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Kate Jackson

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Kate Jackson
Lucy Kate Jackson in 1976
Lucy Kate Jackson

(1948-10-29) October 29, 1948 (age 75)
  • Actress
  • producer
  • director
Years active1969–2007
Known for
  • (m. 1978; div. 1981)
  • David Greenwald
    (m. 1982; div. 1984)
  • Tom Peacock
    (m. 1991; div. 1993)
PartnerEdward Albert (mid-1970s)

Lucy Kate Jackson (born October 29, 1948)[1] is an American actress and television producer, known for her television roles as Sabrina Duncan in the series Charlie's Angels (1976–1979) and Amanda King in the series Scarecrow and Mrs. King (1983–1987). Her film roles include Making Love (1982) and Loverboy (1989). She is a three-time Emmy Award nominee and four-time Golden Globe Award nominee, and Photoplay (magazine) award winner for "Favorite TV Actress" 1978.[2]

Jackson began her career in the late 1960s in summer stock, before landing major television roles in Dark Shadows (1970–71), Bonanza (1972), and The Rookies (1972–1976). She also appeared in the film Night of Dark Shadows (1971). The huge success of her role as Sabrina Duncan on Charlie's Angels saw her appear on the front cover of Time magazine, alongside co-stars Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith, while her role as Mrs. King won her Germany's Bravo Golden Otto Award for Best Female TV Star three times (1986–1988). She then continued to star in numerous television films, including Quiet Killer (1992), Empty Cradle (1993) and Satan's School for Girls (2000), a remake of the 1973 TV film of the same name in which she also starred.

Early life and career[edit]

Jackson was born in Birmingham, Alabama, the daughter of Ruth (née Shepherd) and Hogan Jackson, a business executive.[3] She attended The Brooke Hill School for Girls while residing in Mountain Brook. Jackson went on to enroll at the University of Mississippi as a history major where she was a member of the Delta Rho chapter of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.[4] Halfway through her sophomore year, she transferred to Birmingham–Southern College, a liberal arts college, taking classes in speech and history of the theatre. At the end of the academic year, Jackson became an apprentice at the Stowe Playhouse in Stowe, Vermont, and then moved to New York City to study acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.[5]

Initially, Jackson worked as an NBC page and tour guide at the network's Rockefeller Center before landing a role as the mysterious, silent ghost Daphne Harridge on the 1960s supernatural daytime 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. This film was more loosely based on the series than the first feature film, and it did not fare as well at the box office.[6] The same year, she appeared in two episodes of the short-lived sitcom The Jimmy Stewart Show.[citation needed]

She then appeared as nurse Jill Danko for four seasons on the 1970s crime drama The Rookies. A supporting cast member, Jackson filled her free time by studying directing and editing.[7] 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.[8] She also appeared in Death Scream,[9] a 1975 television dramatization of the circumstances surrounding the 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese.


Cast photo of The Rookies. Clockwise from the top: Georg Stanford Brown (Terry Webster), Kate Jackson (Jill Danko), Gerald S. O'Loughlin (Eddie Ryker), Bruce Fairbairn (Chris Owens) and Sam Melville (Mike Danko) in 1975

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.[10] Jackson was originally cast as Kelly Garrett (which ultimately went to her co-star Jaclyn Smith), but decided upon Sabrina Duncan instead.[11] The huge success of the show saw Jackson, Smith and Farrah Fawcett-Majors (who played Jill Munroe) appear on the front cover of Time magazine.[12] The show aired as a television film on March 21, 1976, before debuting as a series on September 22, 1976. Because Jackson was considered the star of Charlie's Angels following her experience and four years on The Rookies, her original role of Kelly Garrett was featured prominently in the pilot film.[11]

Jackson hosted the thirteenth episode of season four of Saturday Night Live which aired in February 1979. During her monologue, she referred to being an NBC page ten years earlier where she led tours of the studio.[11] 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),[13] but was forced to turn it down because Spelling told her that the show's shooting schedule could not be rearranged to give her time to do the film.[14] 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."[15] Spelling cast Shelley Hack as her replacement.

