Jaclyn Smith: Her Friendships, Love Life & Career

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Traditional Values

Jaclyn was brought up in a religious home which taught her about sacred marriage and relationships. She said “My beliefs are simple, nice and they give me answers; they make me laugh and feel lucky. They give me security in life and I can always turn to them.” However, she appeared to stray from tradition.

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Becoming An Angel

In 1976, Jaclyn landed the biggest role of her career and one that she would be known for thereafter. Smith began playing the police department bureaucrat turned private investigator Kelly Garrett on TV series Charlie’s Angels. Smith starred opposite Cheryl Ladd and Farrah Fawcett who made up the beautiful yet feisty Angels, as well as John Forsythe who voiced the famous Charlie. It was from this role that Smith’s career in acting and her name began to flourish.

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Ballet Dreams

Jaclyn developed a passion for dancing from a young age which led her to New York City to pursue her dreams of becoming a ballerina. However, her career took a turn when agents decided she was better suited to modeling and acting due to her striking looks and outgoing personality. Soon after, she was appearing in minor television roles as well as plenty of advertisements, making her a recognizable face. Smith’s dance dreams were now in the past and she was being thrust into a different limelight.

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Breck Girl

In 1971, Jaclyn landed her first big advertising role for Breck shampoo and was named the ‘Breck Girl’. When Jaclyn landed this job, it put her in a league with other notable stars who had all been given the honor of becoming a ‘Breck Girl’. Stars including Brooke Shields, Farrah Fawcett, Kim Basinger and Patti Boyd had all posed for the haircare brand and were considered “it girls.” This new status was a defining moment in Smith’s early career.

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Star Status

Charlie’s Angels was an instant hit and the success of the show led Jaclyn to become one of the most sought after and admired actresses thereafter. Her popularity was vast but it was further heightened in 1990 when she was listed on People magazine’s coveted “Fifty Most Beautiful People in the World.” Landing a place on the list made an individuals celebrity grow by tenfold and Jaclyn was no exception to this. Jaclyn was then considered hot property in Hollywood.

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First Husband

In 1968, Jaclyn married fellow actor Roger Davis. She was just 22 at the time they met and was studying ballet when the actor came into her life. After only two dates, she agreed to marry him and a huge wedding in her hometown of Houston followed. However, the marriage did not last long after Smith felt she couldn’t make a go of it both outwardly and physically. The whirlwind courtship led to struggles in later years and the two eventually separated.

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Hindsight

It took Smith two years to divorce Davis but their marriage finally ended in 1975. Jaclyn was so upset that her sacred marriage vows had severed that she couldn’t bring herself to inform her parents about the divorce for a long time. Looking back on her first marriage, she stated “Maybe my first husband needed a more worldly girl. We wanted different things in life at that point. Maybe if we had met later on it would have been different.”

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Minor Movie Roles

On the back of the success of Charlie’s Angels, the 80’s saw Jaclyn star in numerous made-for-TV movies and miniseries. In 1981 she starred in the biopic Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. Her outstanding performance led her to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress. Following this, she starred in the biopics George Washington in 1984 and her personal favorite, Florence Nightingale in 1985. After her numerous roles in this particular filmography, she was labelled the “Queen of Miniseries”.

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Well-Received Reputation

Despite being billed third after her fellow Angels, Jaclyn developed the reputation of being the nicest and hardest working of the actresses on Charlie’s Angels. The actress was adored by the cast, the crew, producers and of course, her fans. She always maintained close personal relationships with the people that worked with her and was known to be approachable and kind. Even after her era of Charlie’s Angels came to an end, she considered the cast and crew some of her closest friends.

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Co-Star Turned Husband

In 1977, Jaclyn found love again with her co-star and TV actor Dennis Cole. The two began dating after they met on the set of Charlie’s Angels but Cole had a reputation of being a stud, on and off screen which didn’t seem to fit in with Smith’s traditional values. When asked if Cole’s reputation worried her, Smith replied, Perhaps I see Dennis in a way that no one else sees him, I think maybe his public image is different from his private one.”

