The TV Cast Of ‘Charlie’s Angels’ Then And Now

Charlie's Angels
Chris Carlson / AP Images

It’s quickly approaching the 42-year anniversary of the Charlie’s Angels pilot movie making its network television debut in 1976. With recent talks of the movie series reboot as discussed at Hollywood Reporter, and a meeting between former angels Cheryl Ladd and Jaclyn Smith captured on Instagram, fans have gotten nostalgic for the old days. The show was successful enough to merit 110 episodes over five seasons of the original series, a reboot in 2011, a pair of movies, and helping launch a lot of careers in acting. For a generation, Charlie’s Angels is a show that defined television for them.

It wasn’t just that the angels were sexy, they were resourceful, smart, and very much in charge of any situation they found themselves in. For many young women of that time, it was a show that was empowering and encouraging. To many others though, it was just good entertainment, and that is what it was meant to be.

The original series went through changes with major cast members coming and going. Turnover became a sad, but inevitable, marker of time for the series. The show was never expected to last, as some critics called it “Jiggle TV,” or complained the cast wasn’t very good, but they defied the odds and created a smart and enjoyable series that has withstood the test of time.

#WCW with this beauty @realjaclynsmith

A post shared by Cheryl Ladd (@angelcherylladd) on

Farrah Fawcett was the most famous of the angels, despite only appearing on the first season of the show as Jill Munroe. She said she wanted to start a film career and turned in her resignation after shooting the final episode of the season. Riding a wave of fame from appearing on the best selling poster of all-time, Fawcett believed she was headed for major stardom. While it is arguable she ever reached the fame in movies that she did on Charlie’s Angels, she had a solid career and found success on TV again appearing on Spin City. She passed away in 2009, according to Do You Remember?

Kate Jackson portrayed Sabrina Duncan and was the first person cast for the show. She was already a known commodity having appeared on The Rookies and the original Dark Shadows. She was reputed to have been less than hospitable to newcomers to the show. Although she was cast as the star, she was constantly overshadowed by her fellow angels and left the show after the third season. While she has never admitted why specifically, it is believed she never liked Cheryl Ladd and was angry that filming wouldn’t be put on hold so she could appear in the movie Kramer vs. Kramer, which went to Meryl Streep.

Jackson went on to do well in her career with her own show Scarecrow And Mrs. King and Baby Boom, which had a brief run. Jackson has made sporadic appearances on a variety of shows for an episode or two since the early ’90s, and although she is still a very recognizable face, her career has been stagnant as can be seen on her IMDB.

Jaclyn Smith portrayed Kelly Garrett and was the last angel cast for the debut season. She was also the only original angel to last all five seasons. Smith arguably went on to have the most successful career of all of the angels, actively taking on roles at her leisure until 2015 and having used her fame to launch her own line of clothing, home furnishings, wigs, and perfumes. She also hosted the first two seasons of Bravo’s weekly competitive reality series Shear Genius, as listed on her personal website. She is also very active online, holding regular “#AskJaclyn” chats where she discusses style or whatever is on her mind.

In beautiful High Point, NC with @fabricut and I’m on my way to the Showtime Market.

A post shared by Jaclyn Smith (@realjaclynsmith) on

Cheryl Ladd replaced Fawcett, taking on the role of Kris Munroe. Ladd was known for her voice work on the cartoon Josie And The Pussycats and has a solid reputation as a singer. As an actress, she was a bit raw, but they liked what they saw in her audition and she was signed to a four-year contract. She is still acting, appearing in both movies and television shows, and she is an ambassador for ChildHelp, which is an organization focused on child abuse prevention as reported in Woman’s World.

Shelley Hack joined the cast as Tiffany Welles, replacing Kate Jackson. The role of Welles had been pitched to Bo Derek, Melanie Griffith, and Michelle Pfeiffer, among others. Hack was a commercial actress at the time of her casting, best known as the face of the perfume Charlie. After appearing on 26 episodes, Hack left the show and built a career on television, in movies, and on the stage that remained active until 2016. Along with her husband, Harry Winer, their production company Smash Media creates content for various media, television, and movies, per the Stanton Daily.

Tanya Roberts joined the show as Hack’s replacement, portraying Julie Roberts. She made a decent career for herself appearing in the James Bond film A View To A Kill, and in made for TV movies. She landed a recurring role on That 70’s Show as Midge, according to her IMDB. She later revealed she only left the show to care for her terminally ill husband. Roberts lives in Hollywood and has taken a break from acting and being in the public eye since her husband’s passing.

Finally, David Doyle, who played the role of Bosley, was the most established actor of the original cast, with a career in movies dating back to 1959 when he appeared in Happy Anniversary. He also had 40 television credits prior to landing the Charlie’s Angels gig. He went on to voice Grandpa Pickles in Rugrats, as well as an abundance of other television appearances that he kept up until his death in 1997, according to the Charlies Angels website.

John Forsythe, legendary actor and the voice of Charlie, passed away in 2010. Although he never appeared on screen, he was an integral part of each episode. Along the way, the show featured future stars such as Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Selleck, Kim Basinger, Tommy Lee Jones, Timothy Dalton, Ed Begley Jr., and Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund, just to name a few. The show has lived on for so long because the concept is entertaining and reboots are all the rage.