ANGEL, INC. is our lighthearted description of a TV actress-turned-businesswoman. You may remember Jaclyn Smith from her days as a different sort of angel. John Blackstone has her story (This report was originally broadcast on April 9, 2017):
At her home in Los Angeles, Jaclyn Smith is right at home shooting a commercial for the clothing line she helps design for Kmart. The ad is a family affair, with roles for Smith’s daughter, Spencer, and even her six-month-old granddaughter, Bea.
It’s all part of Smith’s very personal involvement in building her brand with Kmart since the 1980s. “All I can say about branding, if you do it for the paycheck, walk away — it doesn’t work,” she told Blackstone. “It is the day-to-day details. It’s becoming a part of that company.”
And Smith is very much a part of Kmart. Visiting the store, one is surrounded by Jaclyn Smith. She showed off one of her best-selling blouses. “We’ve sold about 400,000 last year.” Then there are the 700,000 slinky tees.
Her clothing line is just the beginning. The discount chain sells everything from shoes to sheets that carry Jaclyn Smith’s name.
“Walking around the store here, I’m trying to figure out what percentage of this store is filled with Jaclyn Smith,” Blackstone said. “It’s a big percentage!”
“Well, after 32 years, I deserve it, right?” she laughed.
Kmart almost turned down Kmart’s offer in the mid-’80s when celebrity branding was something few celebrities did.
“I was the first celebrity brand in Kmart,” she said.
“You were almost the first celebrity brand anywhere.”
“Right. In 1985, yeah. I mean, I was kind of teased about it and made fun of.”
Back then, Jaclyn Smith was famous for being an angel … one of “Charlie’s Angels.” The series went on the air in 1976 with Smith, Farrah Fawcett and Kate Jackson playing daring private detectives who sometimes had to fight crime in bikinis.
Blackstone said, “Certainly, ‘Charlie’s Angels,’ I think was seen by some as a real feminist show. Others called it ‘jiggle TV,’ right?”
“I think they liked to think it was jiggle TV. But it was so mild,” Smith said.
Growing up in Houston, Smith never intended to be an actress; she trained to be a dancer. But when she moved to New York she was soon in front of the camera shooting commercials.
“We just did, like,…