Willowy brunette actress Kate Jackson spent her early adulthood in summer stock, in training at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and as a page and tour guide at the NBC studios in Rockefeller Center. Anxious to burst forth with reams of dialogue as a film and TV actress, Jackson found herself in the utterly non-speaking role of a glamorous ghost on the mid-1960s daytime TV serial Dark Shadows. She was allowed to flap her gums a little more often as Jill Danko on TV's The Rookies (1973-76). Full stardom arrived for Jackson when she was cast as Sabrina Duncan, "the smart one" on the prime time jigglefest Charlie's Angels; she remained with this series from 1976 through 1979. Her last regular weekly TV effort was Scarecrow and Mrs. King (1983-1987) in which she played an average housewife who moonlighted as a secret agent. Though Jackson has made sporadic film appearances, it is safe to say that her greater fame rests upon her small-screen work. Jackson received an outpouring of industry sympathy and support when she battled breast cancer in the early 1990s. Kate Jackson has been a prolific and popular TV commercial spokesperson, and narrated Trouble in Mind, a series documenting the effects of mental illness, from 1999 to 2000.
Biography by Hal Erickson
- Former model for Max Factor and Revlon.
- Worked as a tour guide at NBC.
- First acting break came on the soap opera Dark Shadows in 1970; she played a ghost named Daphne Harridge.
- Acted in both the original version of Satan's School for Girls (1973) and the 2000 remake (which starred Shannen Doherty).
- First of the Charlie's Angels to be cast in the '70s series.
- Reluctantly declined the Meryl Streep role in 1979's Kramer vs. Kramer because of scheduling conflicts with Charlie's Angels.
- Battled breast cancer in 1987 and 1989, and had open-heart surgery in 1995 for a genetic defect involving a tiny hole in her heart.
- Was awarded the Power of Love award by the American Heart Association in 2003 for her efforts to spread awareness about breast cancer and heart defects.