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Jaclyn Ellen Smith (born October 26, 1947) is an American actress. She is best known for the role of Kelly Garrett in the television series Charlie's Angels, and was the only original female lead to remain with the series for its complete run (1976–81). She became a well known face on television starring in over thirty made for TV movies and more recently was the hostess of Bravo's weekly competitive reality television show Shear Genius for its first two seasons. Beginning in the 1980s, she began developing and marketing her own brands of clothing and perfume. She has often been voted one of the most beautiful women in the world.

Early life

Smith was born in Houston, Texas, the daughter of Margaret Ellen (née Hartsfield) and Jack Smith, a dentist. She attended Trinity Universitymarker in San Antonio.

After college she moved to New York City with hopes of dancing with the ballet. Her career aspirations shifted to modeling and acting as she found work in television commercials and print ads, including one for Listerene mouthwash. She landed a job as a "Breck girl" for Breck Shampoo in 1971, and a few years later joined another popular model/actress, Farrah Fawcett, as a spokesmodel for Wella Balsam shampoo.

Charlie's Angels

On March 21, 1976, the first appearance of Smith playing the character Kelly Garrett in Charlie's Angels was aired as a movie of the week. The movie starred Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett (billed as Farrah Fawcett-Majors) and Smith 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 okay production for a series, with all of the principal characters save the one played by Stiers.

The series formally debuted on September 22, 1976, and ran for five seasons. The show would become a smash 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.

Media phenomenon Fawcett-Majors 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 guest appearance in the 1977 pilot episode of The San Pedro Beach Bums and in a cameo in the 2003 feature film Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.

Christina Chambers portrayed Smith in the television film Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Charlie's Angels.


Smith's first acting venture outside the Angels mold was the CBS-TV movie of the week Escape from Bogen County (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. The movie was touted as her first big screen role, but turned out to be a huge disappointment for Smith, as the film was largely unreleased in the cinema and quickly went to TV.

Smith then starred in the blockbuster TV movie Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy in 1981, and received a Best Actress nomination from the Golden Globe awards. However, she lost out to Jane Seymour who won the award for her role in the TV remake of East of Eden. In 1983, Sidney Sheldon's Rage of Angels arrived on Smith's doorstep. The actress was so popular that fans reportedly begged Sheldon to re-write the storyline that required Smith's character's son to die; there was a sequel in 1986. In 1984, Smith starred in the made for TV movie The Night They Saved Christmas as an oil foreman's wife who is taken to see Santa Claus so that he can convince her to stop her husband's blasting activities before he destroys Santa.

In 1988, Smith appeared in another miniseries based from a Sheldon novel, Windmills of the Gods, this time with Robert Wagner as her love interest. It was another triumph in the Nielsen ratings.

The one that certified Smith's reign as the Queen of TV/Miniseries was the offer to star opposite the King Of TV Miniseries Richard Chamberlain in the adaptation of Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Identity. Smith was Chamberlain's first choice as his leading lady but she had just wrapped up with the Windmills of the Gods shoot and declined the part. The role was offered to Lesley-Anne Down who wanted her husband to photograph the film. Producers refused and again offered the role to Smith. The result was a huge hit not only in Americamarker but overseas.

In 1989, Smith starred in Settle the Score, her first disturbing role. It detailed incest, rape, killings, and other dirty family secrets. The film again proved her Nielsen ratings clout.

Other hits were Florence Nightingale, George Washington, Lies Before Kisses, The Rape of Dr. Willis, In the Arms of a Killer, and several TV versions of Danielle Steel novels, including Family Album (1994). Her then-husband Tony Richmond also directed her in the 1985 feature film Deja Vu.

In 1989, Smith had the title role in Christine Cromwell, a mystery television series based in San Franciscomarker which only lasted one season. Its cast included such esteemed actors as Celeste Holm (as Christine Cromwell's oft-married mother) and Theodore Bikel. Christine Cromwell was part of ABC's "Mystery Wheel" series which rotated with other detective shows like Columbo, Kojak and Burt Reynolds' "B.L. Stryker". Smith's show had the distinction of being the only female character of the wheel.

Smith was honored in 1989 with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Famemarker.

From 2002 to 2004, Smith had a recurring role as Vanessa Cavanaugh in the series The District, which starred Craig T. Nelson. She reprised her Kelly Garrett role for a short cameo in the 2003 Charlie's Angels feature film, and appeared on episodes of "Hope and Faith". In May 2005, Smith starred as Judge Kay Woodbury in Hallmark’s production of Ordinary Miracles.

Her appearance on the 2006 Emmy telecast 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. Shear Genius began airing June 25, 2008.


