Resolved: Kate Jackson was the "smart" Charlie's Angel on the television show of the same name. Conversely, there is no such thing as a "smart" Charlie's Angel.
"You know I was the one who thought of calling them angels," she revealed in a non-exclusive interview yesterday. "It was going to be 'Harry's Angels,' but there was already a show called 'Harry O.' But I thought of 'angels' and I think that contributed to the success of the show because angels are thought of as good."
By the way, she was not fired from the show.
"Kate was not fired," said her husband, Andrew Stevens, who is six years younger but so what, and with whom she has made and produced a TV remake of the movie "Topper."
"Aaron [Spelling] and I have the same attorney and we worked it out," she said, "I asked for my release."
And those reports of her being crabby on the set, kvetching about the hours and the scripts and the T -- and A -- are not true. "If I was so crabby I wouldn't have such a good relationship with ABC now," said parried.
Resolved: A show like "Charlie's Angels," in which three very thin girls with fluffy hair drive around in cars a lot looking for crooks, exploits women and anyone else who watches it; conversely, that "Charlie's Angels" ranks with Apollo 11 in its impact on American culture.
"I don't know," said Jackson. "Is something that doesn't do any good or any bad detrimental? On the one hand little girls watching it can say here are three women who get things done, or they can think here are three women who are pretty and you have to be pretty to be successful."
"It's allowed five women to emerge and be recognizable in film," interrupted Stevens. He often interrupts his wife, and sometimes she interrupts him. They spend a lot of time together. "Let me just finish," she told him. h
"Twenty years ago a woman didn't carry a series," she continued. "So they aren't perfect role models. At least they were letting three women carry a series." She turned to her husband. "Go ahead, I'm sorry."
Jackson is a feminist who supports the Equal Rights Amendment and, her husband pointed out, was the only Angel who refused to wear a bathing suit.
"It just wasn't necessary to the story" is how she explained this fiery political stand.
Resolved: If Kate Jackson fell over in the forest and no one was there, would she make a sound? Conversely, how many angels can dance on the head of a television set?
"We want to entertain people in a thoughtful and not mindless way," she said, clearly tossing the Angels into the latter category. That's why they're promoting "Topping" in nine cities on money they had to "beg, borrow and steal" from ABC, she said. "Now, it wasn't like that," he said. "Well, you know what I mean," she said.
They chose a television movie for their first joint venture, Stevens explained, "to learn and retain control in a medium that's financially safe because there's a pre-determined profit margin and we could deficit finance it ourselves." That means that if they went over the budget ABC gave them, they'd have had to pay for it themselves.
In "Topper," they play a young couple who are selfish, fun-loving ghosts, opposite Jack Warden and Rue McClanahan as a middle-aged couple who have became bored with life. "It's witty repartee instead of sit-com," said Stevens. "Our agent originally didn't want us to do it because we aren't the main characters." Cary Grant and Constance Bennett as the ghosts were the stars of the original.
"I'm very proud of "Topper," she said. "A lot of people go around flapping their mouths about how they're going to do something for television that's better, but they never do it.We actually did it."
Resolved: When an Angel marries, it is proper she should elope with a movie star's son. Conversely, why won't this guy stop yapping when someone is trying to get some good gossip out of his wife about her friend Cher and Farrah and Jackie and so forth?
"Cher is a good friend," said Kate. "Andrew is my closest friend."
He grew up partly in Memphis, where he went to an "all-white, all-male military school," and partly in Beverly Hills, where he was the son of Stella Stevens and went to a public, predominantly black high school. These varied experiences, he said, "gave me a realistic view of what was in store for me in life."
"I am composed of a variety of dichotomies," he said, "and I'm a Gemini, to top it off."
After attending three colleges in two years, he quit to be a full-time actor, at which he has been fairly successful in seven movies and a mini-series called "The Bastard."
She grew up in Birmingham, Ala., and spent a year and three-fourths at two southern colleges before leaving to be an apprentice in a summer stock theater in Vermont. Then she went to the American Academy of Dramatic Art in New York and became on actress.
Soon they will go to Florida and act in a play at Burt Reynolds' dinner theater in Jupiter, Fla. They chose "Barefoot in the Park" by Neil Simon.
"Sometimes you have to go back and rediscover why you are an actor," she said.
The other night in Hollywood he threw her a birthday party for her 30th. According to one successful gossip writer, Cher and her Daughter Chastity were there, as well as the two other original Angels Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith.
Resolved: Life is not a bowl of cherries. Conversely, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Life with Charlie's Angels sounds like the pits -- at times anyway. "They pay you all this money, so you think your time is valuable, then you sit around for five or six hours at a time doing nothing because of scheduling," Jackson said. "Last year the three of us went to the producers to talk about the hours and the scripts, they were just getting so bad. They said they'd try to improve the hours, which they never did, but not the scripts.They said, 'Look, just do it four years and make a lot of money.' I couldn't do that."
She was "the pipe," which means her character's lines explained the plot in most episodes. One occasional watcher of the show thinks her character also was given any lines that even remotely required emoting, as well, regardless of relevance to the plot, but she denies this.
A friend of hers in another series once complained that life in television was "all the same day." At the time, Jackson thought she was nuts, but she came to understand what her friend meant. "We changed that, and in 'Topper' he changes that. That just occurred to me," she said, smiling at the tidy connection.
Why is there so much junk on the tube, she is asked. "They call it show business, not show art," she says.
". . . They don't want it good, they want it Tuesday." On the other hand, "People who complain a lot about TV should just get up and turn it off. It's not television's fault. Until it comes around, and it's going to change drastically in the next 15 years, just turn it off."
In their home, they turn it off. He's just finished reading Kurt Vonnegut's "Jailbird," and she is a "newspaper junkie." He doesn't like to leave home, and they have a very quiet life.
"I'm very sedate," he said.
So what do you have to do to be successful coast-to-coast in living color?
"Be in the right place at the right time and be ready," said Jackson, who never even had to work as a waitress because she got her first job in a soap opera the same day she was supposed to start work at Steak 'N' Brew.
Well, a little "charisma" helps, and a little "magic." She thinks she's had it a couple of times; he says, "Well, I can be abrasive and I can be charming, I think I've been abrasive more often than charming, and that's gotten in my way.
Resolved: Kate Jackson is the smart one of "Charlie's Angels." Conversely, a double digit I.Q. is impressive when compared to a single digit I.Q.
"I'm not a Charlie's Angel in my mind," said Kate Jackson.