Cheryl Ladd Admitted She's 'So Lucky' To Have Found Husband Of Over 40 Years Brian Russell

May 12, 2022 by apost team

Cheryl Ladd has been making waves for the past 50 years. She is most popular for being an actress, singer and author. Her claim to fame came from her incomparable role as Kris Munroe in the television series “Charlie’s Angels.” Her career quickly took off afterward, allowing her to expand her talents into other fields. While she is arguably past her prime, no one would think it seeing how stunningly gorgeous the star still is today.

Ladd was born July 12, 1951, in Huron, South Dakota. After graduating from high school, she traveled across the Midwest in the United States, showcasing her beautiful voice and musical talent by playing with a band. Ladd eventually settled in the city of Los Angeles, California, in 1970, ready to take her career to the next level. She moved from music to acting, returning to the former later in her career.

The star put on a variety of hats, showcasing her talents as a singer, actress and even an author over the years. She learned how to balance her busy schedule with leaving time for her family as well. Ladd even got to work alongside her step-daughter later on in her career. Ladd has been seen as an inspiration for women all across the world, encouraging others to believe in female empowerment through her many projects over the years. Most importantly, Ladd embraced her mantra of living life to the fullest by getting a much-needed surgery. Her positive outlook on life can also be contributed to her over 40-year-long marriage with her husband, Brian Russell. 

Read on to learn more about Ladd's life, and her relationship with Russell.

‘Charlie’s Angels’

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

One of Ladd’s first roles was singing as Melody in “Josie and the Pussycats,” an animated Hanna-Barbera series. Her talent was undeniable, but Ladd decided to audition for other roles that didn’t involve singing. In 1977, she was cast as Kris Munroe in “Charlie’s Angels,” replacing actress Farrah Fawcett. This move catapulted Ladd to new heights within the entertainment industry. While other angels were replaced as the show continued, Ladd held onto her role until the show was eventually cancelled in June of 1981.

With the great success of “Charlie’s Angels” came an opportunity for Ladd to take her career to yet another level. She began guest-starring in musical-comedy variety shows, and was even invited to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl XIV in January 1980. Ladd also released three albums throughout her musical career, earning herself a spot on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as a gold record.

Ladd’s career stayed strong as she continued to land a series of roles in both television series and TV movies, as well as plenty of feature films. She was seen in films such as “Purple Hearts” in 1984, “Millennium” in 1989 and “Poison Ivy” in 1992. The latter also starred Drew Barrymore, who was in the newer film adaption of Ladd’s hit show “Charlie’s Angels.”

The franchise has been extremely popular and successful over the years, with film adaptations and an album coming from current artists’ inspiration. The album featured some of the biggest names of pop music in the 21st century, including Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey.

Ladd’s Expansive Career

Cheryl Ladd (1980s), ( Harry Langdon/Getty Images)

Some of her work in television included the lead role in the series “One West Waikiki” from 1994 until 1996, as well as a starring role in the drama “Las Vegas” from 2003 until the show’s cancellation in 2008.

Ladd’s talent surpasses singing and acting. The star showed off her incredible writing abilities by releasing a handful of books over the years. In 1966, she published a children’s book titled “The Adventures of Little Netie Windship” about the importance of preserving the environment. The book focused on a steamer that spilled garbage and polluted the air, and how the steamer’s friends taught her how to help the earth. Ladd later released another book titled “Token Chick: A Woman’s Guide to Golfing With the Boys.” This was an autobiography focusing on the star’s love for golf, and it encouraged others to learn more about the sport. Ladd had previously been hosting golf tournaments sponsored by Buick for several years. 

Ladd also took her skills to the Broadway stage. She earned the title role in the musical “Annie Get Your Gun” in September 2000, taking over for Bernadette Peters, another popular singer, actress and author. Ladd’s run was short-lived, holding on to the title role only until January 2001 with country megastar Reba McEntire taking over.

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.

