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jerry rigging

Kelly Garrett

Kelly Garrett is one of six female fictional private detectives in the 1976-1981 television series Charlie's Angels. She was portrayed by Jaclyn Smith, who also portrayed the character in the 1977 pilot episode of The San Pedro Beach Bums and reprised the role in a cameo in the 2003 film Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. She is the only Angel who stayed with the Townsend Agency for the show's entire 5-season run. Uncommonly beautiful but not uniquely so, Smith's image is provided as evidence of Kelly's doppelgänger, not once but twice (Seasons One and Four).

Kelly Garrett is an orphan and the most sensitive of the three Angels. It is no surprise that Kelly spent her personal time helping disadvantaged children. She volunteered at a center for autistic kids, and when she found out that a single parent police officer she was working with physically abused his son, she took him to court and convinced him that he needed counseling. However, she is also the street-wise and tough Angel, and miraculously survives countless car chases, kidnappings, chloroformings, explosions, hostage situations, murderous post-hypnotic suggestion, unwitting heroin addiction, and two separate incidents of a gunshot to the head.

Most of the Angels found themselves romantically involved at one time or another with someone they encountered on the job, but Kelly is the only Angel depicted having a romance with someone the girls don't ultimately expose as a felon. In the first season, Kelly considerately, if dishonestly, breaks up with her boyfriend (played by Tom Selleck sans mustache), when she fears the hit man making attempts on her life will put him in jeopardy.

While it is Jill who gets tapped to go undercover as a dance instructor in Season One, Kelly's talents in that area flourish in her absence, as she attempts to teach Sabrina how to hula, performs in an arena ice dancing spectacular with Kris, belly dances in a hookah bar, appears in a dance performance in a Las Vegas casino, and by the final season stars in a prospective Broadway-style song-and-dance revue.

Though she often operates under the guise of dancer or model, Kelly's specialty cover consists of a Southern accent and, sometimes, glasses. Still, she is the only Angel to have passed herself off as a being from another galaxy. In actuality, her extraterrestrial exploits are limited to jumping a motorcycle through a ring of fire as a carnival performer, jerry-rigging a sabotaged seatbelt to avoid falling from a biplane during aerial acrobatics, and safely landing a passenger jet. She drives a beige Mustang (which gets blown up, twice).

Smith—who had previously portrayed the character outside of the series in the pilot episode of the sit-com The San Pedro Beach Bums—returns briefly to the role of Kelly in the spin-off film Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, when current Angel Dylan Sanders (Drew Barrymore), contemplating leaving the agency, meets Kelly in a bar. When Dylan reflects that she was a poor Angel due to her criminal past—it was recently revealed that she was in the Witness Protection Program for testifying against her then-boyfriend—Kelly reminds her that every Angel is unique, and assures her that Charlie selected her to become an Angel for a reason. It is implied that this visit from Kelly may have been spiritual rather than literal; throughout her conversation with Dylan she is illuminated by a soft ray of sunlight, and she completely vanishes after Dylan turns away for a few moments.

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