"Life may be like a game of cards. We cannot help the hand that is dealt us, but we can help the way we play it," Bishop Fulton J. Sheen made the point. Mahatma Gandhi added, "Monotony is the law of nature. Look at the monotonous manner in which the sun rises. The monotony of necessary occupations is exhilarating and life-giving." Between 1976 and 1981, Jaclyn Smith could be seen playing the part of Kelly Garrett in the TV series, 'Charlie's Angels'. "Last year (the 1976-77 season)," Jackie observed, "I was usually identified as Kelly, the girl I play. But I've branched out and people have started calling me Jackie instead of Kelly."
Jackie had said, "I see our show as pure entertainment. It's not a deadly serious show." Tanya Roberts also insisted, "It's a fun show, a fantasy show. I don't see it as exploitative at all. Playboy magazine and the movie '10', those are exploitative. There's no nudity on the show, it's not cheesecakey. It's about 3 girls doing something with their lives. When a woman is doing a job and she looks good while doing it, you can't hold that against her." Jackie accepted, "Granted, we're 3 girls who don't look like detectives. But in the scripts we come up with good ways to pull off our plans."
By the time Shelley Hack joined 'Charlie's Angels', Aaron Spelling had increased the wardrobe budget to $11,000 per episode to create the "old Hollywood glamor" on the series. Jackie recounted in 1983, "'Charlie's Angels' got so much media hype. So many stories were exaggerated or untrue. We were just 3 girls on the screen in a slick, glamorous show. I'm not putting it down. It had an audience and it was a training ground. But people say there was no reality to it. So that puts up a barrier. The whole thing was so over-analyzed. We did get into bathing suits, but I hardly ever kissed a guy. Granted, it wasn't Shakespeare, but we got a lot of putdown."
However "that show taught me discipline in my work . . . I'm thankful for the 5 years. It opened a lot of doors. Each thing I’ve done since then has been well thought out and a step away. 'Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy' (1981) was a departure. It was a character role, with the make-up and the dialect. 'Rage of Angels' (1983) is another departure. The role has so much to it. It's an in-depth character study of a girl who goes to New York with stars in her eyes and watches her dream fade."
'Charlie's Angels' had been described as a "crowd-puller" mainly because of the appeal of its stars' Q rating, which measured a performer's recognizability and likeableness. Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith, Kate Jackson and Cheryl Ladd all scored high Q rating with the public. However Cheryl Ladd maintained, "When you want to do a certain project and have impact with a certain idea, you pretty much have to develop it yourself. Very rarely does the script you've been waiting for all your life walk in the front door."
It was understood the average cost of producing a regular one-hour episode of 'Charlie's Angels' was between $700,000 to $750,000. However the average licensing fee the network paid the production company was around $550,000. "Considering we're paying at least $9,000 for a script of approximately 55 pages, and that we're providing the concept and sometimes even the storyline, you might imagine we’d be swamped with good material," Leonard Goldberg made the comment. "The truth is, good writers are so hard to find that, when we do find one, within a year he's boosted to story editor, the next year he's producing a show and the year after that, he's leaving to form his own production company. There's also the very basic problem of money. Ours is the only business in the world where you lose money every time you manufacture a product, in the hope of recouping your loss in 4 or 5 years – if you’re lucky enough to recycle that product for syndication.
"This year (1979-80 season), we're losing about $80,000 on each 'Charlie's Angels' segment (or episode). We won't realize profits on the series until it goes into syndication, and that won't be for another year (by which time 'Charlie's Angels' would have been on the air for 4 years showing first-run episodes and summer reruns). We're not in the market of making series we hope to sell someday as 'used series'. You can't accumulate enough segments of show to make a syndication rerun deal until a series has been on the air 4 years. The shows that last one year, 2 or even 3 spell nothing but loss to a production firm. We're shooting 8 pages of a script every day, day after day, and you can’t achieve quality like that. Then, too, performances have to suffer when you have to settle for the first or second take."
1989 Newspaper Enterprise Association: You have the public image of being serenely even-tempered. Does Jaclyn Smith ever lose her temper?
Jackie: I actually like that image, but I can’t always say I live up to it. I don't like losing my temper, but I think everybody has moments when they just lose it. That's life. You can't be the perfect person who always says and does the right thing.
Back in 1977, Jackie told the press, "I never heard any cursing in my home. And I don’t use vulgar language myself. I’m not a goody-two-shoes, but I don’t mind being called a prude, either. My upbringing gave me a sense of morality, something to hold onto. I think religion is morality. A way of living . . . I hear so many 4-letter words on the set they've lost their meaning. Once in a while I let a vulgar word slip out at home."
Jackie grew up in Houston had expressed, "I never discuss money. That’s my Southern upbringing. We never discuss money, politics or religion." Of the 1970s Federal Communications Commission's television code of standards, Leonard argued had "also create a tremendous problem. You try telling a good story realistically, in good taste, and you're met with resistance by those whose job it is to tell you what's fit for the public to see. The problem is, what public?
"The broadcast standards departments do as good a job as they can, considering the system that exists but I don’t approve of a system that says, for instance, that only so many acts of violence can be depicted on any show without taking into consideration what that show is trying to say and what the reason is for the depiction of violence.
"When we were making 'Little Ladies of the Night' (1977), a story of teenage prostitutes, we followed every rule set forth by the broadcast standards people. Yet, when we finished it, they came back and said it was filled with things that were objectionable. Aaron Spelling and I had to cut 8 minutes out of it and reached the point where we were thinking of taking our names off of it. Even after we had emasculated it, it almost didn’t air. Advertisers dropped out; some stations refused to broadcast it. Yet it turned out to be the highest rated movie ever made for TV."
Leonard felt vindicated "not because it did so well in the ratings, not because it was watched by 60 million people, but because of one 16-year-old. She was a teenage prostitute and after she saw the film, she turned herself and her pimp over to the New York City police. You know what she told them? That watching 'Little Ladies of the Night' had shown her that it was possible to find the courage to fight her way out of the situation she was in."
The phrase "the world's oldest profession" came from Rudyard Kipling's 1888 book, 'On The City Wall' when he wrote "Lalun is a member of the most ancient profession in the world."