The Story and Career of Actress-Singer Cheryl Ladd

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Introduction to Cherry Ladd

Cheryl Ladd is an American actress and singer who became famous in 1970s for her role as Kris Munroe on the Charlie’s Angels TV series since its second season, to replace Farrah Fawcett in her departure from the show.  Ladd initially began in show business as a singer, and had a singing role on the Hannah-Barbera-produced Josie and the Pussycat cartoon series.  But soon she started to take acting more seriously that she has been better known as an actress rather than as a recording artist, although Ladd had scored a Top 40 and Billboard Hot 100 charting singles and a gold-winning record.  Her notable hit was “Think It Over,” which landed on the Top pop 40 charts.  Her last album (actually a mini-album) You Make It Beautiful was released only in Japan in 1982.

Who is Cheryl Ladd?

Cheryl Ladd is an American actress and singer chiefly known for her role as Kris Munroe on the Charlie’s Angles TV series. She was born Cheryl Jean Stopplemoor in Huron, South Dakota on July 12, 1951. Ladd is part German.

She was married to David Ladd from 1973 to 1980; the union gave them a daughter. Even after their divorce, she maintained her married name as her own screen moniker “Cheryl Ladd” which became partly responsible for her eventual fame.

Cheryl Ladd’s career

In 1970, Ladd entered Hollywood with initial plans to become a recording artist but she was seen much potential as an actress. She started doing small roles on numerous shows such as The Rookies, The Partridge Family and Happy Days. Her big break came when she was chosen to replace Farrah Fawcett as Kris Munroe on Charlie’s Angels TV series. Around the same time she also became a cast of Hanna-Barbera’s TV cartoon series Josie and the Pussycats, doing the singing voice of Melody. While Ladd was in the height of her acting career, she took that opportunity to pursue her passion in singing once more.

In the late 70s music era, Ladd became more visible on several musical-comedy variety series and special events including 1980’s Super Bowl XIV where she sang the National Anthem. Ladd’s biggest recording achievement occurred in 1978, with “Think It Over.” The single reached #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earned a gold disc. In 1982, Charlie’s Angels‘ closing song “Walking in the Rain” was released as a single in Japan. Throughout her brief music career, Ladd issued three albums: Cherry Ladd (1978), Dance Forever (1979) and Take a Chance (1981).

Her Popular Roles

Cheryl Ladd has remained a familiar face on television as she has starred in many movies and TV shows. Her roles have not always been the greatest, but her 30 made-for-television films have given her a lot of experience. Throughout her career, she has played various characters in movies and tv shows of different genres. Here are some of her popular roles. 

Purple Hearts

Cheryl starred as Deborah Solomon in Purple Hearts, which is a 1984 war film. It was directed by Sidney J. Furie, and she played the lead character opposite Ken Wahl. The story revolves around a Navy nurse and a Navy surgeon who fall in love while serving their country during the Vietnam War. The film shows a wonderful balance of violence and affection which makes this film extremely entertaining to watch. 

Charlie’s Angels

In 1976, Cheryl joined the cast of Charlie’s Angel, an American crime drama aired on ABC. The show had five seasons and 115 episodes in total. It was created by Ivan Godd and Ben Roberts. Charlie’s Angels depict three women who are working at a private detective agency in Los Angeles, California. The show underwent a few casting changes, so Cheryl joined and replaced Kate Jackson. 

The show gained a lot of popularity and was a top-ten hit for its first two seasons. Throughout the 70s, the show had an American cult following and can be considered a part of pop culture for the decade. It had DVD releases and even a subsequent TV show later on. 

Happy Days

Cheryl Ladd appeared in season 2 of Happy Days, playing the part of Cindy Shea. This character is shown to be a wholesome Hollywood starlet with whom Richie wins a homecoming date. Happy Days is an American television sitcom aired on ABC from 1974 to 1984. In total, it had 255 episodes and 11 seasons. It was created by Garry Marshall and is one of the most successful series of the 1970s. 

Romance on the Orient Express

Romance on the Orient Express is a British romantic drama television film featuring Cheryl Ladd and Stuart Wilson as the main leads. The story explores a sophisticated American magazine editor, Lily Parker, as she travels to Europe on a business trip with her friend, Susan. While on the Orient Express, Lily runs into Alex Woodward, an Englishman who had courted her on a trip 10 years earlier. 

Conclusion

In the oldies music circles, Cheryl Ladd is considered a one hit wonder, although she is known as an actress rather than a singer.

In Ladd’s later years, she wrote and published several books. They include the children’s book The Adventures of Little Nettie Windship (1996) and the autobiography  Token Chick: A Woman’s Guide to Golfing With the Boys (2005). As it turns out, Ladd is actually a passionate golfer.

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