Kate Jackson

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For other people named Kate Jackson, see Kate Jackson (disambiguation).
Kate Jackson
Kate Jackson 1976.JPG
Kate Jackson in 1976
Born Lucy Kate Jackson
(1948-10-29) October 29, 1948 (age 66)
Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
Occupation Actress, producer, director
Years active 1969–present
Spouse(s) Andrew Stevens (m. 1978; div. 1982)
David Greenwald (m. 1982; div. 1984)
Tom Hart (m. 1991; div. 1993)

Kate Jackson (born October 29, 1948) is an American actress, director, and producer, best known for her role as Sabrina Duncan in the popular 1970s television series Charlie's Angels. She is a three-time Emmy Award nominee and four-time Golden Globe Award nominee.

Jackson began her career in the late 1960s in summer stock at the Stowe Playhouse in Stowe, Vermont, before landing her first major TV roles in Dark Shadows (1970-71) and The Rookies (1972-76). She also appeared in the film Night of Dark Shadows (1971).

On March 21, 1976, Jackson first played Sabrina Duncan in Charlie's Angels, alongside Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith. The show aired as a movie of the week before debuting as a series on September 22, 1976. The huge success of the show saw the three actresses appear on the front cover of Time. Jackson received two Emmy nominations for her role, before leaving in 1979 after three seasons.

Jackson starred for four years in the TV series Scarecrow and Mrs. King (1983-87). For this role, she won three Bravo Golden Otto awards in Germany for Best Female TV star from 1986-88. She also co-produced the series through her production company, Shoot the Moon Enterprises Ltd. She then starred in the short-lived television adaptation of the film Baby Boom (1988-89). Also in the 1980s, she starred in the films Making Love (1982) and Loverboy (1989).

She has continued to star in numerous TV movies including, Quiet Killer (1992), Empty Cradle (1993), and Satan's School for Girls (2000), a remake of the 1973 TV movie of the same name in which Jackson also starred.

Early life and career[edit]

Lucy Kate Jackson was born in Birmingham, Alabama, the daughter of Ruth (née Shepherd) and Hogan Jackson, a business executive.[1] She attended The Brooke Hill School for Girls and then went on to the University of Mississippi, where she was a member of the Delta Rho chapter of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority,[2] but during her sophomore year at the University of Mississippi, she moved to New York City to study acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.[citation needed]

Jackson worked as an NBC page at the network's Rockefeller Center studios and did summer stock in Vermont before landing a role as the mysterious, silent ghost Daphne Harridge on the 1960s supernatural daytime quasi-soap opera Dark Shadows. In 1971, Jackson had a starring role as Tracy Collins in Night of Dark Shadows, the second feature film based on the daytime serial. She was joined by her Dark Shadows castmates Lara Parker, David Selby, Grayson Hall, Nancy Barrett, John Karlen, and Thayer David. This movie was more loosely based on the series than House of Dark Shadows was, and it did not fare as well at the box office as the first film did.[3] The same year, she worked with James Stewart in two episodes of the short-lived sitcom, The Jimmy Stewart Show.[4]

She then appeared as nurse Jill Danko, wife of a character played by Sam Melville, for four seasons on the 1970s crime drama The Rookies. A supporting cast member, Jackson filled her free time by studying directing and editing.[5] She also appeared in several TV films during this period. Jackson's performance was well received in the 1972 independent film Limbo, one of the first theatrical films to address the Vietnam War and the wives of soldiers who were POWs, MIA or killed in action (KIA).[6] She also appeared in an all-star ensemble cast in Death Scream, a 1975 television dramatization of the circumstances surrounding a real-life 1964 murder as reported in a sensational article in the New York Times. Jackson hosted the thirteenth episode of season four of "Saturday Night Live" which aired in February 1979.[7]

Charlie's Angels[edit]

In 1975, Jackson met with Rookies producers Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg to discuss her contractual obligation to star in another television series for Spelling/Goldberg Productions upon that show's cancellation. Goldberg told her of a series that was available—because "every network has passed on it", The Alley Cats. Spelling said that when he told Jackson the title of the series had to be changed and asked her what she would like to call it, she replied, Charlie's Angels, pointing to a picture of three female angels on the wall behind Spelling.[8] Jackson was originally cast as Kelly Garrett (which ultimately went to her co-star Jaclyn Smith), but decided upon Sabrina Duncan instead. The huge success of the show saw Jackson, Smith and Farrah Fawcett (who played Jill Munroe) appear on the front cover of Time Magazine.

