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Charlie’s Angels – Jiggle TV in the 1970s

Updated on December 2, 2015

So, there were these three little girls who went to the police academy. One of them was married to bionic man, one of them was not, and one of them was really, really, smart! All of them became the object of desire for teenage boys in the 1970s, and we are not talking about Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu.

No, we are talking about the original, and the best, Charlies Angels. Charlie’s original angels were: Sabrina Duncan (Kate Jackson), Kelly Garrett (Jaclyn Smith) and, of course, Jill Munroe (Farrah Fawcett-Majors). So, for those of you that remember, and for those of you that think that Charley didn’t find his angels until the year 2000, here are ten little known, or maybe just forgotten, facts about the real 1970s Charlie’s Angels TV show.

Charlie was really Blake Carrington

The mysterious voice of Charlie, who gave the angels their mission at the beginning of each episode the show and then was always gracious enough to thank them for their good work at the end, was none other than John Forsythe, who played Blake Carrington in Dynasty. But then, you probably already knew that one, so we will move swiftly on.

The show was slated by the critics

Even though the show portrayed the girls to be independent women who were quite capable of solving mysteries all by themselves, the TV critics of the time still branded Charlie’s Angels as nothing more than ‘T&A TV" (Tits & Ass Television). That probably just added to the show’s popularity!

There were six angels in all

Farrah Fawcett Majors actually only appeared full time in season one of the show, and then she made guest appearances in later seasons. There were six different Charlies Angels in all as follows:

Charlie's Angels

 
 
 
Kate Jackson
Sabrina Duncan
1976–1979
Farrah Fawcett-Majors
Jill Munroe
1976–1977
Jaclyn Smith
Kelly Garrett
1976–1981
Cheryl Ladd
Kris Munroe
1977–1981
Shelley Hack
Tiffany Welles
1979–1980
Tanya Roberts
Julie Rogers
1980–1981

They were nearly Charlie’s Alley Cats

The initial name the creators of Charlie's Angels came up with for the three crime fighting girls was The Alley Cats. The show’s producers didn’t agree with the creators, Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts, on this name, because they wanted to portray women in a more positive light than that name suggested. The idea for the name Angels came from Kate Jackson, when she spotted a picture of some angels on the wall in Aaron Spellings’ office.

The original Charlie was sacked for being drunk

The voice of Charlie was originally going to be that of the actor, and well-known alcoholic, Gig Young but, he turned up to do the recording for the first episode drunk. With only three days to go before the first episode was due to be aired, Aaron Spelling called in a favour from John Forsythe, who then went on to provide the voice of Charlie for all future episodes of the show.

Farrah Fawcett Majors knew exactly why the show was so popular

Farrah Fawcett Majors knew that the show’s popularity wasn’t due to its clever plot lines; she knew exactly why so many people tuned in every week. She once said "When the show was number three, I figured it was our acting. When it got to be number one, I decided it could only be because none of us wears a bra."

The Angels were to have had a man in the team

When the idea for Charlie’s Angels was first discussed, the male executives didn’t think that audiences would be able to relate to three women detectives working alone, so they insisted in a male character being introduced to do all the planning and organising for the girls. That character was Scott Woodville, but audiences and Aaron Spelling didn’t react well the male member of the team, so he was cut out after the first episode.

Farrah Fawcett Majors quit after season one

Although most people think of Farrah Fawcett Majors when they think of Charlie’s Angels, she was only in the show, full time, in the first season. She quit the show and broke her five year contract because she believed she had better career opportunities in the movies. It was some time, however, before Farrah Fawcett gained any recognition as a serious actress in films.

Kate Jackson missed out on a major movie success

Kate Jackson was offered the female lead in Kramer vs Kramer and was to lay opposite Dustin Hoffman in the award winning movie. The producers of Charlie’s Angels refused to allow Kate Jackson any time away from the show, so the part went to Meryl Streep instead.

The end of Charlie’s Angels

Despite the popularity of Farrah Fawcett Majors, her departure after the first season didn’t spell the end of the show; it ran for a further four seasons without her. The show did, though, gradually lose its place at the top of the ratings as viewers grew tired of the format and of the frequent cast changes. Charlie's Angles finally bit the dust in 1981, by which time it was placed fifty-ninth out of sixty-five ABC network shows.

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