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), The Bourne Identity (1988), 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.
Smith’s first acting venture outside the Angels mold was the CBS-TV movie of the week Escape from Bogen County in 1977. Then came a leading role in Joyce Haber’s The Users with Tony Curtis and John Forsythe in 1978. In 1980, Smith starred with Robert Mitchum in the suspense thriller Nightkill. Following the cancellation of Charlie’s Angels in 1981, Smith starred in the title role of the critically acclaimed television movie Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, earning her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress. In 1983, Smith starred as Jennifer Parker in the TV movie Rage of Angels, based on the novel by Sidney Sheldon. The film was the highest rated in the Nielsen ratings the week it aired. Smith reprised the role in the 1986 sequel, Rage of Angels: The Story Continues.
On March 21, 1976, Smith first played Kelly Garrett in Charlie’s Angels; the show was aired as a movie of the week, starring Smith, Kate Jackson and Farrah Fawcett (billed as Farrah Fawcett-Majors) as private investigators for Townsend Associates, a detective agency run by a reclusive multi-millionaire whom the women had never met. Voiced by John Forsythe, the Charles Townsend character presented cases and dispensed advice via a speakerphone to his core team of three female employees, to whom he referred as “Angels”. They were aided in the office and occasionally in the field by two male associates, played by character actors David Doyle and David Ogden Stiers. The program earned a huge Nielsen rating, causing the network to air it a second time and confirm production for a series, with all of the principal characters with the exception of Stiers. The series formally debuted on September 22, 1976, and ran for five seasons. The show would become a big success not only in the U.S. but, in successive years, in syndication around the world, spawning a cottage industry of peripheral products, particularly in the show’s first three seasons, including several series of bubble gum cards, two sets of fashion dolls, numerous posters, puzzles, and school supplies, novelizations of episodes, toy vans, and a board game, all featuring Smith’s likeness. The “Angels” also appeared on the covers of magazines around the world, from countless fan magazines to TV Guide (four times) to Time magazine. Fawcett departed at the end of the first season, and Cheryl Ladd was a successful addition to the cast, remaining until the end of the series. Jackson departed at the end of the third season, and proved harder to replace, as first Shelley Hack and then Tanya Roberts were brought in to try re-igniting the chemistry, media attention and ratings success enjoyed by the earlier teams. Smith played her role for all five seasons of Charlie’s Angels until 1981, also portraying the Garrett character in a cameo in the 2003 feature film Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle and later in the 2019 film Charlie’s Angels. Christina Chambers portrayed Smith in the 2004 television film Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Charlie’s Angels. In 1977 on the first episode of the Aaron Spelling produced comedy, The San Pedro Beach Bums, the Bums try to recruit the women of Charlie’s Angels to judge the Miss Harbor Beauty Contest. The “Angels” – Smith, Jackson and Ladd – guest-star as themselves.
After Charlie’s Angels
Smith continued to appear in a number of television movies and miniseries during the 1980s and 1990s including George Washington, The Night They Saved Christmas (both 1984), Florence Nightingale (1985), Windmills of the Gods (1988) – another TV film based on a Sidney Sheldon novel – The Bourne Identity (also 1988); adapted from author Robert Ludlum’s novel of the same name; Settle the Score (1989), Lies Before Kisses, The Rape of Dr. Willis (both 1991), In the Arms of a Killer (1992), and several TV versions of Danielle Steel novels, including Kaleidoscope (1990) and Family Album (1994). In 1985, Smith starred in the feature film Deja Vu, directed by her then-husband Tony Richmond. In 1989, she played the title role in Christine Cromwell, a mystery television series based in San Francisco, but which only lasted one season. That same year, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. From 2002 to 2004, Smith had a recurring role as Vanessa Cavanaugh in the TV series The District. She reprised her role as Kelly Garrett for a cameo in the 2003 feature film Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, the only “angel” from the original series to appear in a film adaptation. In August 2006, Smith reunited with her angels co-stars Farrah Fawcett and Kate Jackson at the 58th Primetime Emmy awards in tribute to producer Aaron Spelling who died earlier that year. Her appearance there subsequently led Bravo TV’s producers to cast Smith as the celebrity host of Bravo’s weekly competitive reality series Shear Genius, which began airing in March 2007. Smith hosted the show for its first two seasons. In March 2010, Smith returned to acting after a five-year absence with a guest role on the NBC television drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In March 2012, Smith guest-starred on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as Olivia Hodges, the mother of David Hodges (played by Wallace Langham). In January 2019, Smith was seen promoting the Charlie’s Angels television series on the MeTV network. She reprised her role as Kelly for a cameo appearance in the 2019 feature film Charlie’s Angels, Smith’s second cameo in the film franchise.
In 1985, Smith entered the business world with the introduction of her collection of women’s apparel for Kmart. She pioneered the concept of celebrities developing their own brands rather than merely endorsing others. A season 15 episode of The Simpsons (“The Fat and the Furriest”) lampooned Smith’s many business successes, portraying her as having her own line of axe heads. In May 2009, Smith allowed a documentary crew to profile her home life, design philosophy and relationship with Kmart in an online video series sponsored by Kmart. Her foray into home furnishings was extended to Kmart stores in the fall of 2008, with the chain’s introduction of its Jaclyn Smith Today product line of bedding and bath accessories.In September 2008, Smith launched the STYLE by Jaclyn Smith wig collection for Paula Young Wigs. The wigs are designed by hair stylist José Eber.