At the beginning of the third season of Charlie's Angels, Jackson was offered the Meryl Streep role in the feature film Kramer vs Kramer (1979), but was forced to turn it down because Spelling told her that they were unable to rearrange the hit show's shooting schedule to give her time off to do the film.[9] At the end of the third season, Jackson left the show saying, "I served it well and it served me well, now it's time to go."[citation needed]

In 1982, Jackson starred opposite her Rookies co-star, Michael Ontkean, and Harry Hamlin in the feature film Making Love, directed by Arthur Hiller. It was a movie some considered to be ahead of its time, and attempted to deal sensitively with the topic of homosexuality. However, it received tepid reviews and did poorly at the box office.[10]

Scarecrow and Mrs. King[edit]

In 1983, Jackson accepted the starring role in Scarecrow and Mrs. King, a one-hour action drama in which she played housewife Amanda King opposite Bruce Boxleitner's spy, code-named "Scarecrow". Jackson also co-produced the series with Warner Brothers Television through her production company, Shoot the Moon Enterprises. It was during this series that she developed a keen interest in directing. When asked on the set one afternoon "What do you do tomorrow?", Jackson replied, "I don't work, I just direct." Scarecrow and Mrs. King was on the air from 1983–1987.

During filming of the show's fourth season, in January 1987, Jackson elected to receive a mammogram for the first time, a test which led to the diagnosis of a small malignant tumor. This time, her series' producer—the only person she told about the diagnosis—worked with her to reschedule her work on the show. Checking into a hospital under an alias, her course of action was to undergo a lumpectomy. Jackson returned to the series a week later, working with the aid of painkillers through five weeks of radiation treatments.[11]

1988 to 2003[edit]

Receiving a "clean bill of health", Jackson followed up the cancelled Scarecrow and Mrs. King by taking on the main role in Baby Boom, a 1988 TV sitcom version of the original movie starring Diane Keaton, but it lasted only one season.[12]

In 1989, she starred in the film Loverboy playing Patrick Dempsey's mother. She had taken the job in order to work with the director, Joan Micklin Silver, having admired the work Silver had done on the film Hester Street.[citation needed]

In September 1989, another mammogram indicated residual breast cancer which the previous operation had missed. This time the course of action was a partial mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. “The range of emotions you go through is amazing”, she says. “But I made a conscious decision to be positive.” Jaclyn Smith cancelled a trip to New York City, meeting Jackson at her doctor’s office before she checked into the hospital. “I’d been crying before I got there,” says Smith. “Then I saw Kate, and she had a smile on her face. She said, 'We've gotten through other things, like divorces, and we'll get through this.' And we did.” When Jackson awoke after surgery, “The first thing I heard was good news. My lymph nodes were clean.” Back at home she read medical journals, switched to a macrobiotic diet and came to terms with her reconstructive surgery. “I'm never going to have the perfect body”, she says. “I'm not into facelifts and lip poufs. But I can wear a strapless evening gown, a bustier or whatever is required for a part.”[11]

Jackson starred in several TV movies over the next several years, while working for breast cancer awareness. In 1995, on the heels of a night filming schedule on location, she checked herself into an Alabama hospital for tests due to a feeling of malaise and an inability to sleep. After several tests, Dr. Gerald Pohost, now head of cardiology at U.S.C., diagnosed that Jackson had been born with an atrial septal defect, a tiny hole in her heart which had previously gone undetected despite Jackson's active lifestyle. She underwent open heart surgery to correct the defect, although as cardiologist Dr. P. K. Shah related in a February 3, 2006, appearance with Jackson on Larry King Live, the current treatment no longer involves surgery.[13]