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Back To The Alter

Despite Jaclyn insisting that she was in no rush to re-marry and had learned from her past mistakes saying her vows so quickly, she did not stick to her pledge. In 1978 she married Dennis Cole and they instantly became one of Hollywood’s most beautiful couples. The cameras continued to flash throughout their relationship which lasted a mere three years with many rumors suggesting Jaclyn divorced him due to his flirtations with several other women.

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Product Queen

Ever since Jaclyn entered the branding world with her clothing line in 1985, her business began to thrive. Currently, the awareness of the Jaclyn Smith name and brand is higher than 80% amongst women between the ages of 35-60 years old. These statistics have made her amongst the most recognizable people in America, aside from her TV roles. Moreover, Woman’s Wear Daily reported that Jaclyn’s line had the highest consumer awareness of any private label brand in the United States.

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Stepson Murdered

While Dennis Cole and Jaclyn had no children during their three year marriage, Cole had one son named Joe from a previous marriage and was close with Jaclyn. Even after the two divorced, Smith maintained a close relationship with Joe until he was murdered in a robbery attempt in 1991 at the age of 30. Jaclyn was said to be devastated upon hearing the news of her beloved stepson and to make matters worse, there was no justice as the crime remains unsolved.

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Real Angels

It was well documented that Jaclyn maintained close relationships with her co-stars from Charlie’s Angels. Instead of feuding over who was the most popular or best looking angel, they developed a sisterhood. Their bond was taken a step further when Kate Jackson became the Godmother of Jaclyn’s daughter Spencer Margaret Richmond in 1985. 10 years later in 1995, Jackson was able to return the favor when she adopted her son Charles Taylor Jackson and appointed Jaclyn his Godmother.

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Unexpected Pre-Nup

Due to her traditional values and her belief in upholding marriage vows, people were surprised to hear that Jaclyn signed a prenuptial agreement with second husband Dennis Cole. She finally admitted “Yes, we did that, it was Dennis’ idea, not mine. He has a tremendous amount of property of his own. But I think he wanted the contract for the sake of my parents. Maybe to put their minds at ease. Who knows?” Lucky they did sign one as they divorced after three years.

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Almost Bond-Girl

Smith was offered the leading role in the blockbuster James Bond film Moonraker in 1979. The role would have been the biggest of her career and changed her celebrity status completely. Moreover, she would have gone from TV star to movie star and legendary Bond girl. However, Smith was forced to turn down the sought after role as it would have created a conflict in schedule with Charlie’s Angels. Instead, the role went to Lois Chiles and Moonraker became one of the most successful and iconic Bond movies.

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Skyrocketed Success

The success of Charlie’s Angels led Jaclyn Smith, Farrah Fawcett and Kate Jackson to be some of Hollywoods highly sought after actresses. Overnight, the three women became stunning sensations all around the world.  Smith said of the immediate fame, “The minute we went on the air, we were not standing in line at the movies anymore; we had a private back-door entrance to anywhere we wanted. It was like being a rock star in those days because there were only three networks.”

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Inspired By Interiors

Jaclyn revealed that she has a hidden passion and loves to redesign homes and create new interiors. It may not come as a surprise for some as the actress has her own clothing and home goods line, showing she already has an eye for design. She fell in love with her 1991 Georgian colonial home but knew it needed renovating. Smith spoke of her passion, “I’ve always been into older homes, even if I have to refurbish or remodel or raise roof lines or knock out walls.”

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Hollywood Star

Due to Jaclyn’s celebrity status and iconic role in Charlie’s Angels, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 1989. Jaclyn had compiled an impressive filmography of more than 50 films and TV appearances. In the ceremony, many different producers and co-stars paid tribute to the iconic actress, speaking of her kind hearted nature and dedication to every piece of cinematography that she took part in, regardless how big or small the role.

