Jaclyn Ellen Smith is an American actress. She is best known for the role of Kelly Garrett in the television series Charlie’s Angels, and was the only original female lead to remain with the series for its complete run. She became a well known face on television starring in over thirty made for TV movies and more recently was the hostess of Bravo’s weekly competitive reality television show Shear Genius for its first two seasons. Beginning in the 1980s, she began developing and marketing her own brands of clothing and perfume. She has often been voted one of the most beautiful women in the world.
Smith was born in Houston, Texas, the daughter of Margaret Ellen and Jack Smith, a dentist. She attended Trinity University in San Antonio.
After college she moved to New York City with hopes of dancing with the ballet. Her career aspirations shifted to modeling and acting as she found work in television commercials and print ads, including one for Listerene mouthwash. She landed a job as a “Breck girl” for Breck Shampoo in 1971, and a few years later joined another popular model/actress, Farrah Fawcett, as a spokesmodel for Wella Balsam shampoo.
On March 21, 1976, the first appearance of Smith playing the character Kelly Garrett in Charlie’s Angels was aired as a movie of the week. The movie starred Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Smith as private investigators for Townsend Associates, a detective agency run by a reclusive multi-millionaire whom the women had never met. Voiced by John Forsythe, the Charles Townsend character presented cases and dispensed advice via a speakerphone to his core team of three female employees, to whom he referred as “Angels.” They were aided in the office and occasionally in the field by two male associates, played by character actors David Doyle and David Ogden Stiers. The program earned a huge Nielsen rating, causing the network to air it a second time and okay production for a series, with all of the principal characters save the one played by Stiers.