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Angel Jaclyn’s Shocked By Hollywood




A reprint of an Australian TV Week article from 3 December 1977.

DARK-EYED beauty Jaclyn Smith of Charlie’s Angels has proved she really is an angel with a bitter attack on Hollywood’s per-

missive lifestyle.

The 28-year-old actress, who plays a liberated, sexy super-sleuth on the top-rated show, says she’s nothing like her image in real-life. She is, she insists, just an old-fashioned girl who is horrified by the movie capital’s boozing and drug-taking party scene.

“I don’t want to sound like a saint heading for church every Sunday, but I do have my own values,” Jaclyn said.

“I’m shocked when girls talk about their one-night stands. I just don’t understand how they can meet somebody and then . . . boom the next minute.”

Jaclyn, who has been divorced and is currently going steady with actor Dennis Cole said she found Hollywood life upsetting and offensive. “It would be impossible for me to relate to the casualness of most girls here who are off with a different man each

night,” she said.

“In a million years I wouldn’t want that for myself. I know it is accepted and this is the way it is. I’m not saying it is wrong, but it is just not the ideal lifestyle for me.

“I went to one discotheque and saw people openly passing envelopes containing drugs to each other. I would never go back to a discotheque again. It was a dreadful place. I’ve never tried pot. I have no desire for it, or hard liquor. I’ve had a little wine every now and again but I’d rather have ginger ale.”

Jaclyn grew up in a religious home in Houston, Texas, in a “Sunday school atmosphere”, Her grandfather was Methodist minister Gaston Hartsfield, and she used to help him recite long passages from the Bible when his eyesight started failing.


She said: “My parents are still my best friends. They instil in me a sense of conscience. Their life is how I would like my life to be. So I have never needed to rebel or go against my parents or their values.

“I was late in learning things in life — my husband was the first man in my life — but that’s not so wrong and I’m not going to apologise-for it.” Jaclyn is divorced from actor Roger Davis, of Alias Smith And Jones fame. She married him after a brief courtship — he proposed on the second date. She struggled both outwardly and physically to make a go of the relationship but found it impossible.

The word divorce horrified her and it was two years after they separated before she could bring herself to go through what was for her an unforgivable severing of the sacred vows of marriage.

She was so upset that she could not tell her parents until some time later of the divorce. Jaclyn claimed that her conservative beliefs are laughed at by many people who think she is missing out on life. “I’m labelled goody-two-shoes but I don’t really know

why,” she said. “My beliefs are simple, nice and they give me answers; they make me laugh and feel lucky. They give me security in life and I can always turn to them. There can’t be anything wrong with that.”

Boyfriend Dennis Cole, who once posed nude for a magazine centerfold, insists he shares many of Jaclyn’s beliefs. “I believe in marriage and in being faithful,” he said. “I’m going to keep the high standards she holds to, She may well be old fashioned but what a delightful change to find somebody like her in Hollywood.”

But Jaclyn is not in a rush get married: “My first was a mistake and it didn’t work. I’m really for marriage and a family and home. When I love somebody I’m totally devoted and faithful and I couldn’t bear a second failure.”

Besides her $15,000 an episode job with Charlie’s Angels, she has just negotiated a $3 million contract to launch her own movie production company. And she has guest spots lined up in top-rated series. Jaclyn also gets $100,000 a year from commercials for Wella Shampoo and Max Factor cosmetics, and has $5 million tied up in land buildings in Hollywood and antiques.



Kick-Ass TV Heroines: Xena – Warrior Princess




Xena Warrior Princess

What was not to love about Xena? As Lucy Lawless says: “Xena is a bad-ass, kick-ass, pre-Mycenaean girl.” Evildoers, clearly, must stand down, but not only bad guys (and girls) have Xena-phobia. Even heroes quake when she swings her broadsword.

Originally created as a syndicated complement to Kevin Sorbo’s Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena pretty much kicked Herc to the curb. It was like when the Bionic Woman made us lose interest in the Six Million Dollar Man–only more so.

Unlike Lindsay Wagner’s early half-woman, half-machine, Xena wasn’t prone to frailty. Nor did she need robot parts. In fact, the Warrior Princess never lost. If she’s down, it’s not for long.

Plus, she was in touch with the dark side: This big-boned bruiser had definite moments of blood lust, as well as lust of some other varieties. Garbed in a leather miniskirt and armed with her trademark razor-edged, boomerang-action chakram, we watched Xena single-leggedly kick down entire platoons of Roman soldiers.

Sure, there were murmurings about Xena and her softer female sidekick, Gabrielle (actress Renée O’Connor). So what if they liked to conserve bathwater by doubling up? And what’s wrong with close friends frenching once in a while?

