Who is Kate Jackson?

An actress with nearly 60 acting credits to her name, Kate Jackson, is possibly still known best as Sabrina Duncan in the series “Charlie’s Angels”, which was a huge hit back in the late ‘70s. Besides recognition, this role brought Kate numerous accolades and praise, including three Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama. When it comes to her movie roles, this renowned actress starred as Claire in the controversial drama “Making Love” (1982), and was seen in numerous movies made for television which were critically acclaimed.

Kate Jackson began her acting career in summer stock theaters, and this article will tell you how she went from novice to one of the most recognized actors, as well as everything about her life and where she is now.

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Early life, family, and education

Born Lucy Kate Jackson under the zodiac sign of Scorpio on 29 October 1948, she’s today aged 74 (as of July 2023). A native of Birmingham, Alabama USA, Kate holds American nationality, comes from a family of English, Irish, Welsh, Swedish, and German descent, and was raised by her parents Ruth, a housewife, and Hogan, a business executive, alongside her sister, Jenny.

When it comes to her educational background, Kate attended The Brooke Hill School for Girls, and upon matriculating in 1966, she enrolled at the University of Mississippi to study history. However, Kate transferred to Birmingham-Southern College during her sophomore year, taking classes in the history of the theatre. Subsequently, she become trainee at the Stowe Playhouse, in Vermont, and then moved to New York City, where she enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, from which she graduated with a BA degree, in 1970 – she was mentored by the great Gerald S. O’Loughlin.

Roles in series

Kate made her acting debut playing Daphne in the series “Dark Shadows”, and during 1970 and 1971, she was seen in 71 episodes of this fantasy horror about the wealthy family Collins plagued by strange events. In the following year, Kate was cast to play one of her notable roles, as Jill Danko in the series “The Rookies”, between 1972 and 1976 appearing in 92 episodes of this crime drama, also starring Gerald S. O’Loughlin, Sam Melville, and Georg Stanford Brown. It was the story of three young police officers, with Kate playing a beautiful nurse, the wife of Mike Danko (Sam Melville).

Kate followed with her most significant role as Sabrina Duncan in “Charlie’s Angels”, being seen in 69 episodes from 1976 through 1979. The show followed the story of a rich, mystery man, Charlie, and his three detectives, Sabrina, Jill (Farrah Fawcett), and Kelly (Jaclyn Smith), who end up in a variety of difficult situations.

This role brought Kate and her co-star enormous popularity; she won the Photoplay Gold Medal for Favorite Female Sex Symbol, while all three were featured on the cover of Time magazine. Also, Kate was two times nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award – Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 1977 and ’78. When Kate left the show, she was replaced by Shelley Hack.

Concurrently, in 1977, she was cast to play Robin in the series “James at 16”, which brought her a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award – Outstanding Lead Actress for a Single Appearance in a Drama or Comedy Series (Pilot episode).

Kate’s next notable role came in 1983 when she was cast to play Mrs Amanda King in the adventure romantic comedy “Scarecrow and Mrs King”. The show followed the story of a housewife and spy who fall in love, with Kate starring opposite Bruce Boxleitner – the series had seven award nominations and two wins, including one Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore).

“Scarecrow and Mrs. King” aired until 1987, and for her performance, Kate won two Bravo Otto Germany Awards for Best Female TV Star, and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama.

In the following years, Kate was seen in “Baby Boom” (1988-1989), “The Boys of Twilight” (1992), “Ally McBeal” (1997), and “Twice in a Lifetime” (1999). The early 2000s saw Kate guest starring as Professor Foley in the family drama “Chicken Soup for the Soul” (2000), and two years later, she made an appearance as Candy in “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”.

During the decade, she continued with guest roles, and also had a few voice roles in animated series such as “Family Guy” and “American Dad!” in 2006. Most recently, Kate was seen as Ambassador Elizabeth Prentiss in an episode of the series “Criminal Minds” in 2007.

Roles in movies

Kate made her first movie appearance playing Tracy in the 1971 movie “Night of Dark Shadows”, in which she starred opposite David Shelby and Grayson Hall. In the following year, Kate was seen as Cory in the TV drama “Movin’ On”, and later in ‘72, she played the lead female role of Nurse Michelle in the drama “The New Healers”, set in a small rural town hospital. Then, she starred as Sandy Lawton in “Limbo”, which was nominated for the Valladolid International Film Festival Golden Spike for Best Film.

