Sunday, May 3, 2020

Thank You to Our Heroes


Shelley played Dr. Beth Gilbert
in the 1983 TV series Cutter to Houston

Charlie Girl to Charlie's Angel

Shelley in the cover of TV Showtime, 1979

When Shelley became Charlie's Angel no. 5 in 1979, she instantly became the hottest news item. Everyone wanted to get to know THE Charlie Girl who was now a Charlie's Angel. Of course, as THE Charlie perfume Girl, she already had a lot of fans - everyone loved her in those Revlon Charlie commercials and print ads. But now that she was an Angel, everyone wanted to get to know her even more.

a writeup about Shelley from TV Showtime, 1979

Shelley was cast as Tiffany Welles, the daughter of Charles Townsend's good friend, a police chief in Boston, and a Latin teacher. Tiff graduated from the Boston Police Academy with top marks and worked at the Boston Police Department before joining the Townsend Agency. She  took over from Kate Jackson's Sabrina Duncan at the agency as Charlie's Angel no. 5.

a promo pic of Shelley for Charlies Angels, 1979

Brigitte Mit Constanze O

Shelley from the June 1972issue
of the German mag Brigitte Mit Constanze

Shelley was one of the most visible Supermodels in the 1970s. She appeared on many covers of many major magazines. In 1972, Shelley appeared on the June cover of Brigitte Mit Constanze, a German women's magazine which featured fashions, home styles and health. She also appeared inside the magazine, modeling the latest looks of the era.

Shelley in a fashion spread
for the German mag Brigitte Mit Constanze, 1972

Ready or Not 17

screen captures from the Jack and Mike episode
"Ready or Not," 1986

Shelley's third foray into series TV was Jack and Mike. It was about a married yuppie couple living in Chicago, trying to find time for each other in their busy schedules. Shelley played Jackie Shea, a star columnist at The Mirror, a widely-circulated Chicago paper. Her column was awaited by everyone every week. Her husband was Mike Brennan (played by Tom Mason), a successful restaurateur. The other cast members were: Nora Adler (Jacqueline Brookes), Jackie’s editor;  Anthony Kubecek (Kevin Dunn), Jackie's assistant; Carol (Holly Fulger), the head waitress at Mike's restaurant, Brennan's Grill; and Rick Scotti (Vincent Baggetta), an attorney who appears occasionally. The series, created by Sara Davidson, was filmed on location in Chicago, Illinois.

more screen captures from the Jack and Mike episode
"Ready or Not," 1986

Jackie goes to the grocery after meeting Matthew Pearson. She confronts the FBI agent stationed in front of her house whom she evaded earlier. He tells to voluntarily surrender her notes and information on him. Jackie tells him Pearson will be surrendering tomorrow. She arranged an afternoon press conference; the FBI could arrest him then. But the FBI informs Jackie that Pearson has other plans. He has booked flights to Europe under different aliases and had wired the $100,000 book advice Jackie got him to an account in Switzerland. Jackie is shocked and doesn't believe him.

The Long, Long Shirt

a closeup of Shelley from a spread for Sears, 1966

Shelley appeared on many Sears catalog issues from the 1960s to the 1970s. In 1966, she appeared on a spread for Sears Everything From Spring through Summer 1966 catalog. In the spread was called "The Long, Long Shirt," she modeled a shirt that could be worn in or out, depending on the wearer's mood. The Madras-look Plaid shirt was woven on tones of blue that bled like Indian Madras. It had a long sleeves, a shirt-tail bottom and a pleated double yoke back. Paired with a front-pleated skirt, the shirt and Shelley looked fab.

Shelley in a spread for for Sears, 1966

Shelley is Impressive

Shelley Hack played Charlie's Angel Tiffany Welles 
on season 4 of the original Charlie's Angels TV series
back in 1979

 Here’s What Happened to the Original Cast 
of "Charlie’s Angels" - Their Joys, Tragedies and Triumphs 

Closer Weekly came up with an exclusive about Charlie's Angels last November of 2019, probably to coincide with the premiere of the Charlie's Angels 2019 movie. Entitled "Here’s What Happened to the Original Cast of ‘Charlie’s Angels’ - Their Joys, Tragedies and Triumphs," it recounted what happened before, during and after to each Angel who starred the original TV series which aired from 1976 to 1981. Charlie's original Angel trio was made up of Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith. When Farrah left, Cheryl Ladd took over. When Kate left, Shelley Hack took over. When Shelley left, Tanya Roberts took over. And all the actresses who became Angels became superstars - yes, all of them. And sorry to all those Angels purists who insist that the only Angels are the original "magic four" - meaning Kate Farrah, Jaclyn and Cheryl (who is not an original Angel) - but there were six Angels in the original series. And Shelley and Tanya will forever be remembered as Charlie's Angels as well (they both have their own fan followings to this day). Thank you to Closer for coming up with a piece that doesn't blame Shelley for the demise of Charlie's Angels. But some points have to be brought up though.

Supermodel Shelley in ads and pics
for Charlie perfume dated 1976 to 1979,
the first half of her tenure as THE Charlie Girl

Shelley was  great addition to the show; and I have to disagree with Mr. Herbie J Pilato - having two blondes instead of two brunettes isn't enough of a reason for the series to have declined in the ratings. Season 3 of Charlie's Angels had already dramatically slipped in the ratings- from #4 in season 2 to #12 in season 3. That's a HUGE 8-point slip. Shelley's addition brought renewed interest in the series. And the fact that she was Revlon's Charlie Girl brought in a lot of needed and FREE publicity. Yes, everybody knew THE Charlie Girl and everybody loved THE Charlie Girl - even the show's designer Nolan Miller admitted that. Her Supermodel status brought a lot of needed attention to the floundering series.