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. More than 100 million women have purchased clothing or accessories bearing her name. Awareness of the Jaclyn Smith name and brand by women 35–60 years of age is said to be higher than 80%. Industry authority Woman's Wear Daily reported that the signature Jaclyn Smith line had the highest consumer awareness of any private label apparel brand in the country.

During her time as spokesmodel for Max Factor, Smith released her own perfume, called "California". The perfume's popularity led the company to release "California for Men".

With this strong recognition and record of success, Jaclyn entered the home furnishings market in 2002.

A season 15 episode of The Simpsons ("The Fat and the Furriest") lampooned the actress's many business successes, portraying Smith 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.

Today’s Jaclyn Smith Home collections are promoted as a natural reflection of her deep commitment to family and home. The items bearing her name reflect many of the inspiring details and exceptional design of furnishings and accessories found in her personal collection and her exceptional eye for detail translates effortlessly to timeless designs. Smith's 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.

Personal life

Smith has been married four times. Her first marriage was to actor Roger Davis (1968–1975). She married Dennis Cole, an actor who had appeared on Charlie's Angels in 1977 and 1978. Cole appeared on the show two more times before the couple divorced in 1981. Cole's son from a previous marriage, Joe Cole, with whom Smith had maintained a relationship after her divorce from his father, was murdered in 1991 during a robbery; the killer has not been apprehended. Smith married filmmaker Tony Richmond in 1981. The couple have two children, Spencer Margaret and Gaston. Smith and Richmond divorced in 1989. Smith has been married to Houston cardiothoracic surgeon Brad Allen since 1997.

Smith battled breast cancer in 2003. In 2010, Smith will be featured in 1 a Minute, a documentary about breast cancer being made by Namrata Singh Gujral.

It was an early dream of Smith's to be a dancer, and she had studied dance in her youth. She played a ballet dancer in the McCloud episode "The Man with the Golden Hat". Several episodes of Charlie's Angels feature Smith performing various styles of dance, from the can-can to belly dancing.

On September 22, 2009, picked up a Honduran newspaper's false online report that Smith had been hospitalized in a private medical center there; TMZ later retracted the story, reporting that Smith was well and at home in California. Smith posted on her twitter page, denouncing the Honduran newspaper story as false—"Jaclyn is safe and home with her family. She is not in Honduras. It is a lie".

Tributes to Smith's beauty and popularity

A number of style mavens and magazine polls have attested to Smith's popularity and declared her one of the most beautiful women in the world. The difficult-to-please Mr. Blackwell once named her "The World's Best Dressed Woman". In 1979, McCall's ran a poll of "Whose Face Most Women Would Like To Have". Jaclyn Smith topped the list. A nationwide poll in 1983 conducted by TV Picture Life magazine crowned Smith and Tom Selleck as the "New King & Queen of Hollywood". While friend and actress Jane Seymour may have starred in more TV movies or miniseries, Smith tops the list according to the Nielsen Ratings; Smith has more #1 projects than any other actress in Hollywood, and she has often been called the "Queen of the miniseries". Despite this success and popularity, CBS rejected Smith's idea of playing Gone with the Wind author Margaret Mitchell in the movie version of the book Road to Tara. Years later, Shannen Doherty would star in an NBC biopic of Mitchell.

In 1985, McCall's named her as one of America's 10 Best Bodies. People named Smith twice in its annual list of the "Most Beautiful People in the World". In the April 1984 issue of People, Smith was voted as one of the "Ten Great Faces of Our Time". Film producer Robert Evans said that Smith comes closest to perfection in her eyes, hair and facial structure. In 1985, Ladies' Home Journal magazine sampled 2,000 men and women in 100 places in America to determine "America's Favorite Women". Jaclyn Smith came in the top of the list as the "Most Beautiful Woman in America", with Dynasty star Linda Evans coming in second. TV Guide magazine readers voted Jaclyn Smith as the "Most Beautiful Woman On Television" in 1991.

Comic strip artist Sy Barry modeled the luscious Diana Palmer, wife of The Phantom, after Smith. The French band Air was inspired by Smith's Charlie's Angels character Kelly Garrett to record the song "Kelly Watch the Stars" for their critically acclaimed 1998 album Moon Safari, and the track was released as a single.


  1. TV Guide, October 28, 2000, pp. 22-28
  2. People Weekly, October 27, 1997, p. 56
  3. People Weekly, August 26, 2002, p. 50
  6. Parade magazine, 6/22/08, p.4
  9. Distinctions - February 2004 - New Program to Help Heal Babies'Hearts
  10. Olivia Newton-John, Jaclyn Smith on surviving breast cancer -
  11. Parade Magazine, 6/22/08, p. 4

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