Most remember Kate Jackson as the no-nonsense, sardonic, and whip-smart Sabrina Duncan from Charlie’s Angels. Still others know her for her four-year turn as amateur super sleuth “Mrs. King.” But exactly how much do you really know about this talented lady?
All About Kate Jackson
From when and where she was born to the maladies from which she suffered, here are five fast facts about Kate Jackson.
Who Is Kate Jackson?
Jackson was born on October 29, 1948, in Birmingham, Alabama to businessman Hogan Jackson and Ruth (nee Shepherd) Jackson. She was an only child.
Gotta Start Somewhere
After deciding to forgo higher education – following stints at both the University of Mississippi and Birmingham Southern College – Jackson relocated to New York City where she studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and attempted to break into the performing arts world.
In order to supplement her income, Jackson worked as a page at NBC and as a tour guide at the network’s headquarters: Rockefeller Center. Her first professional acting role would be Daphne Harridge on the supernatural daytime soap opera Dark Shadows. As Daphne was initially introduced as a restless, revenge-seeking spirit, Jackson did little more than stand around and grimace at other characters from the shadows. Her first line of dialogue was not uttered for about five weeks into her tenure.
During the development of Charlie’s Angels, when the series was still in its embryonic stage, the plan was for the program to be called The Alley Cats – a title that Jackson, who had been the show’s first hire, strongly disapproved.
During a conversation with executive producer Aaron Spelling, it was Jackson who suggested the characters use the sobriquet “Angels,” having gained inspiration from a mural depicting three cherubs that hung behind Spelling’s desk.
The Show Must Go On
During the filming of Scarecrow & Mrs. King’s fourth and final season, Jackson was informed that a small malignant tumor had been found in her left breast. She informed no one, save for the show’s producer, who reformatted her working days so that she could check into the hospital and undergo a lumpectomy.
One week later, Jackson returned to the set and, aided by pain killers, she continued to film. And all the while she endured five weeks of grueling radiation treatments.
A year later, Jackson was given a clean bill of health. But in September of 1989, another mammogram indicated residual breast cancer that the previous operation had missed. Jackson elected to have a partial mastectomy followed by reconstructive surgery.
Six years after, she was diagnosed with an atrial septal defect (which is a tiny hole in her heart), which had gone undetected despite her multiple checkups and the two previous surgeries. Jackson underwent successful open-heart surgery, and since that time, she has been an advocate for breast cancer awareness and heart health.