Farrah Leni Fawcett (/ˈfærə ˈfɔːsɪt/; originally spelled Ferrah; February 2, 1947 – June 25, 2009) was an American actress, fashion model and artist. A five-time Primetime Emmy Award nominee and six-time Golden Globe Award nominee, Fawcett rose to international fame when she starred as private investigator Jill Munroe in the first season of the television series Charlie’s Angels (1976–1977).
Fawcett began her career in the 1960s appearing in commercials and guest roles on television. During the 1970s, she appeared in numerous television series, including recurring roles on Harry O (1974–1976), and The Six Million Dollar Man (1974–1978) with her first husband, film and television star Lee Majors. Her breakthrough role came in 1976 when she was cast as Jill Munroe in Charlie’s Angels, alongside Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith. The show propelled all three to stardom, but especially Fawcett, who was then billed as “Farrah Fawcett-Majors.” After appearing only in the first season, she decided to leave the show, but returned as a guest star in six episodes during the show’s third and fourth seasons (1978–1980). For her role in Charlie’s Angels, she received her first Golden Globe nomination. In 1983, Fawcett received positive reviews for her performance in the Off-Broadway play Extremities. She was subsequently cast in the 1986 film version and received a Golden Globe nomination. She received two Emmy Award nominations for her roles in TV movies, as a battered wife in the 1984 film The Burning Bed and as real-life murderer Diane Downs in the 1989 film Small Sacrifices. Her 1980s work in TV movies also earned her four additional Golden Globe nominations.
In 1997, she gained some negative press for a rambling appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, but also garnered strong reviews for her role in the film The Apostle with Robert Duvall. She continued in numerous TV series, including recurring roles in the sitcom Spin City (2001) and the drama The Guardian (2002–2003). For the latter, she received her third Emmy nomination. Her film roles include Love Is a Funny Thing (1969), Myra Breckinridge (1970), Logan’s Run (1976), Sunburn (1979), Saturn 3 (1980), The Cannonball Run (1981), Extremities (1986), The Apostle (1997), and Dr. T & the Women (2000). Fawcett was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006, and died three years later at age 62. The 2009 NBC documentary Farrah’s Story chronicled her battle with the disease. She posthumously earned her fourth Emmy nomination for her work as a producer on the documentary.
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Lucy Kate Jackson (born October 29, 1948) is an American actress and television producer, known for her television roles as Sabrina Duncan in the series Charlie’s Angels (1976–79) and Amanda King in the series Scarecrow and Mrs. King (1983–87). Her film roles include Making Love (1982) and Loverboy (1989). She is a three-time Emmy Award nominee and four-time Golden Globe Award nominee.
Jackson began her career in the late 1960s in summer stock, before landing her first major television roles in Dark Shadows (1970–71) and The Rookies (1972–76). She also appeared in the film Night of Dark Shadows (1971). The huge success of her role as Sabrina Duncan on Charlie’s Angels saw her appear on the front cover of Time magazine, alongside co-stars Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith, while her role as Mrs. King won her Germany’s Bravo Golden Otto Award for Best Female TV Star three times (1986–88). She then continued to star in numerous TV movies, including Quiet Killer (1992), Empty Cradle (1993) and Satan’s School for Girls (2000), a remake of the 1973 TV movie of the same name in which she also starred.
Jacquelyn Ellen “Jaclyn” Smith (born October 26, 1945) is an American actress and businesswoman. She is best known for her role as Kelly Garrett in the television series Charlie’s Angels (1976–1981), and was the only original female lead to remain with the series for its complete run. She reprised the role with cameo appearances in the films Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003) and Charlie’s Angels (2019). Her other films include Nightkill (1980) and Déjà Vu (1985). Beginning in the 1980s, she began developing and marketing her own brands of clothing and perfume.
