Just A Minute With: Former "Angel" Jaclyn Smith

LOS ANGELES (Reuters Life!) - Actress Jaclyn Smith, one of the glamorous stars of the 1970s TV series “Charlie’s Angels,” was laughed at when she launched her own clothing line at low-priced department store Kmart.

Jaclyn Smith, one of the original cast members of the "Charlie's Angels" television series arrives as a guest for the premiere of their new film "Charlie's Angels Full Throttle" in Hollywood June 18, 2003. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Now, in the recession, she’s the one laughing loudest.

As the economy forces Americans to cut back on spending, more people are looking to cheaper stores to buy their clothes and other household items.

“With our economy where it is today, it could not be a better place to shop. No one is teasing me any more. They are probably envious,” Smith, 61, told Reuters in a telephone interview, adding that 100 million women have bought her clothes since 1985.

“Now everybody is into branding ... Sarah Jessica Parker has a line that is moderately priced. People are following my trend.”

As well as running her own collection of women’s apparel for Kmart, Smith also has her own home furnishings line, Jaclyn Smith Home, and recently added a collection of wigs to her line of businesses in collaboration with wig specialist Paula Young.

Smith, who as Kelly Garrett was the only original “Angel” in the detective series for its five year run from 1976 to 1981, is currently the hostess of reality television show “Shear Genius” that focuses on hair styling.

She spoke to Reuters about her career -- and her hair:

Q: Some women love shoes, others bags, but for you it is hair. Why is that?

A: “My first acting job was in a shampoo commercial and that really got me started in acting. It was my beginning. Hair can make or break you. If you have a good hair day, it is all going smoothly. It changes you so much more than makeup or clothes.”

Q: And wigs?

A: “Some people have health issues and need wigs but with actresses today you constantly see changes of style and color, and the wig can help create the role. Wigs might just be a two-inch extension on the side with a blond streak or Hollywood bangs to give a fuller, thicker look on the top.”

Q: Did you find it hard for people to take you seriously moving from being an “Angel” to running businesses?

A: “When I started (Jaclyn Smith) Home they thought, ‘who is this “Charlie’s Angel” telling us about furniture and antiques?’ But once you really know what you are talking about, it does not take long for people to recognize that. It is all about backing it up with knowledge. But in the business world, as a woman, you really do have to represent yourself in the proper way otherwise you won’t be taken seriously.”

Q: How about your link with Kmart?

A: “I was put down at first for doing Kmart but certainly not now. You take chances and I am happy I did. I have always been fascinated with design. I designed my senior prom dress. I had never shopped at Kmart but when they said I could be hands on with the designs, the packaging, the advertising, and so on it began and an incredible relationship was formed.”

Q: You’re in the third series of Shear Reality. Will you continue?

A: “Yes. I like it. Each season I get a little better at it. I am a bit emotional when (the contestants) are let go and you have favorites and they change. Each season brings out something new in me. I like the challenge of reality TV. It keep you spontaneous and in the moment.”

Q: You fought breast cancer as has fellow Angel Kate Jackson and now another former Angel Farrah Fawcett is battling this disease. Has this brought the three of you closer?

A: “I am seven years being a breast cancer survivor. I think it can bring you together. But we are very much in touch and very close friends anyway. When you start out in life as what we felt like, young girls, and you go the distance together ... there is that bond and there is a closeness.”

Q: Any plans for more acting?

A: “I would love to. I am looking at some pilots as we speak, but I am a real family girl and my mother lives in Houston and she has some health issues.”

Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Bob Tourtellotte