Kate Jackson burst into Hollywood with roles in cult hits early on before getting a starring role as an original of the Charlie’s Angels crew. The original Angel went on to a massive career, making waves in the eighties before being waylaid by a health issue. With those behind her now, what is she doing in Hollywood these days?
A native to the state of Alabama, Jackson’s business exec father and stay-at-home mom would welcome Kate into the world as Lucy Kate Jackson in October of 1948. While she would attend school in Alabama, Kate Jackson would leave for Mississippi for college before transferring back to an Alabama school. She would drop out entirely by the end of her second year, instead moving to New York and pursuing acting at the Academy of the Arts.
A Real Page Turner
Kate Jackson would take the route many have tread after her, becoming a page at 30 Rockefeller Center for NBC, guiding tours of the various studios and getting coffee for execs. The Page Program would eventually lead her to a small role on the supernatural soap opera Dark Shadows.
She would star in Dark Shadows for over seventy episodes starting in 1970, playing a ghost character named Daphne alongside the show’s other ghoulish creatures. During Dark Shadows she would also move between made-for-television horror movies, building a small reputation as a burgeoning Scream Queen. She would even end up with a bigger role in the second Dark Shadows film, playing the main character Tracy.
While she would also have a starring role in the Rookies starting in 1972, it was in 1976 she got the call that would change lives for not just her, but multiple women in Hollywood. Kate Jackson was the first of Charlie’s Angels to be cast, and girl bossed the hell out of the show for the three years she was on it. Kate would often be protective of her co-stars, ensuring the producers weren’t taking advantage of them.
Charlie’s Angels would make her even more famous, leading Kate Jackson from the role of Sabrina Duncan into a bigger Hollywood career.
Kate would star in television and big screen films for the first few years of the 80s before founding Shoot the Moon Productions with then-husband David Greenwall and starring in the series Scarecrow and Mrs. King, which would outlive their marriage. Unfortunately, the show did not involve any actual scarecrows.
While filming Scarecrow’s last season in 1987, Kate Jackson was diagnosed with breast cancer after doctors found a malignant tumor. Fortunately, she was able to keep her personal life private with help from the show’s producer, who helped her seek treatment and change schedules. While she would return to finish filming the show while undergoing treatment, the cancer came back in 1989, requiring Jackson to undergo therapy once again.
Kate Jackson didn’t slow down though, starring in the feature film Loverboy alongside the Once and Future Dreamboat Patrick Dempsey and going into television movies, some of which were pretty decent B-movies like Black Death. She would continue that momentum into the 2000s, despite getting yet again waylaid by health issues. In 1995, Jackson had to undergo open-heart surgery for a previously-unknown birth defect.
It was around her heart surgery that she started to ease back a little, taking fewer roles as the years went on and moving into television guest roles on Ally McBeal and Sabrina the Teenage Witch in the early 2000s while also being part of Satan’s School for Girls, a remake of a film she starred in early in her career.
Eventually, she would putter to a stop in 2007, closing out her acting career to date with a guest role in an episode of Criminal Minds.
Jackson chose to leave Hollywood completely in 2009, after the passing of her close friend and Charlie’s Angels co-star Farrah Fawcett.
Kate Jackson would have a string of whirlwind romances throughout her career, marrying and divorcing Andrew Stevens, David Greenwald, and Tom Peacock within a fifteen-year timeframe. While Jackson had often talked publicly about her desire to have children, she couldn’t find herself having one after her cancer fight. Thankfully, she was able to adopt a son in the early 90s, saying that she was happier than she’d ever been.
Even Angels Need Rest
While not married when she left Hollywood, and unknown if she has remarried now, Kate Jackson is most likely living a quiet life somewhere.in peace. She did send out a message to fans a little over a year ago, thanking them for their birthday wishes and wishing everyone well in return. While there was no video with the message, she sounded hearty and healthy, if a little unsure of how technology works (she was born when WWII ended, it’s understandable).
While Kate Jackson may not show up on screens again, there’s no doubt that she contributed more than enough to cinema and television in her time and left on her terms. She’ll always be our angel, though.