Cheryl Ladd recently revealed why she originally said ''no thank you'' to Charlie's Angels

How she created her character to avoid Farrah Fawcett's shadow.

On Charlie's Angels, replacing Farrah Fawcett was no small feat. "Nobody planned to have Farrah explode. You never can. Those things just happen," executive producer Leonard Goldberg said in an interview with the Archive of American Television. Charlie's Angels had nothing to do with Fawcett's now-iconic poster, and Goldberg said they never saw it coming. Suddenly, Fawcett wanted a movie career and more control over how she spent her time, so she could have more time to spend with her husband at the time, actor Lee Majors.

And just as suddenly, Charlie's Angels needed a new star, and no deal could be brokered to keep Farrah on the show. (She told Merv Griffin in 1976 that the shooting schedule was exhausting for everybody involved.) Every fan of the show knows what happens next: Cheryl Ladd came on the cast, and Charlie's Angels kept fighting the good fight.

In a recent interview with Fox News, Ladd revealed how "intimidating" it was to step onto the show with Fawcett still casting such a long shadow. It was so intimidating, at first the actress said her answer was definitely no. Ladd said, "When Aaron [Spelling] first asked me to do it, I said no thank you. I was quite intimidated by it all and I really didn’t understand what they were going to do to try to replace Farrah. He looked at a lot of other girls, but he had wanted me from the beginning. So he asked me to come in and talk to him." This is how she said that meeting went down:

Aaron Spelling: “Why don’t you want to do this?”
Cheryl Ladd: “I don’t know, what would I play? Because nobody could go in there and try to replace Farrah. That is not going to work."
Spelling: "What do you mean?"
Ladd: "I don't know, maybe if the character could be funny."

At that point, the two were spitballing, but Ladd's note ended up helping Spelling develop the character right there on the spot. Ladd remembered that Spelling said, "She could be funny. She could be like the rookie who makes a lot of mistakes but tries really hard. … And people do cheer for the underdog. … What if she’s Jill’s little sister? That way the whole country can still love Jill. And they’ll love you because you’re her little sister."

And that's just who Ladd became, Jill Munroe's little sister Kris. Ladd told Fox about this pivotal moment that changed her mind and led her to join Charlie's Angels: "I thought that’s it. I know who to play now."

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jmenichino 1 month ago
Cheryl Ladd was the best of all of the angels. She was a stunning replacement and far better than Farrah. She had class and was sophisticated. She was drop dead gorgeous and made the show a success. She was my favorite and always will be. Great show!
eddiec 57 months ago
I'm glad she decided to take the roll. I liked her better than Farrah. Cheryl seemed much sweeter than Farrah.
Wiseguy eddiec 29 months ago
Did she take a cinnamon roll from the lunch room? You meant "role."
jholton30062 64 months ago
Cheryl definitely seemed to be a better fit, and I think the idea of making Kris Jill's little sister was inspired. They look like they actually could be sisters, and the transition was much easier.
daDoctah 64 months ago
And then later along came Shelly Hack, who it has been suggested really wasn't very bright.
jholton30062 daDoctah 64 months ago
Shelley Hack had the misfortune of having to replace Kate Jackson. Kate was a veteran actor, and Sabrina was a strong, forceful character who was the smartest of the Angels (and, as such, the one most guys fell in love with, at least the guys I knew). Shelley really wasn't an actress, she was a model, and Tiffany wasn't the strong, intelligent character Sabrina had been. They needed another character like Sabrina.
Larry 64 months ago
Interesting, I always thought that Farrah was miscast. For me, she just didn't fit the part. Cheryl Ladd was a great replacement. As the show got older, I thought the story lines got better. I know I'm in the minority here.
sholsten2 64 months ago
They could've both ate crackers in my bed.
TomTerrrific 64 months ago
Me, too. I never did see what was the big deal about "Fawcet-face" as I used to call her. :)
eddiec 64 months ago
I prefer Cheryl over Farrah. She seems sweet, wholesome, yet sexy.
eddiec 64 months ago
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