Cheryl Ladd Biography


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Birth Name: Cheryl Ladd
Born: 07/12/1951
Birth Place: Huron, South Dakota, USA


Born Cheryl Jean Stoppelmoor in Huron, SD on July 12, 1951, Ladd had long dreamed of becoming a movie star. The youngster began performing at the age of five, singing and taking tap-dancing lessons with her father. In high school, Ladd played in a jazz trio called "Music Shop Band," which traveled from the midwest to California. Eventually, though, Ladd realized that even with her god-given talents, the prospects of a successful musical career were far too uncertain for her liking. Not ready to abandon her dreams entirely, however, Ladd made a compromise of practicality and decided to become an actress/performer instead. As fate would have it, Ladd's first major gig married her dual passions into one package - providing back-up vocals on the Saturday morning cartoon "Josie and the Pussycats" (CBS, 1970-72). Still, it would be a few more years before the young actress (then still known as 'Cheryl Stoppelmoor') would receive her big break.

In 1976, Ladd was signed to her first feature role, a low-budget thriller called "Jamaica Reef". Though the utterly forgettable film did nothing for the neophyte's career, it did introduce her to the man who would become her first husband, actor David Ladd, son of famed movie cowboy Alan Ladd. Briefly considered an up-and-comer during the early 1970's, Ladd's career never panned out as many had hoped it would. His new bride, on the other hand, would be the one to keep the Ladd family name in the spotlight. No dummy, she also kept the name for herself after the two divorced in 1979.

In late 1976, the newly christened Cheryl Ladd auditioned for a major role on one of the most groundbreaking dramas of the period, "Family" (ABC, 1976-1980). Though Ladd ended up losing the role to Meredith Baxter, her audition reel managed to catch the eye of veteran TV producer Aaron Spelling, who at the time was seeking someone to fill Farrah Fawcett's role on "Charlie's Angels" (ABC, 1976-1981). Fawcett, who'd left the show the previous season, was written out of the show to accommodate a new character in the form of Kris Munroe - Jill's kid sister (and also a former cop, herself), played by Ladd. Though just as pretty and jigglesome as her toothy big sister, the role of Kris was tailored to be more of a brighter, slightly more independent spirit than her predecessor (But one that still looked just as good in a two-piece bikini, naturally.). Introduced in the second season's two-part opener in 1977, "Angels In Paradise," Ladd stayed on board til the end of the show's run in 1981. During her "Angels" period, the triple threat realeased her first pop album, Cheryl Ladd, in 1978 with her single, "Think it Over" peaking at #38 on the Billboard music charts. Her sophmore effort, Dance Forever was released the following year to less success.

Post-"Angels," Ladd kept busy with a string of highly rated movies-of-the-week and the occasional miniseries, such as "Grace Kelly" (ABC, 1983) in which she played the then recently deceased actress-turned-real life princess Grace of Monaco.

The mid-1990's marked a transitional period for the actress, a similar path many actresses face after hitting 40. Luckier than most, Ladd still managed to maintain a fairly high profile thanks to guest starring turns on such television shows as "Ink" (CBS, 1996-97) "Jesse" (NBC, 1998-2000), "Charmed" (WB/UPN, 1998-2006) and "Hope & Faith" (ABC, 2003- ). In 1994, Ladd made a brief return to series television when she was cast in the short-lived CBS crime drama, "One West Waikiki" (CBS, 1994-96) opposite Richard Burgi. The brainchild of super producer Glen A. Larson, "One West Waikiki" was well regarded by critics, but little watched by viewers.

In the autumn of 2001, Ladd made a triumphant return to the musical stage when she was tapped to temporarily replace Bernadette Peters on Broadway in Rodgers & Hammerstein's musical "Annie Get Your Gun." Though replacing a Broadway mainstay like Peters was a risky proposition indeed, this was nothing new to the woman who had successfully filled Farrah's shoes. Most theatre critics seemed to appreciate Ladd's efforts and were kind in their reviews. Ladd stayed with the show for several weeks until actress/country sensation Reba McIntire could finally be signed as a permanent replacement.

Apart from a lot of "Angels" nostalgia generated by the big screen version of the TV show, "Charlie's Angels," starring her "Poison Ivy" (1992) co-star Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz, Ladd flew largely under the pop cultural radar. That is until the veteran actress returned to where she was most comfortable - series television. In 2003, Ladd was signed to play Jillian Deline, the steely ex-wife of Montecito casino boss, Ed Deline (James Caan) on the high-budget drama "Las Vegas." Having some 30 years on her beautiful, young co-stars like Molly Simms and Vanessa Marcil, Ladd nonetheless proved she could hold her own onscreen, her beauty and luminosity timeless.




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