Charlie's Angels publicity photo (L-R): Jaclyn Smith, Farrah Fawcett and Kate Jackson in 1976

Jackson starred alongside Harry Hamlin and her Rookies co-star Michael Ontkean in the feature film Making Love (1982), directed by Arthur Hiller. It was a film 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.[16]

In 1983, Jackson had a 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. During this time she developed an interest in directing. Scarecrow and Mrs. King aired for four seasons from 1983 to 1987.[17]

During filming of the show's fourth season, in January 1987, Jackson had a mammogram for the first time, which found a small malignant tumor. Her series' producer—the only person she told about the diagnosis—rescheduled her work on the show. She checked in to a hospital under an alias to have a lumpectomy. Jackson returned to the series a week later, working with the aid of painkillers through five weeks of radiation treatments.[18]

After undergoing breast cancer treatment,[18] Jackson followed up on Scarecrow and Mrs. King by taking on the main role in Baby Boom, a 1988 TV sitcom version of a 1987 film of the same name. The series lasted less than one season, canceled with episodes left unaired.[19]

In 1989, Jackson starred in the film Loverboy, directed by Joan Micklin Silver.[20]

In September 1989, another mammogram indicated residual breast cancer that the previous operation had missed. Jackson had a partial mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Jackson's Charlie's Angels colleague Jaclyn Smith made statements indicating her support of Jackson.[18]

In 1995, Jackson was diagnosed as having been born with an atrial septal defect that had previously gone undetected. Jackson underwent open-heart surgery to correct the defect.[21]

Jackson spoke publicly about breast cancer and heart health and received the "Power of Love" award in 2003 from the American Heart Association for raising awareness among the public regarding those issues.[22]

In 2004, the television film Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Charlie's Angels aired, with actress Lauren Stamile portraying Jackson.[23] In August 2006, Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith, the three original Angels, made a surprise appearance together at the 58th Primetime Emmy Awards in a tribute to the recently deceased Angels creator Aaron Spelling.[24]

In 2007, Jackson played the mother of FBI agent Emily Prentiss on Criminal Minds, her last acting role to date. 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.[25]

On August 3, 2010, Gallery Books announced a contract with Jackson to publish her memoirs.[26] The book, expected in 2011, has been repeatedly delayed, with the latest update reporting a scheduled release for two days before 2021.[27]

She has not appeared in film or television since 2009.

Personal life[edit]

Jackson lived with, and was engaged to, actor Edward Albert in the mid-1970s.[28] She was then linked romantically to producer Robert Evans, stuntman Gary Quist and actors Dirk Benedict, Nick Nolte and Warren Beatty.[28] After a six-month courtship, Jackson married actor Andrew Stevens (the son of actress Stella Stevens) in August 1978. The couple divorced in 1981. After her divorce from Stevens, Jackson said, "I felt as if my ex-husband drove up to my bank account with a Brink's truck." Jackson was then linked with actor Gary Pendergast and screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz. She married New York businessman David Greenwald in 1982, and they formed 'Shoot The Moon Productions' together, the company that produced Jackson's series Scarecrow and Mrs. King.[29] The couple divorced in 1984.[29]

After the divorce, Jackson was frequently seen with dermatologist Arnold Klein. While recovering from her second bout with breast cancer and on vacation in Aspen, Colorado, in 1989, Jackson met Tom Hart, the owner of a Utah ski lodge, and the pair married in 1991. The couple lived both in Los Angeles and Park City, Utah. Jackson and Hart divorced in 1993. In 1995, Jackson adopted a son.[30]

In May 2010, Jackson sued her financial advisor, Richard B. Francis, claiming his actions cost her more than $3 million ($4.2 million today) and brought her to financial ruin. The parties reached an undisclosed settlement in December 2010.[31]

