Though she hasn’t acted since 2009, Kate Jackson remains a beloved television icon – a feat worthy of celebration as is the milestone that she’s poised to celebrate.
Happy Birthday, Kate Jackson!
And that’s because she was born on October 29, 1948, in Birmingham, Alabama, which means that this talented performer is turning 72 years old today! Jackson began her acting career in the 1960s through summer stock theatres.
After relocating to New York City, she briefly served as an NBC page and a tour guide at the network’s Rockefeller Center before making her television debut on the supernatural daytime serial Dark Shadows.
For one year, Jackson played Daphne Harridge. Initially introduced as a wrathful spirit out to avenge her death, Daphne’s tragic past was later explored via an extended trip into the past where her tragic fate was averted. In 1971, Jackson returned to the franchise as Tracy Collins, a lead character in the feature film adaptation, Night of Dark Shadows.
Between 1972 and 1976, Jackson played Jill Danko, R.N., in the crime procedural The Rookies. During her tenure at the Aaron Spelling-produced series, Jackson also starred in the independent film Limbo (1972) and the made-for-TV movie Death Scream (1975).
Upon the cancellation of that series, Jackson found herself contractually obligated to star in another program created and produced by Aaron Spelling and his partner Leonard Goldberg.
Thus, she accepted the part of Kelly Garrett in a series titled The Alley Cats. Though enthused about the project – which would concern itself with the exploits of three female private investigators – Jackson agreed that the name would have to be changed… and she hit upon the perfect replacement: Charlie’s Angels!
By the time production began on the feature-length pilot episode, Jackson changed course and decided to take on the role of Sabrina Duncan while the Kelly Garrett role was recast with Jaclyn Smith.
Charlie’s Angels proved to be a ratings success, but after being prevented from appearing in a number of projects – specifically the 1977 picture Kramer vs. Kramer – a role that would earn Meryl Streep her first Oscar, Jackson decided to resign her post at the end of the third season.
Subsequently, Jackson appeared in a number of TV movies, including Topper (1979), Inmates: A Love Story (1981), and Thin Ice (1981). She also had a starring part in two feature films – Dirty Tricks (1981) and the controversial, gay friendly, Making Love (1982).
In 1983, Jackson accepted the lead female role in the action dramedy Scarecrow and Mrs. King, which found her playing a disenchanted, divorcee and mother of two who stumbled her way into a partnership with an elite undercover agent named Lee Stetson (Bruce Boxleitner).
The show ran for four successful seasons and Jackson reaped a number of benefits as its co-producer. Her other acting credits include the TV films Satan’s School for Girls (1973), Killer Bees (1974), Armed and Innocent (1994), and A Daughter’s Conviction (2006), as well as guest spots on series such as Ally McBeal (1997), Third Watch (2004), and Criminal Minds (2007).
Jackson is the adoptive mother of Charles Taylor Jackson and a breast cancer survivor. Entertainment Hub would like to wish Kate Jackson a very happy birthday.