”I don’t think people will ever forget I was an ‘Angel’ anymore than they’ll forget Sally Field was ‘The Flying Nun.’” Cheryl Ladd
Cheryl Ladd quickly became a household name for TV viewers thanks to the role of “angel” Kris Munroe in the legendary show “Charlie’s Angels” (1977-1981). It brought her several major screen roles, such as the titular Monaco princess in the biopic Grace Kelly (1983, TV), TV star Pamela Verlaine in the star-studded Permanent Midnight (1998), Lynn Landon in Michael Landon Jr.’s CBS biopic The Father I Knew (1999) and Jillian Deline in the now-running series “Las Vegas” (2003-present).
Starting out as a jazz band member, Ladd once scored some minor musical success in Japan. There, she became a phenomenon with “Charlie’s Angels” ending themes “Waking in the Rain” (1978) and “Dance Forever” (1979), as well as the albums Take a Chance (1981) and You Make It Beautiful (1982, mini).
Apart from acting, Ladd is an avid golfer who has a 17 handicap and attends pro tournaments as a Buick spokeswoman. She also wrote the autobiographical book about her experiences with golf, “Token Chick: A Woman’s Guide to Golfing with the Boys” (2005). Several years earlier, Ladd and husband published the children’s book “The Adventures of Little Nettie Windship” (1997).
As a philanthropist, Ladd was given the 1987 Woman of the World Award from Childhelp USA and became the first female recipient of the Washington D.C. Touchdown Club’s Hubert H. Humphrey Humanitarian Award. Ladd now appears in a 30-second educational campaign ad launched by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals about the importance of seeing a doctor at the beginning of menopause.
The ex-wife of actor David Ladd (1974-1980, share a daughter, actress Jordan Ladd) is currently married to actor Brian Russell. Ladd is also the stepmother of actress Lindsay Russell.
Childhood and Family:
Born Cheryl Jean Stoppelmoor on July 12, 1951, in Huron, South Dakota, Cheryl Ladd is the daughter of an engineer father and waitress mother. As a child, she took tap lessons and learned to sing. In high school, Cheryl traveled from the Midwest to California with the jazz band Music Shop, hoping to make it pro.
Although the group broke up, Cheryl stayed in L.A. to pursue a solo career. She later sang, acted in commercials, and attended the Milton Katselas Acting Workshop. Cheryl was once billed as “Cherie Moor,” “Cheryl Stoppelmoor” and then “Cheryl Stoppelmoor Ladd.”
Cheryl married actor David Ladd (born on February 5, 1947), with whom she has a daughter, actress Jordan Ladd (born on January 14, 1975). In 1980, however, the couple ended their six-year marriage. She then tied the knot with actor/musician Brian Russell on January 3, 1981. Cheryl is the stepmother of actress Lindsay Russell.
Cheryl Ladd embarked on her professional career as a model for several TV commercials and the singing voice of animated character Melody Valentine in the cartoon series “Josie and the Pussycats” (1970-1972, billed as Cherie Moor). A year later, she made her first acting performance in Chrome and Hot Leather (1971), as Kathy. The role was followed with the minor part of Nelly in the miniseries “Alexander Zwo” (1972).
Ladd moved on as the teenage girl in the cop movie Harry O: Such Dust As Dreams Are Made On (1973) and in its spin-off series, “Harry O” (1974). She also appeared in an episode of the comedy series “Happy Days” (1975) before having her first silver screen appearance as Zappy in the adventure movie Evil in the Deep (1976).
Ladd’s fame catapulted as soon as she replaced Farrah Fawcett’s dismissed character in the Aaron Spelling-produced popular series “Charlie’s Angels” (1977-1981). In the show, she was cast as Kris Munroe, one third of the private eye “angels,” alongside Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson. The overnight success helped her build a musical career through a self-titled debut album (1978). Her first single, “Think It Over,” peaked at No.38 on the Billboard music chart, whereas her song “Waking in the Rain” became the ending track for the “Charlie’s Angels” broadcast in Japan.
The album was quickly ensued by Dance Forever (1979), whose title track was also used as the closing theme of the Japanese “Charlie’s Angels” broadcast. Its second single, “Where Is Someone To Love Me,” became the theme of a Japanese whisky TV commercial featuring Ladd.
Meanwhile, Ladd also turned up in the TV movies The Sentry Collection Presents Ben Vereen: His Roots (1978) and When She Was Bad (1979), before headlining her own TV variety programs: The Cheryl Ladd Special (1979) and The Cheryl Ladd Special: Souvenirs (1980). The multitalented entertainer revisited her Japanese fans by releasing the albums Take a Chance (1981) and You Make It Beautiful (1982, mini).
In 1983, Ladd adorned the small screen with the titular role of the Monaco princess in the TV biopic Grace Kelly. Next up for the actress, she costarred opposite Ken Wahl in the war drama Purple Hearts (1984), took part in the TV adaptation of Joan Barthel’s book, A Death in California (1985), starred as Liane DeVilliers in the mini drama series “Crossings” (1986) and played a nurse in Deadly Care (1987, TV). Ladd also carried out her role in Bluegrass (1988, TV), Lisa (1989), the TV adaptation of Danielle Steel’s Changes (1991, starred as Melanie Adams), the drama thriller Poison Ivy (1992) and Broken Promises: Taking Emily Back (1993, TV). Returning to TV series, she took on the part of Dawn ‘Holli’ Holliday M.E. in the short-lived “One West Waikiki” (1994).
Subsequent to her performance in Vows of Deception (1996, TV) and “Ink” (1997), Ladd shared the screen with Hollywood big names Ben Stiller, Maria Bello, Owen Wilson and Elizabeth Hurley in the biopic Permanent Midnight (1998), as TV star Pamela Verlaine. The next year, she portrayed Lynn Landon in the CBS biopic Michael Landon, The Father I Knew (1999), directed by Michael Landon Jr.
2000 saw the performer gain her Broadway debut by succeeding Bernadette Peters with the title role in “Annie Get Your Gun.” She also guest starred in two episodes of “Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place” (1999, 2000) and played Jane Thornton in the drama Her Best Friend’s Husband (2002). In addition, the actress appeared as Doris Bennett in the series “Charmed” (2003) and had roles in TV movies like Eve’s Christmas (2004) and Though None Go with Me (2006).
Currently, Ladd is working in the crime drama thriller series “Las Vegas” (2003-now), in which she portrays Jillian Deline, the wife of James Caan’s character. Other cast members of the casino-set show include Nikki Cox, Vanessa Marcil, Josh Duhamel, and Molly Sims.