She has appeared in TV movies and has made numerous guest appearances on TV. She dialed down her professional pursuits when her son, Charles Taylor Jackson, was adopted in 1995. She stated at the time, "I don't see how I can go about a directing career and be a good mom at the same time. And if I'm not a good mom, I don't think it matters much what else I do well."[citation needed]

She has dedicated herself to speaking out on the subjects of breast cancer and heart health and in 2003, was awarded the "Power of Love" award by the American Heart Association for her work.[14]

2004 to present[edit]

In 2004, the television film Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Charlie's Angels aired, with actress Lauren Stamile portraying Jackson.[15] In August 2006, Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith, the three original Angels, appeared together in a surprise appearance at the Emmy Awards in a tribute to the recently deceased Spelling at the Shrine Auditorium.

Jackson played Elizabeth Prentiss, the mother of FBI Agent Emily Prentiss (played by Paget Brewster) on Criminal Minds. In August 2008, she was a guest judge on an episode of Jaclyn Smith's Bravo reality series Shear Genius, presiding over a hairdressing competition to update the original trio's signature hairdos.[16]

On August 3, 2010, it was announced that Jackson would be writing a memoir, to be published by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster.[17] Titled The Smart One, the book was originally scheduled to be released on October 11, 2011, was delayed to February 1, 2015,[18] and delayed yet again to December 30, 2020.[19]

Personal life[edit]

In 1978, Jackson married fellow Southerner, the actor and producer Andrew Stevens, the son of actress Stella Stevens; they divorced in 1982. She married David Greenwald of New York in 1982,[20] but they divorced two years later. Her third marriage was to stuntman Tom Hart in 1991, but they also divorced two years later. In 1995, Jackson adopted a son, Charles Taylor Jackson.[21]

In May 2010, Jackson filed a lawsuit against her financial advisor, Richard B. Francis, claiming his actions cost Jackson more than $3 million and brought her to financial ruin.[22] In December 2010, the parties reached an undisclosed settlement.[23]


Year Film Role
1971 Night of Dark Shadows Tracy Collins
1972 Limbo Sandy Lawton
1977 Thunder and Lightning Nancy Sue Hunnicott
1981 Dirty Tricks Polly Bishop
1982 Making Love Claire Elliott
1989 Loverboy Diane Bodek
1998 Error in Judgment Shelley
2004 Larceny Mom
No Regrets Suzanne Kennerly
Year Title Role Notes
1970-1971 Dark Shadows Daphne Harridge TV series (70 episodes)
1972 The New Healers Nurse Michelle Johnson TV movie
Movin' On Cory TV movie
1972-1976 The Rookies Jill Danko TV series (92 episodes)
1973 Satan's School for Girls Roberta Lockhart TV movie
1974 Killer Bees Victoria Wells TV movie
Death Cruise Mary Frances Radney TV movie
1975 Death Scream Carol TV movie
1976-1979 Charlie's Angels Sabrina Duncan TV series (69 episodes)
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (1977, 1978 and 1979)
Nominated – Emmy Award - Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (1977 and 1978)
1976 Death at Love House Donna Gregory TV movie
1977 James at 15 Robin TV series (Pilot)
Nominated - Emmy Award - Outstanding Lead Actress for a Single Appearance in a Drama or Comedy Series
1977 The San Pedro Beach Bums Sabrina Duncan TV series (1 episode, "The Angels and the Bums")
1979 Topper Marion Kirby TV movie
1981 Inmates: A Love Story Jane Mount TV movie
Thin Ice (fr) Linda Rivers TV movie
1983 Listen to Your Heart Frannie Greene TV movie
1983-1987 Scarecrow and Mrs. King Mrs. Amanda King TV series (89 episodes)
Nominated - Golden Globe Award - Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series — Drama (1985)
Bravo Golden Otto Germany: TV Star (winner = 1986, 1987 and 1988)
1988-1989 Baby Boom J.C. Wiatt TV series (13 episodes)
1990 The Stranger Within Mare Blackburn TV movie
1992 Quiet Killer Dr. Nora Hart TV movie
Homewrecker Lucy (voice) TV movie
1993 Arly Hanks Arly Hanks TV movie
Adrift Katie Nast TV movie
Empty Cradle Rita Donahue TV movie
1994 Armed and Innocent Patsy Holland TV movie
Justice in a Small Town Sandra Clayton TV movie
1995 The Silence of Adultery Dr. Rachel Lindsey TV movie
1996 A Kidnapping in the Family DeDe Cooper TV movie
Panic in the Skies! Laurie Ann Pickett TV movie
Murder On The Iditarod Trail Jessie Arnold TV movie
1997 What Happened to Bobby Earl? Rose Earl TV movie
Ally McBeal Barbara Cooker TV series (1 episode: "The Kiss")
2000 Satan's School for Girls The Dean TV movie
2001 A Mother's Testimony Sharon Carlson TV movie
2003 Miracle Dogs Terri Logan TV movie
2004 Third Watch Jan Martin TV series (2 episodes: "In Plain View"; "Higher Calling")
2006 The Perfect Suspect Maureen Hansen TV movie
2007 Criminal Minds Ambassador Elizabeth Prentiss TV series (1 episode: "Honor Among Thieves")


