At 72 Years Old, Kate Jackson Looks Incredible Today

Sep 03, 2021 by apost team

Kate Jackson is an American actress and TV producer who is best known for playing the role of Sabrina Duncan on the hit television series "Charlie's Angels" from 1976 to 1979. She is also remembered for portraying the character Amanda King in the series "Scarecrow and Mrs. King" from 1983 to 1987. Jackson has been nominated for three Emmy Awards and four Golden Globes. 

Jackson's first major television role was on the series "Dark Shadows" from 1970 to 1971. She has also appeared in several films, including "Night of Dark Shadows," "Making Love," and "Loverboy." Her greatest success was "Charlie's Angels," and she appeared on the cover of Time magazine with her co-stars Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith. The show also gave the star a lifelong friendship with her co-stars.

The actress was born Lucy Kate Jackson on October 29, 1948, in Birmingham, Alabama. She is the daughter of Ruth and Hogan Jackson, who was a business executive. The star attended The Brooke Hill School for Girls in Mountain Brooke, Alabama. She enrolled at the University of Mississippi but later decided to pursue an apprenticeship at the Stowe Playhouse in Stowe, Vermont. Jackson eventually moved to New York and studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She has been working as an actress since 1969.

In October 2021, Jackson will turn 73, and she looks fantastic for her age. She announced that she had written a memoir titled "The Smart One," but the date of release is still unknown. Read on to learn about Jackson's past health struggles and to see how great she looks today. 

'Charlie's Angels'

Jaclyn Smith, Cheryl Ladd, Kate Jackson (1978), (Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

The success of "Charlie's Angels" was new to Jackson at the time. "I remember being blown away by all the attention. Jackie, Farrah and I became great friends. We had each other to hold on to, and that was it." the actress told People in 1992.

The series was immensely popular and is still being revived today with the release of the film "Charlie's Angels" in 2019. Author and podcast host Ed Robertson got to the root of the show's appeal by saying

"Those episodes were about a trio of detectives who were very, very good at what they did. The fact that they were women was really ancillary, because they were not only good detectives, they would pull off cons as part of their undercover operation. The scripts weren't Shakespeare, but they were able to go a little more into depth. The pilot is very good and I'm not surprised that it sold, because it moved quickly, was smart and well cast."

That brilliant casting was largely driven by a desire to hire Jackson. "Initially, producers Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg were looking for something to cast Kate Jackson in, because she had been in the series 'The Rookies' from 1972 to 1974. When she was on that show, it was an all male cast except for her, but she received more fan mail than any of the other regulars, so they knew they wanted to put Kate in some sort of vehicle. But there were different phases," claimed Jack Condon, who co-wrote "The Charlie's Angels Casebook."

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Jaclyn Smith, Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett (1976), (FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives/Getty Images)

Condon added, "Originally the show was going to be called 'The Alley Cats,' which was kind of an acronym for the three women, Allie, Lee and Katherine. At that time, they were going to be Emma Peel-like characters where they'd be karate-chopping, leather-clad women fighting crime. Interestingly enough, when they started to do the first concept, they actually asked Ernest Tidyman, who wrote 'The French Connection,' to write the script. But whatever he developed wasn't really what Spelling and Goldberg wanted, so they went to Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts, who'd just finished a run doing 'Mannix' with Mike Connors. They penned the script and met with Kate Jackson."

It turned out that Jackson was exactly what the producers wanted for the action-packed role of a crime fighter on "Charlie's Angels." She was cast as Kelly Garrett originally but later chose to portray Sabrina Duncan instead.

According to Closer Weekly, Mike Pingel, the author of "Angelic Heaven: A Fan's Guide to Charlie's Angels" and webmaster at Charliesangels.com, said: "I would say that Kate was the backbone of the Angels team of 1976. Her character, Sabrina Duncan, was tagged as the smart Angel. In truth, Kate Jackson herself as an actress is one of the reasons that the show came to life, because it was originally her vehicle."

He continued, "It was not so much the time for Charlie's Angels and the female empowerment that the show brought, it was Kate's time. It just so happened that she was onscreen with these other two charismatic women. But it was supposed to be her show. It was built around her, so she was the essential glue of it that initially brought people in."

Jaclyn Smith, Kate Jackson, Cheryl Ladd (1976), (FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives/Getty Images)

One of the best things to come from "Charlie's Angels" for Jackson was her co-stars. Jaclyn Smith and Farrah Fawcett became life-long friends and supporters for the actress, and they were there for her whenever she needed them. After Fawcett passed away in 2009, Jackson had the chance to remember their time together on the series.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jackson said, "We had the best time that year that (Fawcett) did Charlie's Angels because we got into the habit of just sort of ad-libbing on camera and trying to make the other one laugh or doing something unexpected. I remember once, where other actors and actresses fought for their close-ups, we fought to see how tightly together we could get our heads so we could do a tight three that would be as tight as a close-up. We just wanted to go home! We were so tired!"

She added, "When the first year of Charlie's Angels ended, our friendship didn't. It just grew stronger and closer through the years. I don't know what the connection that the three of us have is, but it is there, and it is something extremely special. I think that is the reason the show worked. I think it's even better than the movies because we truly cared about each other and still do. It was a pleasure and a privilege."

In 2019, 10 years after Fawcett passed away, Jackson gave her first interview in years to pay tribute to her friend. She said about Fawcett: "She was just extraordinary and bright and as sharp as they come and beautiful and her courage, I just… I don't even know what to say about that. She was never a follower; she was always a leader. Her choices were her choices."

