Kate Jackson as Sabrina Duncan (center).
|First appearance||Pilot - 21 March 1976|
|Last appearance||Angels Remembered - 16 May 1979|
|Created by||Ivan Goff, Ben Roberts|
|Portrayed by||Kate Jackson|
|Occupation||Policewoman, Private Detective|
Sabrina Duncan is a fictional character in the 1976-1981 television series Charlie's Angels. She was portrayed by Kate Jackson and is featured in the first three seasons of the show. Sabrina has a slight Alabama accent (Jackson is a native of Birmingham) and is the most feisty of the three original Angels, as well as possessing the most distinctive sense of humor.
A brunette who cut her hair to a medium length after the series' pilot, Sabrina is known by fans as the "Smart Angel". Nicknamed "Bri" by her co-workers, she was a more strategic thinker than the other Angels and acted informally as the brains of the operation. (However, Charlie and Bosley still helped connect the dots.) In the Agency conferences, she was the most assertive in dealing with Charlie. In the field, Sabrina tended to take "outside" covers, such as a reporter or city employee while the other Angels would approach a case from the "inside" as decoys. She often used her "brassy" persona, but also appeared as French maid, fashion designer, bag lady, and psychic. Typically, Sabrina would pull the pieces together toward the end of each episode, act as backup in the van, and eventually assist in rescuing the "Angel in danger". However, she herself was often in tight situations as well. Sabrina is popular for her brassy charm and sharp wit.
Sabrina Blaylock was born to a military hero who raised his daughter to be competitive and witty ("Target Angels"). Possessing a rare mix of academic smarts and athletic capabilities, Sabrina finished her high school as both a cheerleader and a bookworm, and after college became an aspiring race car driver ("Hellride"). The fact that she joined the Los Angeles Police Academy should have come as no surprise to anyone who knew her. Her need for action and adventure in her life was a must. Aside from being a great police woman, she was also a quarterback on the academy football team. While there, she met and married a fellow officer, Bill Duncan. They divorced when Sabrina decided to leave the force for a career as a private detective with Townsend Associates, but on terms favorable enough that the couple dated on and off after their split.
Of all the Angels, Sabrina was the least inclined to manipulate men with her sexuality. While on occasion she would play up the flirtatious vixen (see "Angel on a String" & "The Sandcastle Murders"), more often than not, Sabrina relied on her quick wit and intellect. Despite that fact, Sabrina was the only Angel to have been married (and divorced).
There was never any doubt that Sabrina was a member of the feminist movement and no doubt that she probably marched for equal rights with the rest of her suppressed sisters. Even though she rarely used her sexuality to perform her job, Sabrina was not immune to mixing business with pleasure. Many times in her detective career, Sabrina would fall into a relationship with a client ("Lady Killer" & "Angels in Vegas"), even though Charlie warned his Angels early not to get "emotionally involved". Her first and most unlikely courtship with a client was with Tony Mann, the publisher of the sex magazine, Feline. He showed Sabrina that not all swinging bachelors were heartless and only interested in one thing. In return she showed him that all women weren't shallow and put on Earth to serve men. She admired his charisma and charm and he admired her independence and take charge attitude.
Not all of Sabrina's liaisons would pan out so equitably; in fact, as with all the Angels, her relationships that develop on the job often end when the man turns out to be the culprit. The greatest heartbreak she would ever experience would come while working on a case. Upon meeting Doug O'Neal while trying to solve a murder mystery at a ranch resort ("Angel in Love"), Sabrina reluctantly falls for the guy. When confronted by Kelly and Kris with evidence implicating O'Neal as a hijacker and would-be killer, she initially refuses to believe the truth. Her heart and hopes for a future with him would shatter when he turned out to be a hijacker and a would-be killer ("Angel in Love").
Taking charge of situations and giving orders to her co-workers probably was never actually designated to Sabrina, but someone had to do it. In "Bullseye", Sabrina instructs Kelly and Bosley to collect certain materials against the military's wishes in order to save Jill from a murderer. Her leadership qualities enabled the Angels to get the job done one way or another. In "Angel on a String" it is learned just how politically aware she is. Excited over the fact that one of her political heroes will be staying at the same hotel at which the Angels will be vacationing, Sabrina reveals to Jill and Kelly her knowledge of oppression to the Polish government. The other Angels are unfazed by Sabrina's interests and would rather spend time poolside than chasing down a political speaker. It is in this episode that viewers realize just how well-rounded Sabrina really is.
Other evidence of how worldly Sabrina really is was most often provided by her undercover roles. As a horse jockey, Sabrina proved what a sportsman she could be ("Angel in the Stretch"). On the football field she showed her desire for winning, even after the case was wrapped up ("Angels in the Backfield"), which most likely stemmed from her heated chess games with her father ("Target Angels"). Because she is bilingual (she speaks Spanish), Sabrina was assigned to pose as a stewardess while unveiling a drug racket across the border ("The Mexican Connection"). Even though she was actually quite low-maintenance in her lifestyle (she was the only Angel of her time to live in an apartment and shun elegant designer clothes), Sabrina could play the sophisticated socialite in a heartbeat ("Magic Fire", "Diamond in the Rough").
After three years working for Charlie Townsend, Sabrina opted to quit the detective business and take time out to marry and raise a family. Of all the Angels, she seems the least likely to do this, but then again, Sabrina was always full of surprises. As a detective she was Charlie's greatest asset. As a woman she was an inspiration to every other woman she came in contact with and a force to be reckoned with by any man who thought she was just another pretty face. Combining beauty, brains, wit, athleticism and independence, Sabrina Duncan will forever remain an Angel in which all other Angels are judged!
Sabrina's maiden name is Blaylock and viewers meet her military hero father in one episode. Sabrina and her father are especially fond of playing chess together. Sabrina was a cheerleader in high school and college, where she was also a bookworm. For a time, she was an aspiring race car driver. She is the only angel to have been married; her ex-husband, Bill Duncan (Michael Bell), appears in two episodes. He is also a police officer and they met on the force when she was quarterback on the academy football team. Sabrina lives in a high-rise apartment building, which was once the site of a bombing. She drives a company car, an orange-colored Pinto, which is later inherited by Tiffany Welles and Julie Rogers.
Sabrina's style tends toward turtlenecks and pants or dress suits and in scenes at the Townsend Agency office is often seen behind the bar, in part because Jackson was not as interested in the glamour aspect of the show as the other actresses in the show (all models) and wanted to wear jeans while filming.
Departure from the show
After the third season, Sabrina leaves the agency to get married, but unlike Jill, never comes back. In the season 4 opener, we also learn that she will be having a child. Unlike Jill (a court case compelled Fawcett to return to the series for highly paid guest shots), viewers never hear about Sabrina again.