Jaclyn was born in Houston, Texas in 1945. After leaving school she trained as a ballet dancer and appeared in many beauty product commercials. She was offered the main role in the cult T.V series Dark Shadows, but turned it down.
After doing a couple more shampoo ads, she landed the role of Kate Garrett in Charlie’s Angels. The show ran for five seasons and Jaclyn was the only ‘Angel’ to do the whole five.
Charlie’s Angels was called ‘Jiggle T.V’ by some critics, but Jaclyn defends the series by saying that it was about independent women just ‘carrying out their job’ and ultimately, she says, it was about friendship.
After Charlie Angel’s was cancelled, she starred in the television movie, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, getting a golden globe nomination for Best Actress. She appeared in many T.V movies and miniseries throughout the eighties and nineties including ‘The Bourne Identity‘ and several T.V versions of Danielle Steel novels.
In 1985, Jaclyn pioneered the idea that celebrities could develop their own products rather than representing other brands and introduced a collection of women’s clothing and accessories for Kmart.
A few years later, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
From 2002 to 2004, she had a recurring role in the TV series The Districtand reprised her role as Kelly Garrett for a cameo in the 2003 Charlie’s Angel’s movie, ‘Full Throttle.’ She was also receiving breast cancer treatment around this time, which she has fully recovered from.
In 2008, she added home furnishings, bedding and bath accessories to her Kmart collection and has since launched a wig and skin care collection.
She cites clean living, being loved and a healthy lifestyle as some of the secrets to beauty. She has several tips for great skin, including making home made skin cream concoctions with things you have lying around the kitchen, as well as slathering on ‘Abolene’ cream in the shower (not part of her skin care range) and letting the steam get to work on it.
She has been married four times. She has a son and daughter with her third husband, film-maker Tony Richmond. She is now married to cardiothoracic surgeon Brad Allen.
Jaclyn was a role model for me growing up. She said, half jokingly, while chatting with Kate Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, that she was the ‘sweet one’ in Charlie’s Angel’s. I agree and I think that applies to real life too. I realise now, that was one of the main reasons why I liked her, and it was instinctive when I was a young girl. A lot of people who have known her/ know her, say that she’s beautiful on the outside, but that she’s even more beautiful on the inside.
Quote sources are from the excellent Jaclyn Smith interview with Yitzi Weiner.