Charlie

Charlie

[chahr-lee]
Chaplin, Charlie (Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin), 1889-1977, English film actor, director, producer, writer, and composer, b. London. Chaplin began on the music-hall stage and then joined a pantomime troupe. While on tour in the United States, he was recruited by Mack Sennett. Chaplin merged physical grace, disrespect for authority, and sentimentality into a highly individual character he created for the Keystone Company. In appearance, his Little Tramp wore a gentlemen's derby, cane, and neatly kept moustache with baggy trousers and oversized shoes. He affected a unique, bow-legged dance-walk. Chaplin skipped from one studio to another in search of greater control over his work, finally cofounding United Artists in 1919 with D. W. Griffith, Douglas Fairbanks, and Mary Pickford.

Chaplin's features include The Kid (1920), The Gold Rush (1924), The Circus (1928), City Lights (1931), Modern Times (1936), The Great Dictator (1940), Monsieur Verdoux (1947), and Limelight (1952). He enjoyed immense worldwide popularity, though this was tempered by his refusal to use sound until 1940. His political sympathies and various personal scandals contributed to his declining popularity. In 1952, he was barred on political grounds from re-entering the United States and lived thereafter in Switzerland. In 1975 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. His fourth wife was Oona O'Neill, the daughter of Eugene O'Neill. He won an Academy Award in 1972 for his score to Limelight.

See his My Trip Abroad (1922) and autobiography (1964); biographies by C. Chaplin, Jr. (1960) and P. Tyler (1947, repr. 1972); G. D. McDonald et al., The Films of Charlie Chaplin (1965); K. S. Lynn, Charlie Chaplin and His Times (1997); J. Vance, Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema (2003).

Christian, Charlie (Charles Henry Christian), 1916-42, African-American jazz guitarist, b. Bonham, Tex. The son of a singer-guitarist father and pianist mother, he grew up in Oklahoma City, where he began playing professionally at 15. By 1937, Christian had begun to play an electrically amplified guitar, and he soon transformed it into a staple of the jazz ensemble, elevating it from a largely rhythm-section role into a full-fledged solo instrument. In 1939 he jammed with Benny Goodman, who hired him on the spot; as a member of the Goodman Sextet he soon became one of America's best-known jazz guitarists. An inventive improviser, Christian had a uniquely clean, fluid sound, produced in hornlike solos often played on a single string. Essentially a swing player, he also was one of the pioneers of bop, experimenting with the form in legendary sessions at Minton's Playhouse in Harlem. In 1941 Christian contracted tuberculosis and the following year he died, leaving some 100 recordings and ending a brief but brilliant career at age 25.

See biography by P. Broadbent (1996); G. D. Rhodes, dir., Solo Flight (video documentary, 1997).

orig. Charles Christian

(born July 29, 1916, Bonham, Texas, U.S.—died March 2, 1942, New York, N.Y.) U.S. guitarist. Christian grew up in Oklahoma City, Okla., and joined Benny Goodman to perform in both big-band and small-group settings in 1939. He created a sensation through his technically adept and innovative use of amplification, thus changing the guitar's primary role from accompanist to soloist. He was the first great electric guitarist in jazz. As one of the most advanced and influential soloists of the swing era, Christian participated in the jam sessions at Minton's Playhouse in Harlem with Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie that pioneered the harmonic advances of bebop.

Learn more about Christian, Charlie with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Charles Christian

(born July 29, 1916, Bonham, Texas, U.S.—died March 2, 1942, New York, N.Y.) U.S. guitarist. Christian grew up in Oklahoma City, Okla., and joined Benny Goodman to perform in both big-band and small-group settings in 1939. He created a sensation through his technically adept and innovative use of amplification, thus changing the guitar's primary role from accompanist to soloist. He was the first great electric guitarist in jazz. As one of the most advanced and influential soloists of the swing era, Christian participated in the jam sessions at Minton's Playhouse in Harlem with Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie that pioneered the harmonic advances of bebop.

