The crime-fighting, feather-haired trio of Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith, and Kate Jackson will always be our favorite version of Charlie’s Angels (although we love the other casts, too!), but that lineup almost didn’t happen. Smith, 72, revealed that when she went in for a reading with the other cast members, the odds weren’t in her favor.
Apparently, Smith hated script readings, especially the dreaded cold reading (reciting from a script with little to no rehearsal) — and that’s exactly what she was asked to do. “I didn’t even think there was a chance for me to get Charlie’s Angels,” Smith said in an interview with Archive of American Television. “I just know it wasn’t my best moment. So I just got it out of my mind.”
What she didn’t know was that going in she already had a strike against her. The writers envisioned the Angels as a blonde, a brunette, and a redhead, and Kate Jackson had already claimed her role as the brunette. All the other actresses who Smith auditioned with at the time were redheads.
Despite everything working against her, Smith went into the reading with an open mind. “I wasn’t a driving, ambitious actress like, ‘I have to get this role.’ I just went in. I had fun.” And surprisingly, her attitude may have been what sealed the deal for producer Aaron Spelling. When Smith had her screen test with Fawcett and Jackson, Spelling knew the three had undeniable chemistry.
We all know what happened next: Smith landed the role and went on to star as Kelly Garrett for the show’s entire five-year run — the only Angel to do so. In 2001, Smith had a cameo in the movie Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. A new reboot is in the works with actress Elizabeth Banks slated to direct. Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and British actress Ella Baliska will play the Angels. We’ve got our fingers crossed that Smith will make another guest appearance.