Smith began her career in 1969 in television commercials. In 1976, she was cast in Charlie’s Angels, alongside Kate Jackson and Farrah Fawcett (then billed as Farrah Fawcett-Majors). The show propelled all three to stardom, including an appearance on the front cover of Time magazine. She was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Film for the title role in the TV film Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (1981), and went on to star in numerous TV films and miniseries over the next 20 years, including Rage of Angels (1983), George Washington (1984), Kaleidoscope (1990) and Nightmare in the Daylight (1992). She had a recurring role from 2002 to 2004 in the drama series The District and appeared as Olivia Hodges in two episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in 2012.
Cheryl Ladd (born Cheryl Jean Stoppelmoor; July 12, 1951) is an American actress, singer and author best known for her role as Kris Munroe in the ABC television series Charlie’s Angels in which she was hired for its second season in 1977 to replace Farrah Fawcett-Majors. Ladd remained on the show until its cancellation in 1981. Her film roles include Purple Hearts (1984), Millennium (1989), Poison Ivy (1992), Permanent Midnight (1998), and Unforgettable (2017).
Following Charlie’s Angels, Ladd remained a familiar face on television and has starred in more than 30 made-for-television films, including as Grace Kelly, the Philadelphia heiress who became a Hollywood glamour girl and then a European princess, in a biopic that was begun shortly before Kelly’s death. She also appeared in a number of feature films, such as Purple Hearts (1984), Millennium (1989), Poison Ivy (1992) (featuring Drew Barrymore, who later starred in the film adaptations of Charlie’s Angels) and Permanent Midnight (1998). Ladd had the lead role in the television series One West Waikiki (1994–96) and made guest appearances in other TV shows such as Charmed, Hope and Faith and CSI: Miami. From 2003 until the show’s cancellation in 2008 Ladd played Jillian Deline, the wife of the lead character Ed Deline (James Caan), in 29 episodes of the television drama series Las Vegas.
In 1996, Ladd published a children’s book titled The Adventures of Little Nettie Windship. In 2005, she published Token Chick: A Woman’s Guide to Golfing With the Boys, an autobiographical book which focused on her love of golf. For several years, Ladd hosted a golf tournament sponsored by Buick.
In September 2000, Ladd starred on Broadway, taking over the title role from Bernadette Peters in a revival of Irving Berlin‘s Annie Get Your Gun. She played the role until January 2001, when Reba McEntire took over.
Ladd has continued to appear in a number of TV productions, including the 2011 Hallmark Channel movie Love’s Everlasting Courage, guest starring in the NCIS episode “Thirst” (as the love interest of medical examiner Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard), and the series Chuck, playing Sarah Walker‘s mother.
The TV Show Charlie’s Angels
From Wikipedia: Charlie’s Angels is an American crime drama television series that aired on ABC from September 22, 1976 to June 24, 1981, producing five seasons and 115 episodes. The series was created by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts and was produced by Aaron Spelling. It follows the crime-fighting adventures of three women working in a private detective agency in Los Angeles, California, and originally starred Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett (billed as Farrah Fawcett-Majors), and Jaclyn Smith in the leading roles and John Forsythe providing the voice of their boss, the unseen Charlie Townsend, who directed the crime-fighting operations of the “Angels” over a speakerphone. There were a few casting changes: after the departures of Fawcett and Jackson came the additions of Cheryl Ladd, Shelley Hack, and Tanya Roberts.
Despite mixed reviews from critics and a reputation for merely being “Jiggle TV” (specifically emphasizing the sex appeal of the female leads), Charlie’s Angels enjoyed huge popularity with audiences and was a top ten hit in the Nielsen ratings for its first two seasons. By the third season, however, the show had fallen from the top 10. The fourth season of the show saw a further decline in ratings; the changes could not stop the falling ratings and in 1981, Charlie’s Angels came to an end after 110 episodes and five seasons.
Charlie’s Angels continues to have a 1970s American cult and pop culture following through syndication, DVD releases, and subsequent television shows. The show also spawned a media franchise with a film series started in 2000, which is a continuation of the series story with later generations of Angels. A reboot television series was broadcast in 2011, but canceled after seven episodes.