My Angel: Kate Jackson

A few years ago I stumbled on a 2009 blog post about Kate Jackson and had that wonderful moment of recognition when your exact feelings are perfectly expressed through someone else’s words. Even the title of the post captures how I feel: “Kate Jackson Was My Village.”

Yes, exactly this: Kate Jackson was my village when I was a young child. Gen X kids like me grew up in front of the television—TV practically raised us, at times. Starring on the smash hit Charlie’s Angels, Kate was there, our constant, every week and multiple times in reruns. It was my favorite show as a kid and I’ve been revisiting it these last few years with great frequency—first on MeTV and then with last year’s gorgeous complete series Blu-ray collection. My nostalgia for the show provides great comfort these days, especially during difficult periods, like almost the entirety of 2020 so far.

I love all of the Angels. Each one brings something truly unique to the show. Kate, though, Kate is special. As a kid I was infatuated with her portrayal of Sabrina. She was everything. Smart, beautiful, funny, and thoughtful. She solved a majority of the Angels’ cases and, in her turtleneck sweaters and tweed blazers, looked tres chic doing so. She had wonderful, familial chemistry with Kelly, Jill, Kris and Bosley. Her smile could light up the room like no one else’s. So many of these traits come right from Kate herself. Rarely has the marriage between character and actor been so perfect.

This bit from the blog post really nails it for me:

My dream was simple: I wanted the Angels and I to live together in a cool house in my same neighborhood (instead of living with my parents and little brother), then maybe Kate Jackson and I could hold hands on the porch.

Damn, I wish I’d written that. Because I was that kid too, the kind who wanted so desperately to live inside the world of his favorite show just so that he could hold hands with the most amazing woman he’d ever seen up to that point. I just wanted to know Sabrina, and therefore know Kate. Because she made me feel inspired and comforted as a kid, instead of my usual timid and unsure. Even now, I can put on an episode with Sabrina kicking ass and my mood elevates from “meh” to “Ah, this is living.” There are very few performers who still hold such an important piece of my heart like Kate does.

Kate Jackson was my village, she was that blogger’s village, and she was your village, precisely because she was there when we needed her most. Today, Kate turns 72. Happy birthday, Angel. And thanks for being there, then and now.

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