Then again, maybe it was true–and there’s anything wrong with that.

Actress: Lucy Lawless
Show: Xena: Warrior Princess
Character: Xena

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Classic TV Revisited: McMillan And Wife




McMillan And Wife

Starring Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James, McMillan and Wife was a super cute crime-solving saga from the 1970s made for the NBC’s Mystery Movie series.

Who were they?
Hubby was the debonair San Francisco police commissioner Stewart McMillan.

And wifey?
Sally was a foxy, rather scatterbrained dame with a knack for finding corpses.

Worked down the morgue did she?
Hardly. Sally’s finds were usually in some glitzy mansion which the couple were frequenting for a weekend cocktail party. She also had a habit of getting her life threatened or being kidnapped.

Who was in it?
Tragic Hollywood star Rock Hudson no less. He took on Stewart McMillan in his first TV role, after years as a matinee idol with movies such as Giant.

Fans of the lantern-jawed star were dismayed when he went public about having Aids. He had long kept his homosexuality secret. He carried on working in ’80s glam drama Dynasty, but make-up could not disguise the deterioration of this once-statuesque man. He died in 1985, aged 59.

What about Sally?
That role fell to raven-locked Susan Saint James. The Ali MacGraw lookalike was previously in shows such as Alias Smith And Jones and The Name of the Game.

Other characters
A vital ingredient to McMillan And Wife was sharp-tongued housekeeper Mildred, played by Nancy Walker. Somebody needed to keep the place tidy while they gallivanted about solving crime.

Famous guest stars?
Kim Basinger

The couple’s conception?
Like Hart To Hart, the idea was borrowed from Dashiell Hammett’s Thin Man books of the ’30s.

Gritty crime drama?
Hardly. These were cosy whodunnit cases, where the brutality of murder was never portrayed. The show was more about the interplay between McMillan and Sally.

Had viewers arrested?
Certainly in the US. It was the fifth highest-rated show in 1972 and 1973.

Fate of the golden couple?
Susan Saint James quit in 1976 over a contractual dispute. Nancy Walker also packed away her duster as housekeeper Mildred.

The dame’s exit was a fatal blow?
Certainly for the character of Sally – she was killed off in a plane crash. But Rock soldiered on with new assistant Sgt Steve DiMaggio (Richard Gilliland). The show became McMillan.

A winner?
Audiences dwindled and the plug was pulled.

Distinguishing features?
Cosy pillow talk, cocktail parties, Rock Hudson, pyjamas and numerous corpses.

Do say
Let’s go to bed. Turn the light out, darling.

Don’t say
Must you eat toast in bed, darling. Apologies, but I’ve got terrible flatulence. Separate bedrooms.

Not to be confused with
My Wife Next Door, Harold Macmillan, The Merry Wives Of Windsor and Mr And Mrs.

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Classic TV Revisited: The Royal




The Royal

The Royal was an ITV drama commission and was inspired by its sister programme Heartbeat.

The lowdown: This nostalgic family drama is set in the swinging 1960s and centres on the staff of a cottage hospital in Yorkshire. Newly qualified doctor David Cheriton (Julian Ovenden) is determined to make a difference to the world and arrives at St Aidan’s Royal Free Hospital in Elinsby full of big ideas. But he clashes with the hospital’s secretary TJ Middleditch (Ian Carmichael) who is determined to run things his way. Then there is the Matron (Wendy Craig) who rules her nurses with a rod of iron and tries in vain to stop them being distracted by the handsome arrival.

Memorable moments: Watch out for former Heartbeat favourite Bill Maynard who crosses dramas and continents as Claude Jeremiah Greengrass. Greengrass has returned from a Caribbean holiday with a mystery illness but that doesn’t stop him trying to earn a fast buck. It doesn’t take long before Claude attracts Matron’s ire.

Trivia: The Royal is a family affair for real life husband and wife Robert Daws (Ormerod) and Amy Robbins (Weatherill). No fewer than seven members of their clan have appeared in the series including their daughters and stepson.

Michelle Hardwick, who played receptionist Lizzie, says her favourite moment in the whole series didn’t come on screen but in the actors’ green room. She says: “I was sitting in there with Wendy Craig and Honor Blackman and we were having a lovely conversation. I sat back and thought ‘Wow, this is great, I can’t wait to tell my gran’.”

A modern day set version called The Royal Today aired 7 January – 14 March 2008.

First broadcast: 2003

Starred: Wendy Craig, Ian Carmichael, Michael Starke, Robert Daws and Julian Ovenden

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