Jaclyn Smith, Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson (circa 1977), (Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images)

Jackson's co-star, Cheryl Ladd, also weighed in regarding the hit series. During an interview with Access Hollywood Live in April 2017, Ladd reflected on her time in "Charlie's Angels." She talked about how much fun she had with her fellow castmates and the crew, as well as how important the overall message of the show was for their viewers. The television series focused on powerful women.

"They were powerful together, and that was a really good message," Ladd said. "I still get letters from women," she said, talking about how women shared what they were able to accomplish because Ladd and her co-stars worked to break through the barriers society had previously set. It seemed like only a few women were able to break through on their own, but the show evoked such strong female empowerment that more women felt like they could, too.

"I think what's happening is there are so many movies and television shows now that are getting an audience, that I think they're just figuring out how big the audience is for this kind of female work and relationship," Ladd said about the ever-changing movie industry, which has more recently been driven by plenty of accomplished women.

Like Jackson, Ladd enjoyed her time on the series and is grateful for the show's success. In an interview with CNN from 2019, she said, "I knew I had a character I could play and that I was family. It gave me that little edge of people accepting me ... The role was life-changing for sure. It gave me a 40-year career, so I have nothing but fond memories." 

Breast Cancer

Kate Jackson (circa 1975), (Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

In 1987, Jackson was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the news was shocking. "I was forced to face, squared up, my own mortality," said Jackson in her 1992 interview with People. "I had to decide whether I wanted to live or to die. And if you choose life, as I did, it's never the same."

The mammogram that detected the growth was the first one the actress had ever gotten. "I don't know why," she said. "Like a lot of women, I suppose, I had ignored it."

"It wasn't a lump," she explained. "It wasn't even anything that I could feel. It was microscopic."

Unfortunately, at a follow-up appointment, they found more cancerous cells, and this time Jackson would need another surgery. "Evidently, they'd missed a little bit before," the actress said.

Jackson leaned on her inner strength and close friends when it came time to get her procedure done. "The range of emotions you go through is amazing," she recalled. "But I really made a conscious decision to be positive. When I had a negative thought, I pushed it away."

Smith was one of the first people Jackson reached out to. "I'd been crying before I got there," Smith shared with People. "Then I saw Kate, and she had a smile on her face. She sensed how I'd been doing and said, 'Hey, let's go do it.' We talked and said, 'We've gotten through some other things, like divorces, and we'll get through this.' And we did."

Smith also brought along a giant stuffed gorilla to cheer up her friend in the hospital, and it definitely did the trick. Jackson said of the experience: "At first I thought, 'Oh, God, my life is so serious,' But then I'd look at this monkey and have to laugh."

Jacyn Smith, Kate Jackson,Farrah Fawcett, (Sunset Boulevard/Corbis/Getty Images)

After she woke up from her surgery, Jackson could finally feel relieved. She said, "The first thing I heard was good news. My lymph nodes were clean, thank goodness. I feel incredibly fortunate."

That positivity has stayed with Jackson ever since. Smith said of her friend, "Kate's a survivor. What I really admire is that she hasn't become cynical."

Once she received the good news, Jackson switched to a macrobiotic diet and came to terms with the results of the reconstructive surgery she later decided to undergo. "I'm never going to have the perfect body," she said. "I'm not into facelifts and lip poufs. But I can wear a strapless evening gown, a bustier, or whatever is required for a part."

After living through two different encounters with cancer, Jackson is still healthy and feeling good. She said in 1992, "I have all the enthusiasm and interest that I did when I was starting out. Twenty-some years after coming to Hollywood, I feel happy. Real happy. I feel like I'm 20 years old again."

Personal Life

Another big realization for the actress was that she wanted to leave Los Angeles. "I'd had it with Hollywood's long hours, the politics, the back stabbing and the gossip," Jackson said. "It was not a great town for having your feet on the ground and living a normal life." 

The star first moved to Virginia to be near her childhood friends. "She was high-spirited, unrestrained—and unruly," remembered Chita Middleton, Jackson's high school best friend. "My mother called her 'the wild colt.'" Jackson spent some time getting back in touch with her roots after her illness but soon moved on.

Jacyn Smith, Kate Jackson,Farrah Fawcett, (Sunset Boulevard/Corbis/Getty Images)

She later moved to Utah after meeting her ex-husband Tom Hart who is the owner of a ski lodge. The couple met while Jackson was on vacation in Aspen, Colorado, in 1989. They were introduced after Jackson sent Hart a note through the waitress at the restaurant where they were both dining. The actress shared, "It said, 'I'll be in town for a week. If you want, give me a call.' I had never sent a note to anybody before. It probably had to do with overcoming my health problems. You realize that if things are going to happen in life, it's up to you to get the ball rolling." 

They were married in 1991, and Jackson became stepmother to Hart's children. Sadly, they got divorced in 1993.

Prior to meeting Hart, Jackson had been previously married twice. Her first husband was Andrew Stevens, and they were married from 1978 to 1981. Then Jackson married David Greenwald in 1982 and separated from him in 1984. "Both times," she said to People, "I was looking for real commitment in all the wrong places." 

Jackson decided not to get married again after Hart, but in 1995 she became a mother after adopting a son named Charles Taylor Jackson. She focused her time and energy on raising her son from then on and was not in any other public relationships. 

Now that she is nearly 73, Jackson's natural beauty shines more than ever. She has not been seen on television or in films since 2007, when she had a guest role on "Criminal Minds." We wish her all the best and continued health in the future.

Kate Jackson (2006), (Frank Trapper/Corbis/Getty Images)

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