to Salem and remarked "they burned witches," she gasped and responded, "I'm glad they don't burn witches today."
Morticia's costume, a long form-fitting dress, was actually made before she auditioned for the role, and it didn't need any alterations because of her slim (5-foot-7, 117 pounds) physique.
The ghoulish comedy was based on characters from Charles Addams' cartoons that ran in "The New Yorker" in the 1930s. The characters were not named until the TV show was created. Astin later said that when the producers approached him for the role of Gomez, they told him they wanted to make "Father Knows Best"
but with "different people." The Addamses were certainly different people. "The Addams Family" had a three-year run, 1964-67.
A Texas native, Carolyn moved to California at age 17 to pursue an acting career. She worked in movies with Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in "The Bachelor Party" in 1957.
Carolyn died of colon cancer at age 53 in 1983.