Learn more about Christian, Charlie with a free trial on Britannica.com.

in full Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin

(born April 16, 1889, London, Eng.—died Dec. 25, 1977, Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switz.) British-U.S. actor and director. The son of poverty-stricken music-hall entertainers, he became a vaudeville performer at age eight. On tour in New York (1913), he caught the eye of Mack Sennett, who signed him to a film contract. While making his second film, Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914), Chaplin developed the costume—baggy pants, derby hat, oversized shoes, and cane—that was to become the hallmark of his famous “little tramp” character. He was soon directing his own films, and he became an instant star in The Tramp (1915). After cofounding United Artists in 1919, he produced, directed, and starred in such classics as The Gold Rush (1925), City Lights (1931), Modern Times (1936), The Great Dictator (1940), Monsieur Verdoux (1947), and Limelight (1952). Harassed for his leftist political views, he moved to Switzerland in 1952. In 1972 he returned to the U.S. to accept a special Academy Award.

Learn more about Chaplin, Charlie with a free trial on Britannica.com.

in full Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin

(born April 16, 1889, London, Eng.—died Dec. 25, 1977, Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switz.) British-U.S. actor and director. The son of poverty-stricken music-hall entertainers, he became a vaudeville performer at age eight. On tour in New York (1913), he caught the eye of Mack Sennett, who signed him to a film contract. While making his second film, Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914), Chaplin developed the costume—baggy pants, derby hat, oversized shoes, and cane—that was to become the hallmark of his famous “little tramp” character. He was soon directing his own films, and he became an instant star in The Tramp (1915). After cofounding United Artists in 1919, he produced, directed, and starred in such classics as The Gold Rush (1925), City Lights (1931), Modern Times (1936), The Great Dictator (1940), Monsieur Verdoux (1947), and Limelight (1952). Harassed for his leftist political views, he moved to Switzerland in 1952. In 1972 he returned to the U.S. to accept a special Academy Award.

Learn more about Chaplin, Charlie with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Charlie's Angels is a television series about three women who work for a private investigation agency, and is one of the first shows to showcase women in roles traditionally reserved for men. The series was broadcast on the ABC Television Network from 1976 to 1981 and was one of the most successful series of the 1970s. Charlie's Angels was created by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts and produced by Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg.

Premise

Three women, the Angels, (originally Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett-Majors, and Jaclyn Smith) graduated from the police academy and were hired to work for the Charles Townsend Agency as private investigators. Their boss, Charlie (voiced by John Forsythe), is never seen full face — in some episodes he is shown from the rear only (where the viewer only sees the back of his head and his arms) — assigning cases to the Angels and his liaison, Bosley (played by David Doyle), via a speaker phone.

Charlie's Angels is episodic in nature, as opposed to serial, thus each episode shows the Angels finding themselves in new situations in which they would go undercover to investigate. The undercover aspect of the show creates much of the plot interest and tension. In the early seasons of the show, the Angels, under their assumed identities, use a combination of sexual wiles and knowledge learned for the situation in which they are being placed, but by the third and fourth seasons, the writing has a tendency to stray from the sex appeal (see "As 'Jiggle TV'") and focus more on the case at hand.

Cast and crew

Main stars

Character Actress/Actor Role Notes Duration

Sabrina Duncan Kate Jackson Private investigator for Townsend Associates Graduate from L.A. police academy Seasons 1-3
Jill Munroe Farrah Fawcett-Majors Private investigator for Townsend Associates Graduate from L.A. police academy Season 1, recurring seasons 3-4
Kelly Garrett Jaclyn Smith Private investigator for Townsend Associates Graduate from L.A. police academy Seasons 1-5
Kris Munroe Cheryl Ladd Private investigator for Townsend Associates Graduate from San Francisco police academy, Jill's younger sister Seasons 2-5
Tiffany Welles Shelley Hack Private investigator for Townsend Associates Graduate from Boston police academy Season 4
Julie Rogers Tanya Roberts Private investigator for Townsend Associates Graduate from modeling school Season 5
John Bosley David Doyle Private investigator, office manager for Townsend Associates Seasons 1-5
Charlie Townsend John Forsythe Owner of Townsend Associates (voice only) Former police chief and private investigator Seasons 1-5

