Thirty-five years ago today, on September 22, 1976, Executive Producers Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg introduced the world to Charlie’s Angels — detectives Sabrina, Kelly, and Jill, played by Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith and Farrah Fawcett. As the title sequence explained, the women attended the police academy, received menial job assignments, and were rescued from boredom by the mysterious Charlie, who hired them as private detectives for his agency. The ladies solved crimes with the help of Charlie’s assistant, John Bosley, and reported to Charlie, whose face was never seen, but whose voice, provided by John Forsythe, became one of the most recognizable in all of television.
Different Angels worked for the agency over the years: Cheryl Ladd joined the show after Farrah Fawcett’s departure, and Tanya Roberts and Shelley Hack became Angels upon Kate Jackson’s exit. As Aaron Spelling explained in his 1999 Archive interview, the Angels were nearly known as “Alley Cats” until Kate Jackson came up with the final title for the show:
Two movies based on the series were released in 2000 and 2003, and the first television remake of Charlie’s Angels, starring Annie Ilonzeh, Minka Kelly and Rachael Taylor, premieres tonight, exactly 35 years after the original show debuted. Good luck, Angels!