Female Empowerment

Cheryl Ladd (1972), (Martin Mills/Getty Images)

“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 breakthrough 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. Ladd continued to embrace her stance on girl power throughout her more recent work. She talked more about working on “Unforgettable,” a movie written by Christina Hodson and directed by Denise Di Novi.

Ladd took on a more personal job with her role as Linell Shapiro in the series “The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story.” She had personally known O. J. Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson earlier in her life, meaning the show touched home for her. Despite the heaviness the show brought, it also allowed Ladd to finally meet someone she had been wanting to for a while. She worked alongside John Travolta on the series, never officially meeting him until they were both cast for the show. “We both got famous at the same time, John and I, right around that same six month period,” Ladd said. “Bam! It all happened for us.”

Success And Love

Cheryl Ladd, David Ladd (1979), (Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images)

With such an expansive and successful career, it’s no wonder why Ladd is still loved so much to this day. Fans and even her co-stars engage in her popular “Charlie’s Angels” pose, and she continues to make waves in the entertainment industry. Ladd has received plenty of great reviews from fans and critics alike. Surprisingly, her list of awards is limited, but her impact on the film scene is as strong as ever. In April 2010, Ladd accepted the TV Land Pop Culture Award for “Charlie’s Angels,” alongside her co-star and co-angel Jacyln Smith.

Ladd has dedicated some of her time to working as an ambassador for the non-profit organization Childhelp. The organization was started by fellow actresses Yvonne Fedderson and Sara O’Meara, and focuses on child abuse prevention and treatment. Their work led to April being declared as National Child Abuse Prevention Month by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. The organization has since expanded its resources, including a hotline and a long list of ambassadors, including celebrities from all walks of life and occupations. 

The beautiful actress has also found time for love and has started her own family. Her last name comes from her marriage with actor David Ladd, with the pair tying the knot in 1973. David has since moved on from acting and now works as a film and television producer. He followed in the footsteps of his father Alan Ladd, who was also known for being an actor and producer for both film and television. Ladd and David were married for a couple years before they welcomed their daughter, Jordan Ladd, into the world on Jan. 14, 1975. The pair later divorced in 1980, with Ladd choosing to keep her new surname.

Family Time

Cheryl Ladd, Brian Russell, Jordan Ladd, Lindsay Russell (2002), (SGranitz/WireImage/Getty images)

Following in both of her parent’s footsteps, Jordan is also an actress. She has made a name for herself as a scream queen, starring in a handful of horror movies, such as “Cabin Fever” in 2002 and “Club Dread” in 2004. Ladd found love again shortly after her divorce with David, marrying music producer Brian Russell in 1981. Ladd gained a new step-daughter with the marriage, as Russell had one child from a previous relationship.

In November 2018, Ladd talked about balancing her work life and her home life during an interview with Closer Weekly. The star landed a role in the Lifetime movie “The Christmas Contract” alongside her step-daughter. “It was the most time we’ve spent together since she left home,” Ladd said. She talked more about the great relationship she had with Jordan. “We’re great friends and have adult-women conversations,” Ladd said. “She’s unlike anyone else and knows how to make me laugh.” 

Ladd went into more detail about how much fun she had working in a movie alongside her step-daughter. “We had slumber parties,” she said happily. When mentioning her husband, Ladd was full of laughter. “I am a saint and Brian is a very patient man,” she said about how the two have managed to have such a long marriage. She explained what it was first like when she got divorced from David and married Russell a year later. “I don’t think any blended family is easy,” Ladd started. “It’s complicated because there is so much love and devotion attached and you make mistakes, but it’s worth it.”

Reflecting On Her Claim To Fame

Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith, Shelley Hack, Cheryl Ladd, David Doyle (Sunset Boulevard/Corbis/Getty Images)

“We are in the golden time right now,” Ladd said about her current relationship with Russell. “We started out as friends, we still are and that is the thread that’s really bonded us. There have been good times, horrors, all of that, but by the time you get here it is just yummy.” She continued raving about her romance. “I’m so lucky that we found each other,” Ladd said.