Notable guest stars

Charlie's Angels played host to a number of well-known faces during its five seasons. Some of those individuals were long-established stars of film and television, others would find considerable fame and recognition many years after appearing in the program. Notable appearances of celebrities (whether famous then or later) include those of:

Episodes

As "Jiggle TV"

The show became known as "Jiggle TV" and "T&A TV" (or "Tits & Ass Television") by critics who believed that the show had no intelligence or substance and that the scantily or provocatively dressed Angels (generally as part of their undercover character — e.g., roller derby girl, beauty pageant contestant, maid, female prisoner or just bikini-clad) did so to showcase the figures and/or sexuality of the actresses as a sole means of attracting viewers. Farrah Fawcett-Majors once attributed the show's success to this fact: "When the show was number three, I figured it was our acting. When it got to be number one, I decided it could only be because none of us wears a bra."

Nielsen ratings/ABC broadcast history

Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of Charlie's Angels on ABC.

Note: Each U.S. network television season starts in late September and ends in late May, which coincides with the completion of May sweeps. All times listed are North American Eastern Time.

Season Time slot Première Finale TV Season Season
Rank
Viewers
(millions)

1 Wednesday 10:00 P.M. September 22, 1976 May 4, 1977 1976-1977 #5 18.4

2 Wednesday 9:00 P.M. September 14, 1977 May 10, 1978 1977-1978 #4 17.8

3 September 13, 1978 May 16, 1979 1978-1979 #12 18.2

4 September 12, 1979 May 7, 1980 1979-1980 #20 '15.9

5 Sunday 8:00 P.M. (November 30, 1980 - January 11, 1981)
Saturday 8:00 P.M. (January 24, 1981 - February 28, 1981)
Wednesday 8:00 P.M. (June 3, 1981 - June 24, 1981)
November 30, 1980 June 24, 1981 1980-1981 #59

Denotes tie in year-end rank.

DVD releases

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has released Seasons 1-3 of the series on DVD to date. No release date(s) have been announced for the seasons 4 & 5 DVDs.

Season Ep # Discs Release date Notes
1 23 5 May 27, 2003 Includes 90-minute pilot tele-film
2 24 6 April 06, 2004 The two-hour episodes "Angels in Paradise" and "Angels on Ice" appear as syndicated versions
3 22 6 July 04, 2006

The two-hour episodes "Angels in Vegas" and "Terror on Skis" appear as syndicated versions
4 25 TBA TBA
5 16 TBA TBA
Note: Episode count is based on the format in which episodes originally aired. Two-hour episodes are counted as one episode.

Pop culture impact

Film and television remakes and reinterpretations

The series has inspired many remakes and reinterpretations throughout the years and in different countries.

Four women were selected to be in a show called Angels '88, which was to serve as an updated version of the show. The show was later named Angels '89 after production delays, but the show ultimately never aired. From 19981999, Telemundo and Sony produced a show called Ángeles. The weekly hour format did not catch on with Hispanic viewers, who are accustomed to watching telenovelas nightly and the series was soon canceled. In 2002, a German version of Charlie's Angels, Wilde Engel, was produced by the German channel RTL. The show was known as Anges de choc in French-speaking countries, and as Three Wild Angels in English-speaking ones.

The series inspired two feature films from Flower Films production company: Charlie's Angels (2000) and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003), with John Forsythe returning to voice Charlie. Whereas most movie remakes of 1970s TV shows, like Starsky and Hutch, are actually remakes, the Charlie's Angels films are set in a different time. The mythology goes that whenever an Angel leaves, she is replaced so there are always three. The second film had more nods to the TV series than the first film, with Jaclyn Smith making a brief cameo as Kelly Garrett.