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Breast Cancer Battle

In July 2002, Jaclyn went for a routine check up and during this, a lump was detected in her breast. Jaclyn was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a lumpectomy and radiation treatment. She spoke about the diagnosis saying, “Fear invaded my whole being because I hadn’t educated myself. I was ready to boom—go into surgery. There is that moment when your world stops spinning and you think, “Wow, I have two kids.” My first question was, “Am I going to be here for my kids?”

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Longest Standing Angel

During the five year run of Charlie’s Angels, Jaclyn was the only one not to leave the show. From 1976 until 1981, Jaclyn reprised her role of Kelly Garrett while her co-stars Farrah Fawcett and Kate Jackson left the show to go on to other projects. Fawcett departed at the end of the first season and was replaced by Cheryl Ladd, while Jackson departed at the end of the third season and was harder to replace but then Shelley Hack and lastly Tanya Roberts were brought in to try an reignite the Angels’ spark.

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Lucrative Contracts

As one of the leading Angels, Jaclyn was paid $15,000 an episode over a five year period, thus making her wealthy from Charlie’s Angels alone. Moreover, the actress managed to negotiate a $3 million contract to launch her own movie production company. Smith also has lucrative contracts with Max Factor and Wella shampoo. In addition, outside of the entertainment industry, Smith has around $5 million tied up in land, buildings in Hollywood, and antiques. This hasn’t even included her impressive contracts with K-Mart.

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Standing Up For Ryan O’Neal

Jaclyn tearfully faced a Los Angeles jury pleading for her friend and father of Farrah Fawcett’s son, Ryan O’Neal, to have an Andy Warhol portrait of the late actress. A legal battle ensued between the actor and the University of Texas as they believed they had a right to the painting. Jaclyn stated “The love of her life was Ryan,” she continued, “I think the most important thing would be imagining what Farrah would want. I really feel Farrah would want that portrait with Ryan.”

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The Angel is Back

After the Charlie’s Angels TV series ended in 1981, Jaclyn never expected to star as an Angel ever again. However in 2003, Jaclyn had a cameo role in the new Charlie’s Angels movie, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. The new movie featured actresses Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu as the Angels and Jaclyn was asked to come back as the only original Angel from the TV series. In the movie, Smith appeared talking to Drew Barrymore and giving her advice, Angel to Angel.

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Fighting For Friends

Coincidentally, Jaclyn, Farrah Fawcett and Kate Jackson were all diagnosed with cancer and each had a well documented personal fight with it. Jaclyn and Kate both had breast cancer which they managed to keep at bay while Farrah had a more severe cancer. Farrah succumbed to her three year cancer battle in 2009 but throughout her struggle, both Jackson and Smith gave their support and love every step of the way. It was clear they were more than just co-stars.

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Meeting An Englishman

While Jaclyn was filming the movie Nightkill in 1980 in Arizona, she was introduced to British cinematographer and director Tony Richmond. Like Jaclyn’s other marriages, the two were dating for a short time and got married a year after meeting. This marriage was the first that produced children and Jaclyn had son Gaston in 1982, followed by her daughter Spencer in 1985. While the two were married, Jaclyn was tipped to star in a number of Richmond directed movies.

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Branching Out

Jaclyn’s collaboration with K-Mart was going from strength to strength and was extended to include home goods after she presented her stunning home. In 2013, Smith put her name to a new endorsement, a line of wigs called the Jaclyn Smith Wig Collection in collaboration with celebrity hair stylist José Eber. Jaclyn started the collection having become accustomed to wigs and hair enhancements from her time on TV. She inserted that she is aware of red carpet trends and everyday styles which she brings into the line.

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Beneficial Marriage

At the beginning of Smith’s relationship with Richmond, they appeared to be madly in love and he was the man for her. She said of her past marriages “I don’t even consider the first two marriages real. Both were annulled. I was too young, too naive, too romantic.” Smith insisted her third marriage was to go the distance and the union did wonders for Richmond’s career as he was able to be taken seriously as a Hollywood director after marrying one of the most famous TV actresses.

