TV Show: Charlie’s Angels (1970s)

One of the biggest TV shows of the 1970s was Charlie’s Angels. It was a crime drama that featured three beautiful women solving crimes. The show deliberately played up to the sex appeal of it stars and was, for the first couple of seasons at least, a smash hit and one of the 10 most watched shows in America. Charlie’s Angels finally came to an end after its fifth season in 1981 but it continues to have a huge underground following and is regularly placed in reruns around the world and is available on DVD for fans to purchase. Here are some of the most interesting facts you should definitely know about Charlie’s Angels.

It Almost Didn’t Get Made At All

It Almost Didn’t Get Made At All

When Aaron Spelling proposed Charlie’s Angels to executives at ABC; it hit a brick wall immediately. The network loathed the idea of a female-led action series and even said that it was the worst idea that they’d ever heard. If Spelling didn’t have a spare $25,000 to spend at his own discretion — the pilot might never have been made.

It Was Almost The Alley Cats

It Was Almost The Alley Cats

The cast balked at the idea of calling the show “The Alley Cats” because it was strongly felt that it was completely out of keeping with the feminist tone of the 1970s. The name was then changed to “Harry’s Angels” and was only altered to “Charlie’s Angels” to avoid confusion with another detective show, “Harry-O.”

They Tried To Make An All Male Spin-Off Show

They Tried To Make An All Male Spin-Off Show

It’s hard to believe that Aaron Spelling failed to understand what made Charlie’s Angels so popular and that he tried to commission a spin-off series with all male leads called “Tony’s Boys,” but he did. A pilot was made but unsurprisingly audiences didn’t warm to it and the series never made it off the drawing board.

Charlie Was Never Seen In The Show

Charlie Was Never Seen In The Show

Charlie was the boss of Charlie’s Angels but he never appeared on screen in the show. While the network was keen on the idea of the Angels having a sit down with their employer; it never happened. It remained under discussion as to when the big reveal would happen; right up until the show was cancelled.

Charlie Was Fired

Charlie Was Fired

The first Charlie was Gig Young who was an actor well-known to Aaron Spelling. Unfortunately ,when he showed up to voice the lines he had prepared he was drop down drunk. He was fired on the spot and John Forsythe, who many will know from “Dynasty,” was drafted in an emergency. He got the job for the whole series.

It Brought “Jiggle TV” To The World

It Brought “Jiggle TV” To The World

Charlie’s Angels was considered to be the pioneer of “jiggle TV” which is exactly what it sounds like. It was the first show to focus heavily on female stars and the audiences loved it that way. Check all the publicity material for the show; it’s always focused on the stars’ “assets.”

Only One Angel Lasted 5 Series

Only One Angel Lasted 5 Series

There were several changes of cast made during the show’s five season run. Only one of Charlie’s Angels actually made it from the first show to the 110th episode. That was Jaclyn Smith who played Kelly Garrett. Prior to the show, her biggest role was as a Breck shampoo model.

Farrah Fawcett Had To Be Home For Dinner

Farrah Fawcett Had To Be Home For Dinner

Farrah Fawcett’s contract was written so that she would finish shooting every night at a time that allowed her to be home at 7 p.m. each day. Why? So she could cook dinner for her husband. The Six Million Dollar Man – Lee Majors to be precise. Which might make it the least feminist rider in history.

Charlie Never Made It To The Set Of The Show

Charlie Never Made It To The Set Of The Show

Not only did Charlie never appear on screen but the actor John Forsythe never even made it on to the set. He recorded every single one of his appearances in a recording studio and they were dubbed in at a later date. Apparently, one of the sticking points to his appearance on screen was how much money he wanted to appear in person.

Only Julie Had Never Been In The Police Force

Only Julie Had Never Been In The Police Force

The majority of Charlie’s Angels were, according to the show, drawn from police roles. Jill, Sabrina and Kelly had been part of the Los Angeles PD and Kris was said to have worked in the San Francisco PD. Julie, however, wasn’t an ex-policewoman, instead she was a former model.