Ladd then took some time to reflect more on her overall career. “Two things: one, I am old, and two, it went fast,” she said about her longtime career full of success. The star received her Screen Actors Guild card at 19-years-old, setting her up for a great future.

Ladd’s role on “Charlie’s Angels” is undeniably one of her most famous jobs, but the star almost wasn’t even on the series. In fact, she originally turned down the opportunity to audition for it, not knowing how to fill Fawcett’s shoes. “Aaron (Spelling), whom I had worked for a bunch of times, asked me to come in to replace Farrah, but I wasn’t feeling it,” Ladd said. “I wouldn’t even know where to start to do that.” 

The auditions to find Fawcett’s replacement continued for months, until Ladd and Spelling bumped into each other at a restaurant and talked more about the potential for Ladd to join the show. Ladd reiterated, “I would not know what to play or how to play it. I’d have to do more than replace Farrah, to be something different, and I can be funny.”

Living Life To The Fullest

Cheryl Ladd, Kate Jackson, Aaron Spelling, Jaclyn Smith (circa 1978), (Bret Lundberg/IMAGES/Getty Images)

This led to Spelling bringing up the idea of Ladd playing Fawcett’s sister, meaning she wouldn’t have to replace the star. She would be seen as more of an extension of the previous angel. “I thought that was genius and knew I could play her,” Ladd said. “She would be different and let’s face it, no one can fill Farrah’s shoes. Farrah was huge! I really did look up to her as her little sister.”

Ladd was definitely grateful for the career path “Charlie’s Angels” led her to. “It was a rocket ship,” she said. “It was wonderful. It made me a household name and gave me a career for years.”

During an interview with KTLA in September 2020, Ladd talked about what beauty meant to her. “I think feeling beautiful is better than looking beautiful,” she said. She talked about how having a positive outlook on life can lead to having a better life, therefore feeling better about yourself. “I think having a good attitude about life and being in your life and enjoying it, that’s the most important thing,” Ladd explained.

She also talked about how important it is to try to have a joyful life and stay optimistic, no matter what life throws at you. Some of those positive feelings can come from the help of others. “We forget how healing loving each other is,” Ladd said. Although Ladd has had quite an amazing life, she had a few struggles along the way, but made sure to always have a positive attitude. “I’ve always been pretty optimistic,” she said. Ladd recently needed surgery for an issue she was having with her eyes. It had gotten so poor that she began worrying about her safety when out and about doing tasks like driving.

A Beautiful Sight

Brian Russell, Cheryl Ladd (2014), (Andrew Goodman/Getty Images/Celebrity Fight Night)

“My eyesight was really deteriorating and I was afraid to drive at night,” she explained. “Everything was blurry and I couldn’t see where the cars were, so I didn’t feel safe driving.” Wanting to check to see if anything was seriously wrong, she made an appointment and went to visit her doctor. Ladd then found out she had cataracts, a clouding of the lens of the eye.

She immediately did what she needed to do to take care of the situation. Ladd was given new lenses put in her eyes that were trifocal, helping her eyes see perfectly clearly. “It was like somebody flipped a switch,” she said about having her new lenses put in. The surgery worked wonders and really improved the star’s vision. She felt like she could drive again safely.

Since the lenses are permanent, Ladd shouldn’t have too many, if any, complications in the future. “I’m going to have excellent eyesight for the rest of my life,” she said. The surgery also helped her feel rejuvenated. “I feel younger,” Ladd said. “I’m more enthusiastic, I’m more positive.”

Ladd stressed how important it is to take care of yourself in order to live the best life possible. “I’m just really in my life and I want to get to share this message with people because being in your life and being really present in your life and seeing all the beautiful things there are in life, it makes a huge difference,” she explained.

While most people are happy to see Ladd in any of her work credits, Ladd was just happy to be able to see clearly again. Her surgery helped her get back to living life to fullest and embracing all it has to offer, something she encourages others to do.

Cheryl Ladd (2020), ( Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

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