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Farewell Farrah

Although they were only co-stars for one season, Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn developed a close bond that couldn’t be broken. Jaclyn supported her friend up until her last couple of months and even recalled how the blonde beauty had kept her humor the whole way through. When Farrah lost her battle, Jaclyn gave tribute to her friend saying, “Farrah had courage, she had strength and she had faith. And now she has peace as she rests with the real angels.”

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Jaclyn The Grandmother

Smith became a grandmother in 2016 after her daughter Spencer gave birth to a baby girl. Jaclyn had said that the arrival of her granddaughter fulfilled her as a person and she called the adorable baby “the brightest light.” Jaclyn has always been incredibly close with her children and prior to her granddaughter being born, she often spoke of how excited she was to take on that role and extend her loving family.

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Divorce Drama

After eight years of marriage, Jaclyn filed for divorce from third husband Tony Richmond. Jaclyn later admitted that she left her husband Tony due to his personal addictions. She said “Tony was an alcoholic, which took us down a difficult path.” She added that later on, “He cleaned up. He’s been clean over 20 years now. But it was too late.” When looking back on her dating life, Jaclyn said that there had been many ups and downs and the breaking of a family which she never wanted.

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Bitter Custody Battle

During Jaclyn’s divorce proceedings, it was clear that Richmond intended for it to be prolonged and bitter after she left him. The divorce was more complicated as there were two children involved with both parents fighting for sole custody. When both rejected a joint agreement, other arrangements had to be made. To avoid a lengthy battle, Jaclyn agreed to pay Richmond $4 million for the sole custody of their son and daughter, which he accepted.

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Celebrity Branding Pioneer

Although celebrity branding is something that is a given in today’s entertainment industry, it was something relatively unheard of back in the mid 80’s. Jaclyn was amongst the first celebrities to start her own fashion brand and instead of being given a great reception, she recalled “In 1985, yeah. I mean, I was kind of teased about it and made fun of.” Smith ended up having the last laugh as her partnership with Kmart became hugely profitable.

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Every Cloud…

When Jaclyn went to visit her father in hospital after quadruple bypass was performed on him, she never expected to meet her prince charming. When Dr. Bradley Allen came to explain the procedure and situation to his family, Jaclyn immediately caught his eye. The two began dating shortly after but learning from her past mistakes of rushing relationships, the couple agreed to take things slow. Eight years later in 1997, Jaclyn and Bradley decided to tie the knot.

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Starring In The Simpsons

The Simpsons is one of the most successful TV shows which has been running for over 29 seasons, so when Jaclyn was asked to voice an animated version of herself, she couldn’t say no. The adult animated series decided to make light of the fact that Jaclyn is known for her endorsements and branding and in true Simpsons style, decided to mock it. In the episode Fat and the Furriest, Jaclyn presented her own line of axe heads.

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Angel To Role Model

When Jaclyn was asked if she recognized that she was a role model during the time that Charlie’s Angels was on the air, the actress initially denied it. She said “I don’t think I did realize that because we were sort of criticized for being Barbie dolls and really not seeing us as these independently emotional women, that went about their job and accomplished it.” It wasn’t until later years that Jaclyn could look back and understand the legacy she had left.

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Diet Secrets

At 71-years-old, Jaclyn Smith continues to defy the aging process, leaving fans in awe of the actresses super fit appearance. When asked how she maintains her health, Jaclyn gave insights into one of her secrets. Firstly, she told how she learned about the specific vitamins she should be feeding her body and through the help of her doctor husband, she maintains a clean and healthy diet. As for her daily go-to, she said “I love green drinks, but I blend not juice so I get the pulp.”

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Tight-Knit Family

Jaclyn has always appeared as a strong and independent woman, both on and off screen, but instead of admitting it was on her own accord, she stated that her values are down to her upbringing. She said “I think I was fortunate to have great role models growing up. I had this incredibly wonderful ideal family. I was fortunate to have wonderful examples before me. That’s important, when your family is secure and your parents love one another. It’s a bonus.”