In August 2023, after many years out of the public eye, Jackson appeared as a guest at a wedding hosted by Jaclyn Smith for Smith's son Gaston in Los Angeles[32]



Year Title Role Notes
1971 Night of Dark Shadows Tracy Collins
1972 Limbo Sandy Lawton
1977 Thunder and Lightning Nancy Sue Hunnicutt
1981 Dirty Tricks Karen Polly Bishop
1982 Making Love Claire Elliot
1989 Loverboy Diane Bodek
1999 Error in Judgment Shelley
2004 Larceny Mom
No Regrets Suzanne Kennerly

Television films[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1972 The New Healers Nurse Michelle Johnson
Movin' On Cory
1973 Satan's School for Girls Roberta Lockhart
1974 Killer Bees Victoria Wells
Death Cruise Mary Frances Radney
1975 Death Scream Carol
1976 Death at Love House Donna Gregory
1979 Topper Marion Kerby
1981 Inmates: A Love Story Jane Mount
Thin Ice Linda Rivers
1983 Listen to Your Heart Frannie Greene
1990 The Stranger Within Mare Blackburn
1992 Quiet Killer Dr. Nora Hart
Homewrecker Lucy Voice
1993 Adrift Katie Nast
Empty Cradle Rita Donohue
1994 Armed and Innocent Patsy Holland
Justice in a Small Town Sandra Clayton
1995 The Silence of Adultery Dr. Rachel Lindsey
1996 The Cold Heart of a Killer Jessie Arnold
A Kidnapping in the Family DeDe Cooper
Panic in the Skies! Laurie Ann Pickett
1997 What Happened to Bobby Earl? Rose Earl
1998 Sweet Deception Kit Gallagher
2000 Satan's School for Girls The Dean
2001 A Mother's Testimony Sharon Carlson
2003 Miracle Dogs Terri Logan
2006 A Daughter's Conviction Maureen Hansen

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1970–1971 Dark Shadows Daphne Harridge Main role
1971 The Jimmy Stewart Show Janice Morton 2 episodes
1972 Bonanza Ellen Episode: "One Ace Too Many"
1972–1976 The Rookies Jill Danko 92 episodes
1976–1979 Charlie's Angels Sabrina Duncan Main role
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
1977 James at 15 Robin Episode: "Pilot"
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
The San Pedro Beach Bums Herself Episode: "Angels and the Bums"
1979 Saturday Night Live Herself (guest host) Episode: "Kate Jackson/Delbert McClinton"
1983–1987 Scarecrow and Mrs. King Amanda King Main role
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
1988–1989 Baby Boom J.C. Wiatt 13 episodes
1992 The Boys of Twilight Miss Dutton Episode: "Pilot"
1993 Arly Hanks Arly Hanks Unsold TV pilot
1997 Ally McBeal Barbara Cooker Episode: "The Kiss"
Dead Man's Gun Katherine Morrison Episode: "Death Warrant"
1999 Twice in a Lifetime Julie Smith / Mildred Episode: "Double Exposure"
Batman Beyond Bombshell Voice, episode: "Mind Games"
2000 Chicken Soup for the Soul Prof. Foley Episode: "Making the Grade"
2002 The Zeta Project Bombshell Voice, episode: "Ro's Gift"
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Candy Episode: "It's a Hot, Hot, Hot Hot Christmas"
2004 Third Watch Jan Martin 2 episodes
2006 Family Guy Amanda King Voice, episode: "Deep Throats"
American Dad! Herself Voice, episode: "Tears of a Clooney"
2007 Criminal Minds Ambassador Elizabeth Prentiss Episode: "Honor Among Thieves"


