"I couldn't believe it. What was I doing in the evening news?" Shelley Hack exclaimed. It was the year 1979. Shelley Hack from Greenwich, Connecticut had been chosen to replace Kate Jackson from Birmingham, Alabama on the TV series, 'Charlie's Angels'. "I still have not really recovered from the surprise of landing the part," Shelley stated. As noted, "For the second time in 4 seasons 'Charlie's Angels' has replaced one of it lead detectives." Candy Smith reported, "Shelley has received a one-year contract with a four-year option. She's getting paid $10,000 an episode."
Jaclyn Smith remembered, "The transition has been easier than the time Cheryl (Ladd) replaced Farrah (Fawcett), because we have been through it once before." Aaron Spelling added, "Kate Jackson was not easy to replace. She was terrific in the show – just the right image. We looked at some very well-known actresses in this town (Hollywood). Most of the girls we saw were gorgeous but they don't have the right bubble and intelligence."
Shelley conceded, "I know it isn't an easy task to come into a hit show and have everyone love you immediately, but that's the chance I'll have to take. I know people are going to compare me to Kate, which really isn't fair. We’re completely different in every sense of the word, and I'm just there doing a job which I hope will be done with success." Behind the scenes one senior production team member made known, "Despite the sweet noises being made publicly, it is a disaster at the moment. Unless something is done quickly, the next series is going to bomb."
Aaron acknowledged, "We hired her 40% from the screen test and 60% from the personality test. We decided she was a nice person with sparkle and intelligence." Shelley recounted, "I remember there was a big Angel hunt going on, and they asked me to audition. The hunt seemed to go on for a long time. A lot of my girlfriends went in to be tested, but I wasn't involved until sometime later when my agent called and said, 'It's a terrific show - you really should think about testing.' So, I thought about it again and went in."
After one season Shelley's character Tiffany Welles was written out of 'Charlie's Angels'. Tanya Roberts, a native New Yorker, became the 3rd lead actress in 5 seasons. Leonard Goldberg maintained, "It didn't seem to be cooking. That magic didn’t happen. Maybe we were wrong." Cheryl Ladd recalled, "She was just sort of a someone that was just 'fit in' into scripts already written and they haven't focus on who Tiffany should be and what she should add to the group."
Shelley could speak fluent Danish and French. Shelley's story: "I was very highly paid as a model and it gave me the opportunity to complete my own education. I went to Smith College in Massachusetts for 2½ years where I got my degree in arts. Then I decided to go to the University of Sydney in Australia and it was there that I started going on archeological digs. I went around the world for over a year, just moving from one place to the next with my belongings in one small suitcase.
"I signed on to do the show, and that's what I plan to do. And even if I don’t make it as an actress, I won’t go back to modeling – I’d just split my time as a farmer and as an archeologist. I am literally a farmer in the country. I’ve become very used to country life – it’s the real extension of me. I know I can't do what I'm doing now when I'm 50. I'm keeping my options open. My detour to get an education wasn’t a bad idea. When I’m old and baggy I can be an archaeologist … or a lawyer."
Aaron Spelling had said, "When people came to Universal and asked for the Angels set, the guards would tell them to just follow the hairbrushes." On 'Charlie's Angels', John Forsythe played the voice of Charlie Townsend. Back in 1977, John told the press, "Townsend is a well-educated gentleman who lives in comfortable, but definitely not lavish, surroundings. He enjoys the nicer things in life, and has an interest in antiques, paintings and books. He’s in his early 40s, but there’s no suggestion of a romantic interest in any of the girls.
"I don’t think Charlie could ever be involved in the more sordid side of crime-fighting – getting beaten up in alleys and things like that. He is respectable, and so is his business. He certainly doesn’t feel bad about having 3 young ladies do his investigating for him, because it's not the sort of dirty work some private eyes get mixed up in. Charlie is far too fond of them to let them come to harm."