  1. ^ "Film Reference bio". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  2. ^ "Notable Kappas/Entertainment". List. kappakappagamma.org. Retrieved 2009-05-18. 
  3. ^ Scott, Kathryn Leigh and Pierson, Jim, editors. The Dark Shadows Movie Book. Pomegranate Press, Ltd., Los Angeles and London, 1998, pp. 23, 26
  4. ^ "Full cast and crew for The Jimmy Stewart Show (1971) at IMDb
  5. ^ The Rookies ended when Kate's father died and she asked for time off to return to Alabama for her father's funeral and to spend some time with her family. Kate was denied and she walked off the set. Production for The Rookies ceased as well. Sorry, Kate. Armstrong, Lois (December 6, 1976). "Heavens Above! Charlie's Sexy Angels Are Old-Fashioned Girls Who Really Get Along". Cover story (People Magazine). Retrieved May 18, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Limbo". Review. TV Guide. Retrieved May 18, 2009. 
  7. ^ Saturday Night Live (season 4) "List of episodes, season 4, "Saturday Night Live" (1978-1979)" at Wikipedia
  8. ^ "Charlie's 'Alley Cats'?" Newsweek, June 28, 1999.
  9. ^ Spelling, Aaron; Graham, Jefferson (1996). A Prime-Time Life: An Autobiography. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 112. ISBN 0-312-14268-4. 
  10. ^ Feinstein, Howard (August 21, 1994). "Getting Beyond the Gay Ghetto With Gay Films". The New York Times. Retrieved November 7, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b Schindehette, Susan (1992-05-11). "Angel Ever After - Cancer, Coping and Overcoming Illness, Kate Jackson". People.com. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  12. ^ Gerard, Jeremy (December 26, 1988). "TV Notes". The New York Times. Retrieved November 7, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Appearance on Larry King Live". Transcripts.cnn.com. 2006-02-03. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  14. ^ "American Heart Association". Apbspeakers.com. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  15. ^ Variety report on Charlie's Angels
  16. ^ "Hair From Heaven". Bravo (US TV channel). 2008. Retrieved November 7, 2011. 
  17. ^ http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100803/ap_en_tv/us_books_kate_jackson[dead link]
  18. ^ Pre-Order Page "The Smart One" Amazon.com Website
  19. ^ [1]Amazon.com Website
  20. ^ "It's back to bi-coastal marriage for Kate Jackson and husband". Lakeland Ledger. March 7, 1984. p. 2. Retrieved 2012-07-30. 
  21. ^ "Angelic Heaven profile of Kate Jackson". Charliesangels.com. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  22. ^ "Charlie's Angels Star Broke - Financial Ruin for Kate Jackson?". National Ledger. May 11, 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  23. ^ "'Charlie's Angels' Star Settles 'Financial Ruin' Lawsuit". Fox News. December 20, 2010. 

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