Shelley received the same amount of attention Cheryl Ladd got when she joined the series two years prior; but Shelley had a harder time earning her wings. Why? Well, because they didn't give her anything to say or do (except on the 2nd episode, which will be tackled in a while). Shelley's lines were deliberately cut down. So she had to "save the series" by her MERE PRESENCE alone? Herbie J Pilato mentions in the exclusive, "Shelley Hack; sweet person, beautiful woman, just not a good fit for Charlie's Angels. There was nothing exciting about her performance." What performance? Her dialogue was deliberately kept to a minimum because they said she "couldn't act." They didn't give her anything to say or do and then went on to blame her for the drop in the ratings. Huh? Oh, and by the way, Jackie and Cheryl were in that season too, and so was Farrah. And they couldn't save season either, could they?

Gem of a Charlie's Angels episode
Angels Go Truckin', 1979

Herbie J Pilato also said, "She had very little to do in the beginning and was more like a wallflower. Later on in the series when the writers did get their footing with her and the character, who was from the East Coast, and it just never clicked." I would recommend people to see the 2nd episode of the 4th season "Angels go Truckin'". This early episode actually displays the many possibilities for Shelley's Tiffany Welles character. In this episode, she unusually has equal time with her co-Angels and she is allowed to shine. The episode shows that this new Angels team clicked. Check out the banter between Cheryl and Shelley, the comfortable rapport between the three actresses, Shelley's kick-ass action scene and that great epilogue. This episode is actually reminiscent of those great season 1 episodes. More episodes like this one would have saved the series. But, no, the third episode relegated Shelley to the background once again; same with the 4th episode, the 5th and so on.

check out:

Ratings-wise, Shelley's first episode "Love Boat Angels" TOPPED the Neilsen ratings. Her second episode ranked in the Top 10 for the week. Her 3rd and 4th episodes ranked in the top 10 as well. By the 5th episode, it began to spiral down. Now how can that be Shelley's fault when she was given little to say and do after the 2nd episode? They say there was no interest on her. How could there be any? Aside from episode 2, the audience hardly heard her speak. At the same time Angels was airing, Shelley appeared in two other productions, Death Car on the Freeway and an episode of The Love Boat. While her performances in both are not Oscar-caliber, it showed audiences that she could act; she did study acting a the Herbert Berghof Studios under Jack Wolzer way before she even thought of auditioning for CA, after all.

Shelley's notable acting performances include
Vanities, The King of Comedy, Born Yesterday,
Cutter to Houston, The Stepfather
and Jack and Mike

The exclusive also mentioned Shelley's post-Angels work including The King of Comedy, House Arrest, and an episode of Diagnosis Murder; but it fails to mention her more notable work in Vanities, Born Yesterday, The Stepfather, Cutter to Houston and Jack and Mike, where she got positive reviews for her acting.

It also fails to mention the extensive work she did with SHMC. In 1997, she formed Shelley Hack Media Consultancy (SHMC) a media consultancy firm that worked in pre- and post-conflict countries. It was a company that internationally specialized on projects that focused on the intersection between media and the development of civil society. She would go into war-torn countries and help them establish democracy through media. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which was responsible for conducting elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina, hired her to produce the first-ever televised presidential debates to be held in the war-torn country. She produced other televised debates - in Sarajevo, Mostar and the two in Banja Luka. Then she became a registration and polling station supervisor in the 1997 Bosnia-Herzegovina elections. SHMC embarked on various other projects including: the transition of the Bosnian State television to a public broadcaster; the development of ethnic balance within the Bosnian television sector; the production of television debates and public presentation training for politicians; and the Turkish-Armenian reconciliation through print and television. In 2006, the company became involved in strategic planning for the tender of a Balkan bank with a wide ranging portfolio of assets. For ten years, SHMC helped develop unbiased television, film, and associated media projects in war-torn and developing countries. Essentially, she helped develop television and film projects for foreign markets. And for two of those years, Shelley helped the largest media conglomerate in Eastern Europe develop and build the latest film studio complex in the region. Now if that's not impressive and worth a mention, I don't know what is.

Shelley formed SHMC (Shelley Hack Media Consultancy)
in 1997 which lasted for 10 years

At the moment, Shelley Hack is now co-president of Smash Media, the production company she owns with her husband, director Harry Winer, the company's other co-president.

So please, Shelley's Hollywood acting achievements may be modest compared to her co-Angels, but her 10-year groundbreaking work with SHMC is an achievement far greater than any of the Angels can ever dream of (or any Hollywood actor for that matter). It puts her up there with other Hollywood achievers such as Hedy Lamarr. And Shelley was able to put all the entire Charlie's Angels incident behind her, so much so that she hosted Charlie's Angels Week for the Biography Channel in 2000. She took the lessons she learned in front and behind the cameras and put it all to good use, to help spread peace around the world. She IS Charlie's most impressive Angel.

Shelley has been producing movies since 2011

Craft Craze C

a closeup of Shelley from a spread
from Seventeen magazine, 1970

Shelley appeared in many issue of Seventeen magazine during her modeling career. In 1970, she appeared on the October issue of the magazine in the spread "Craft Craze." The spread featured fashion pieces readers could create and personalize themselves and come up with a look all their own. The magazine celebrated fabulous fashions that could be made by hand.

Shelley in a spread for Seventeen magazine, 1970

In the potion of the spread called "Sew It," Shelley modeled a romantic peasant-inspired dress with "smocking in stitches." The dress had smocking details at the cap of the sleeves and the puff pockets. It had ruffles cuffs and ties at the waist. It was McCall's pattern 2605; and Shelley looked fab in it.