In the following years, Kate acted in movies made for television, such as “Death Cruise” (1974), “Death Scream” (1975), and “Death at Love House” (1976). In 1977, she returned to the big screen as Nancy Sue Hunnicutt in the action comedy “Thunder and Lightning”, in which she starred opposite David Carradine.

The early ‘80s saw her as Polly Bishop in the comedy “Dirty Tricks” (1980), also starring Elliot Gould and Rich Little, followed by her role as Claire in “Making Love” in 1982. This drama followed the story of a married couple whose lives changed after the husband awakens unfamiliar feelings. He realizes that he’s attracted by a young Los Angeles novelist, Bart. Some thought that this movie was ahead of its time, since it attempted to deal delicately with the subject of homosexuality. However, it got mixed reviews and performed poorly at the box office.

Kate was next seen in “Loverboy” (1989), and then in TV movies such as “Quiet Killer” (1992), “Empty Cradle” (1993), “Justice in a Small Town” (1994), and “The Silence of Adultery” (1995). Kate was again seen on the big screen as Shelley in the 1999 thriller “Error in Judgement”, which was poorly rated by the audience.

The early 2000s saw her in the TV movies “Satan’s School for Girls” (2000), “A Mother’s Testimony” (2001), and “Miracle Dogs” (2003). In the following year, Kate was cast to play Mom in the comedy “Larceny”, written and directed by Irving Schwartz, which was also poorly rated. Later in 2004, she played Suzanne Kennerly in the romantic drama “No Regrets”, the story of complicated romantic relationships full of confrontations, questioning, and regrets.

Kate’s most recent movie role was her portrayal of Maureen Hanson in the 2006 TV drama “A Daughter’s Conviction”, in which she starred opposite Brooke Nevin and Keegan Connor Tracy.

Love life, husband (s), and divorce

In the mid-’70s, Kate became engaged to actor Eddie Albert, with whom she lived until they separated a few years later. When this love story ended, Kate was romantically linked to various men from the entertainment industry – actors such as Warren Beatty, Dirk Benedict and Nick Nolte, to producer Robert Evans and stuntman Gary Quist.

In August 1978, Kate married Andrew Stevens, a filmmaker and actor, but they divorced three years later, and Kate then dated Tom Mankiewicz, a screenwriter, and later she had a short romance with actor Gary Pendergast.

In 1982, she married David Greenwald, a businessman from New York City, and the two were the co-owners of the production company, called Shoot the Moon Productions, which produced the show “Scarecrow and Mrs. King”. However, they divorced in 1984.

In the following years, Kate dated Arnold Klein, a dermatologist. In 1989, she met her future third husband, Tom Hart, the owner of a ski lodge. They married in 1991, and Kate became stepmother to Tom’s son, Sean. The family lived both in Los Angeles, California, and Park City, Utah. However, Kate and Tom divorced in 1993.

Two years later, Kate adopted a boy named Charles Taylor Jackson, and moved to her farm in Keswick, Virginia where she still resides. Since she retired from acting, she hasn’t spoken about her romantic life, and as of July 2023, it seems that Kate is single.

Battle with cancer

Kate had her first mammography in January 1987, which revealed a tiny cancerous growth. The only person she told about her condition was her series’ producer, who rescheduled her work on the show “Scarecrow and Mrs. King”. She went to a hospital under a false name to have a lumpectomy, and returned to the series just a week later, subsequently working through five weeks of radiation treatment with the help of painkillers.

Two years later, in September 1989, a second mammography revealed that the earlier operation had missed the residual breast cancer. Jackson underwent a partial mastectomy as well as reconstructive surgery; both operations were successful, and Kate is today cancer free.

How rich is Kate Jackson? Net worth

In addition to two bouts of cancer, the actress suffered financial difficulties that forced her to file a lawsuit in 2010. Kate believed that her financial adviser misinformed her about her finances and when she bought a $2 million worth house in Santa Monica, this caused her ‘financial ruin’. The case was settled out of court.

According to sources, as of July 2023, Kate’s net worth has been estimated at over $10 million.

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