  1. ^ Pilato, Herbie (September 9, 2014). Glamour, Gidgets, and the Girl Next Door. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 186. ISBN 9781589799707.
  2. ^ "ABC Air Photoplay Awards". Herald Journal. November 18, 1978. Retrieved February 16, 2024.
  3. ^ "Kate Jackson". Archived from the original on June 8, 2022.
  4. ^ "Delta Rho". Kappa Kappa Gamma. August 8, 2017. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  5. ^ Hamrick, Craig (2012). Barnabas & Company: The Cast of the TV Classic Dark Shadows. Bloomington: iUniverse. p. 210. ISBN 9781475910346.
  6. ^ Scott, Kathryn Leigh; Pierson, Jim, eds. (July 2, 1998). The Dark Shadows Movie Book. Los Angeles: Pomegranate Press, Ltd. pp. 23–26. ISBN 978-0938817482.
  7. ^ Armstrong, Lois (December 6, 1976). "Heavens Above!". People. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  8. ^ "Limbo: Cast & Crew". TV Guide. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  9. ^ "Death Scream (1975)". Turner Classic Movies. June 10, 2022. Archived from the original on June 10, 2022. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  10. ^ "Charlie's 'Alley Cats'?" Newsweek, June 27, 1999.
  11. ^ a b c "8 things you might not know about the great Kate Jackson". MeTV. March 13, 2019. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  12. ^ "TIME Magazine Cover: Charlie's Angels - Nov. 22, 1976". Time. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  13. ^ Galloway, Stephen (January 6, 2017). "'Kramer vs. Kramer' Director on the "Alien" Brilliance of Meryl Streep: "I Was Afraid of Her"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  14. ^ Spelling, Aaron; Graham, Jefferson (August 1996). A Prime-Time Life: An Autobiography. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 112. ISBN 978-0312142681.
  15. ^ ""Charlie's Angels" Turns 40: Little-Known Facts About the Iconic TV Series | Page 6 of 30". Cleverst. June 20, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  16. ^ Feinstein, Howard (August 21, 1994). "Getting Beyond the Gay Ghetto With Gay Films". The New York Times. Retrieved November 7, 2011.
  17. ^ Haithman, Diane (November 2, 1988). "Kate Jackson Goes 'Boom'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  18. ^ a b c Schindehette, Susan (May 11, 1992). "Angel Ever After". People. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  19. ^ Gerard, Jeremy (December 26, 1988). "TV Notes". The New York Times. Retrieved November 7, 2011.
  20. ^ Steinmetz, Johanna (May 2, 1989). "'LOVERBOY' TOO DISTASTEFUL FOR LAUGHS". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  21. ^ "Surviving Heard Disease". Larry King Live. CNN. February 3, 2006. Retrieved November 7, 2010.
  22. ^ "American Heart Association". Apbspeakers.com. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved November 7, 2010.
  23. ^ Lowry, Brian (March 7, 2004). "Review: 'Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of "Charlie's Angels"'". Variety.
  24. ^ "Emmy, 'Angels' remember Aaron Spelling". Today Show. August 27, 2006. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  25. ^ "Hair From Heaven". Bravo. 2008. Retrieved November 7, 2011.
  26. ^ "'Smart Angel' Kate Jackson writing memoir". The Boston Globe. Associated Press. Archived from the original on August 11, 2010. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  27. ^ Confirmed, To Be (May 3, 2011). The Smart One. Gallery Books. ISBN 978-1451621563.
  28. ^ a b Sheehan, David (June 4, 1979). "Charlie's Fallen Angel". People. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  29. ^ a b "It's back to bi-coastal marriage for Kate Jackson and husband". The Ledger. Lakeland, Florida. March 7, 1984. p. 2. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  30. ^ "Kate Jackson aka Sabrina Duncan". Angelic Heaven. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  31. ^ "'Charlie's Angels' Star Settles 'Financial Ruin' Lawsuit". TMZ. December 20, 2010. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  32. ^ "Charlie's Angels stars Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson reunite in rare public appearance: 'Friend for the ages'". Entertainment Weekly. August 3, 2023. Retrieved August 9, 2023.

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