Kate Jackson Hated Cheryl Ladd

Kate Jackson Hated Cheryl Ladd

When Farrah Fawcett departed for a movie career – Cheryl Ladd was brought hired to replace her. The show didn’t suffer much in the ratings but Kate Jackson was convinced it did. This led to an ongoing feud with Cheryl Ladd where she is reported to have refused to speak to her co-star for days at a time.

There Was No Equal Pay

There Was No Equal Pay

At the time the show began two of the Angels, Farah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith, were relative newcomers to the small screen and they were each paid $5,000 an episode. Kate Jackson, on the other hand, was more established and she was given $10,000 per episode. Though Jaclyn Smith would eventually see her pay rise to $40,000 an episode.

Kate Jackson Missed Out On The Awards

Kate Jackson Missed Out On The Awards

Kate Jackson might have been the Angel with the highest acting pedigree and, in fact, she missed out narrowly on playing opposite Dustin Hoffman in “Kramer vs Kramer” but she was also the only one of Charlie’s Angels never to win an Emmy Award. She was nominated twice but failed to take home the night’s big prize.

What Ever Happened To? Jaclyn Smith

What Ever Happened To? Jaclyn Smith

Jaclyn Smith played Kelly Garrett in Charlie’s Angels and when she left the show; she didn’t stop working. She starred in a ton of TV and movie roles including, “The Night They Saved Christmas” and “Florence Nightingale.” She’s still acting today and is famous for being a breast cancer survivor who speaks up about the issue whenever possible.

What Ever Happened To? Kate Jackson

What Ever Happened To? Kate Jackson

Kate Jackson was Sabrina Duncan in the series and she joined the show with a ton of well known work under her belt. When she was replaced on the show, she went on to form her own production company and starred in the TV series “Scarecrow and Mrs. King.” She continued to act until 2007’s “Criminal Minds” before retiring.

What Ever Happened To? Farrah Fawcett-Majors

What Ever Happened To? Farrah Fawcett-Majors

Jill Munroe, is the best remembered of the Angels as she was immortalized in a famous poster for the TV series. Played by Farah Fawcett-Majors who left the show after a single season (though she returned for 6 guest appearances). Farrah continued to act in movies after leaving the show and appeared in Playboy on her 50th birthday. She died of rectal cancer in 2009.

What Ever Happened To? Cheryl Ladd

What Ever Happened To? Cheryl Ladd

Cheryl Ladd was drafted into the show to replace Farah Fawcett and played Kris Munroe. She began her career as a singer and had some minor acting credits by the time she joined the Angels. She has continued as an actress to this very day and her most notable role was probably as Jillian Deline in Las Vegas.

What Ever Happened To? Shelley Hack

What Ever Happened To? Shelley Hack

Shelley Hack was a fashion model before she turned to acting. She played Tiffany Welles in Charlie’s Angels and continued to act after leaving the show until the late 90s. She formed a production company with her husband which produced “Zombie Blondes” and “A Wedding for Christmas” among other titles.

What Ever Happened To? Tanya Roberts

What Ever Happened To? Tanya Roberts

The last of the Angels was Tanya Roberts who played Julie Rogers in the show. After the show ended she went on to star in a cornucopia of shows and films; perhaps the best known of which is Sheena: Queen of the Jungle. She’s shown no signs of slowing down either and still works as an actress today.

What Ever Happened To? John Forsythe

What Ever Happened To? John Forsythe

John Forsythe was Charlie even if he was never on screen; he was also Blake Carrington in “Dynasty” at the same time and it was the biggest role of his life. He continued to act following “Dynasty” and shared the small screen in many show’s until the time of his death at the comfortable age of 92 in 2010.

Jaclyn Smith Still Sexy at 70

Jaclyn Smith Still Sexy at 70

It appears as though Jaclyn Smith has the fountain of youth in her Los Angeles home. The actress celebrated her 70th birthday in November of 2016 and still looks incredibly youthful. Maybe it’s her skincare products that is keeping up her looks? Smith now spends her time focused on her self-titled skincare line which specializes in anti-aging products. We’ll take three!