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Return To Acting

Smith hasn’t appeared on screen since 2012 on CSI episode. When asked if she would consider a return to TV,  she said “I’d love to return to acting if there was a good, challenging role. I don’t need to do it for the money but I still have dreams. I have an idea for a script I’d like to produce and star in, there’s a documentary I’d like to film and a book I’d like to write.”

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Like Mother, Like Daughter

In 2017 Kmart announced that Jaclyn would be extending her incredible brand with a special collaboration. Through the inspiration from her granddaughter Bea, Jaclyn enlisted the help of her daughter Spencer to create an infants line of clothing. She said “This collection truly embodies the emotions and cherished time when a baby joins a family.” Spencer then added, “I was delighted to help bring the idea to life. As a new mom, I know the importance of finding the right staples for your baby.”

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Beauty From Within

While Jaclyn had a line of skincare products, she finally gave away the real secret to her beauty. When asked how she does it, Jaclyn sweetly replied “When you’re loved, you’re beautiful and that’s what makes you glow. So with all the beauty tips and secrets, it’s all about what’s in here,” as she pointed to her heart. Smith may have had many relationships in her past, but her current marriage to Brad Allen showed her what true love and happiness really is.

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Past And Present Personalities

Jaclyn was one of the it-girls in the 80’s and her prior status led her to discuss the current wave of women on TV and how they portray themselves. She noted how the Angels were considered risqué in the past “But today it seems so tame.” She continued “It was so innocent compared with today’s TV where anything goes. And I wish there wasn’t so much reality TV today, which isn’t reality and dumbs us down.”

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Ditching Angel Status

When Charlie’s Angels ended in 1981, Smith admitted that she began taking up roles which would distance her from the glamorous show which shot her to stardom. Even though she was incredibly proud of her work on the hugely successful series, Jaclyn wanted to be taken more seriously. She said of her attempts “It was a challenge.” Although Smith knew she would always be known as an Angel, to receive other awards for more serious roles was good enough for her.

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Changing In Marriage

Jaclyn Smith’s four marriages changed her opinion on exchanging vows. She explained, “Marriage isn’t the end-all. You think when you marry problems will go away. But when two people are living in the same house, you have to do some changing. And changing is always hard.” Jaclyn had said this on the back of her first divorce where she married an older man at a young age. She would later find out her next husband was not much easier to live with.

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Business and Pleasure

In 2010, Jaclyn decided to expand her brand and enlist the help of her medical researcher husband. After Jaclyn was constantly being asked how she keeps her age-defying, flawless complexion, she decided to create skincare products which work with her daily routine. Together, Brad and Jaclyn developed a line of luxurious cleaners, moisturizers and protective skin care products which she could give to her fans. Jaclyn said that her husband gives her the inspiration and drive to work hard.

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Surgery Secret

Jaclyn’s age-defying looks raised many questions whether she had had any plastic surgery. Jaclyn honestly responded to the claims by asserting, “I haven’t had plastic surgery although I’m for it if it is done properly.” She continued “I don’t do Botox because I don’t want poison in my body, though I’ve had some fat injected into my face to plump it up because it got thinner with age, and some laser treatments that brighten the skin.”

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Marriage Regrets

Jaclyn’s four marriages have been widely documented but the actress admitted that her failed relationships may have been a result of her own insecurities. She said “I’m an old-fashioned girl, and I didn’t believe in living with people, so I guess I married for the wrong reasons at times.” Being married at such a young age changed Jaclyn’s opinions of relationships and love and led her down paths that she admitted were not right, in hindsight. Her marriage to Brad was entirely different.

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Secret To A Successful Marriage

After having three failed marriages, Jaclyn finally found her life partner in Brad. In 2017, they celebrated their 20th anniversary and Jaclyn spoke of their enduring marriage stating: “Going the distance is just great because you build a history together and memories.” She continued in explaining that they share similar values and upbringing and it was able to bring them closer together. Above all however, Jaclyn noted what an amazing and admirable stepfather he is to her two children.

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