When Jaclyn Smith burst onto TV screens in Charlie’s Angels in 1976 as the beautiful and savvy private investigator Kelly Garrett, millions of viewers had their hearts stolen by the fresh-faced young actress. Along with her crime-fighting Charlie’s Angels gal pals, played by Farrah Fawcett and Kate Jackson, Smith quickly became a household name and a cult classic icon. And over the last four decades, the now 77-year-old has remained as lovely and talented as ever becoming not only an acclaimed actress (and she even made cameos in the 2003 and 2019 reboot Charlie’s Angels movies!), but also a style icon, an entrepreneur and created an fashion empire all her own. Here, we take a look back at her career, her life and catch up with Jaclyn Smith today.
Jaclyn Smith’s early life
Jaclyn Smith was born in Houston, Texas on October 26, 1945. From a young age she loved dancing; she was 3 years old when she put on her first pair of dancing shoes. In high school, her drama teacher inspired her to try stage acting. Her passion was still dancing, so when she graduated from Trinity University, she moved to New York City to make it as a ballerina. While her dancing career didn’t take off, she soon became a successful model due to her striking looks.
After turning down the role of Victoria Winters on the ABC series Dark Shadows, Smith was offered a job as a “Breck girl” for Breck Shampoo. She continued doing commercial work, eventually teaming up with future co-star Farrah Fawcett as a spokeswoman for Wella Balsam shampoo.
Jaclyn Smith in the ’70s
In 1976, Smith was offered the chance to star in an TV pilot for an ABC show called Charlie’s Angels. Not surprisingly, it was a smash hit. For five seasons, Smith played investigator Kelly Garrett, earning the distinction of being the only Angel to last for the entire duration of the show’s stent. (Click through to discover why Jaclyn Smith’s Hair Color Almost Kept Her From Being Cast in ‘Charlie’s Angels’.)
(Read more about the Charlie’s Angels cast here.)
When the program was cancelled in 1981, Smith went on to star as Jackie Kennedy in the TV movie Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination. Later, she worked on miniseries like The Bourne Identity, Rage of Angels, and Windmills of the Gods.
Jaclyn Smith’s battle with breast cancer battle
In 2003, Smith was diagnosed with breast cancer. Doctors had found a small lump on her left breast, but thankfully it was detected early through a routine mammogram.
“When I heard that news, I panicked,” she told The New York Daily News in a 2012 interview. “The word ‘cancer’ is what stood out. That’s a word I didn’t even like to say. It was very surreal. I couldn’t get a grip on it,” she said. “I think my first words were, ‘Will I be here for my children?‘”
During that tough time, Smith found comfort from her former co-star Kate Jackson, who had also battled and beat breast cancer. After her doctors notified her with good news — the cancer had not spread to her lymph nodes — she opted for a lumpectomy and eight weeks of chemotherapy. “I’m here, and I’m so grateful,” Smith said. “The experience made me so aware of living life right.”
Jaclyn Smith’s spouse
Smith has been married to surgeon Brad Allen since 1997. Smith was married three times prior to Allen, her first husband, actor Roger Davis, is best known for his work on the TV shows Dark Shadows and Alias Smith and Jones. They were together from 1968 to 1975. Smith married her second husband, Dennis Cole, who appeared in a few episodes of Charlie’s Angels, in 1978, but they divorced in 1981.
After her divorce from Cole, Smith maintained a relationship with Cole’s son from his first marriage, but the young man was tragically murdered in an unsolved robbery. Smith’s third marriage was to cinematographer Tony Richmond, and it lasted from 1981 until 1989. Smith and Richmond had two children: Gaston (born in 1982) and Spencer Margaret (born in 1985).
Jaclyn Smith’s children
Smith’s son Gaston has followed his mother into show biz, but his work has mainly been behind the camera. He’s assisted on movies and shows like Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel, The Kids Are All Right and Fresh off the Boat.
Spencer, Smith’s daughter, has maintained a low profile, but starred in a Kmart ad with her mother in 2015. Viewers immediately drew comparisons between mother and daughter, as Spencer inherited Smith’s good looks. That same year, Spencer also married actor Fran Kranz, whose credits include the horror film The Cabin in the Woods and a film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.
In 2016, Smith became a grandmother after Spencer gave birth to the couple’s first child, Bea. She is now grandmother to three adorable granddaughters with the recent addition of Gaston’s children, Olivia and Wren. Smith constantly shares photos of Bea and her cousins on Instagram, and we have to say they are quite the cuties!
Jaclyn Smith today
Today, Smith is not only an established actress but also a talented businesswoman. Her fashion line was sold at Kmart for 36 years before she relaunched her collection in collaboration with Nordstrom Rack in 2022 and HSN in 2023.
She also has her own line of home decor and has designed fabrics for Trend since 2007. As if that wasn’t enough, she even has her own line of wigs in partnership with Paula Young, and a self-entitled a beauty line. Talk about a quadruple threat!
Jaclyn Smith will always be our angel and we can’t wait to see what she does next!
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