In 2004, a television movie entitled Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Charlie's Angels aired on NBC.

Subsequent Angels

Video games

In July 2003, three Charlie's Angels games were released on three different gaming platforms: Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, and the mobile phone. The versions released on both the GameCube and PlayStation 2 were virtually the same, each given the same title: Charlie's Angels. The version released for the mobile phone was fundamentally toned down to fit the technical restrictions of the platform, and was titled Charlie's Angels: Road Cyclone.

April 2008 - Ojom announced a new Charlie's Angels mobile phone game titled: Charlie's Angels: Hellfire. The game is now available on operator portals across Europe.

Collectible items

During the show's run, many collectible items were produced, including (two versions of) dolls, countless boardgames, several posters, trading cards, pipes, notebooks, a lunchbox & thermos, Charlie's Angels Van, and even record albums.

Even though it was not directly part of the show, Farrah Fawcett-Majors also released a poster of her sporting a red bathing suit that became the biggest selling poster in history with 12 million copies sold. This poster also helped the burgeoning popularity of the series.

Books

2008 - "The Q Guide to Charlie's Angels" book by Mike Pingel Foreword by Tanya Roberts.

2006 - "Angelic Heaven: A Fan's Guide To Charlie's Angels" book by Mike Pingel ; Forewords by Farrah Fawcett & Cheryl Ladd.

2000 - "Charlie's Angels Casebook" book by David Hofstede, Jack Condon; Foreword by Jaclyn Smith.

Comics

Two British comic strip versions were produced. The first appeared in the Polystyle publication Target in April 1978, drawn by John Canning. Target was a sister title to the long-running TV Comic aimed at older children and featuring TV action and crime shows of the day. Proving unpopular, it folded in August and merged back into TV Comic where Canning's Angels strip continued until October 1979. The second strip was printed in Junior TV Times Look-In, debuting in November 1979 (as soon as Polystyle's deal expired), written by Angus P. Allan and drawn by Jim Baikie and Bill Titcombe.

In the on-line comic Erfworld, one side in The Battle for Gobwin Knob hires three glowing, flying female combatants from an unseen "Charlie". One is blond and two are dark-haired. They first appear in silhouette in Page 42 of the comic and in the final frame of Page 69, after dispensing with some "Dwagons" of the opposing side, once again take up the iconic pose of Charlie's Angels. They are referred to as "Charlie's Archons". In the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, in the context of which the Erfworld story is placed, an archon is a documented character. In Gnosticism, an archon occupies a role similar to the angels of the Old Testament.

Angel appearances

This is a chronological list of appearances that two or more Angels have made together in support of Charlie's Angels.

  • 1976 - Jackson, Fawcett, and Smith are featured in the cover story of Time magazine, which analyzes the impact of the show on popular culture.
  • 1976 - Jackson, Fawcett, and Smith appear on the cover of TV Guide.
  • 1978 - Jackson, Smith, and Ladd appear on the cover of TV Guide.
  • 1979 - Smith, Ladd, and Hack appear on the cover of TV Guide.
  • 1994 - Jackson, Fawcett, and Smith appear in the 20th Anniversary edition of People Magazine, the Angels are pictured in the top corner of the cover, and the article includes a pull-out poster. NOTE: The same issue was released in Australia with the Angels (Kate, Jaclyn & Farrah) on the cover.
  • 2006 - Jackson, Fawcett, and Smith appeared together on-stage at the 58th Primetime Emmy Awards, to pay tribute to Charlie's Angels executive producer Aaron Spelling.
  • 2008 - Jackson and Smith appeared on the show Shear Genius, which Smith hosts, for a Charlie's Angels themed episode where the contestants styled models' hair in an updated version of the original three Angels' iconic hairstyles.

Notes and references

External links

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