Is There Life After Being an Angel?

"I must look a sight!" Chirps skinny Shelley Hack, her hair in rollers and her face stripped of all make-up. “I must look like something else.”

Well, yes, the latest contender for the Farrah Fawcett crown as phenomenon of the year did seem a bit of a mess. But it was only 9:00 am, and she had just dashed to Hollywood from New York the night before to join the other Angels for press interviews. A quick brush and toss of hair helped as did a slash of bright red lipstick. “Love it so far,” Shelley purred. “I mean, I have to stop eating junk food like this donut. But the rest of it is fun. The girls have been great.” ‘There’s no jealousy’

She brushed aside reports of early feuding on the Angels’ set, feuding that started when petite Cheryl Ladd discovered how tall Shelley was, feuding that continued when Jaclyn Smith found out how thin Shelley was.

“I have not heard from Farrah or Kate Jackson who I replaced,” Shelley said as an ABC publicist groaned. “But I hope that’s because they’re so involved with their own careers. I know they wish me the best and there’s no jealousy.” Sure, lady, sure.

Shelley sat gobbling down sweet rolls and coffee laced with three lumps of sugar while producer Aaron Spelling avowed as how she was his first choice all along.

“We tested six finalists,” Spelling said. “Margaret Trudeau was never considered except as a joke. I called Shelley on short notice and she arrived in curlers.”

Shelley in person is hardly the glamorous model earning a six-figure income. She’s 32 with thin lines around her eyes to prove it. Moreover, her face is long and horsey. But what she lacks in sex appeal she makes up in class.

“Guess I’m the only Angel with a college degree,” she bubbled. “That’s what they wanted in the character of Tiffany, a down-to-earth girl with sense.”

Fell asleep at fitting

She attended Smith College and has a B.A. in history, to which she added a year of study in archaeology at Australia’s University of Sydney. Modeling beckoned after graduation, but she has always been struggling to get into acting. She had a bit in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall and the femme lead in last year’s bomb, If Ever I See You Again.

Her first assignment as a Angel was to go on a shopping spree at the most fashionable Beverly Hills boutiques for stunning couturier outfits and accessories. “After a few days I got so bored I fell asleep at one of the fittings – yes I really did,” she said. “It should be every woman’s dream, but I much prefer my jeans.”

Shelley was paddling around her luxury suite at the Century Plaza hotel. “I’m thrilled about getting this break,” she said. “The series is on the top and will give me the right kind of buildup. I don’t want to be an Angel forever, but it’s a grand start, you must admit.”

‘Bruised both knees’

So far, Shelley is best known for her trim 118-pound frame breezing through those Charlie Girl ads. Work has never frightened her and on her weeks off, she must breeze back to New York to work on the Revlon ads which she’s under contract to do for at least another year.

“So far on Angels I’ve been shipwrecked, almost crashed in a plane, bruised both knees, and caught sunburn,” she said. “We get to the set at 7:00 am and work for 12 hours. At night, I crawl into bed, look at my script for the next day’s shoot, and drift off. If I was out partying, I’d have rings under my eyes.

“But don’t call me a sex symbol. It’s too crazy. I’m very simple in my tastes.

“I don’t want to be another phenomenon who gets quickly forgotten. I’m looking for longevity and a career after the Angels go to reruns.”

She  bit into a jelly donut to reinforce her determination.


by James Bawden Montreal Gazette December 1, 1979

TA note: this is the one and only picture they chose to put in this entire article. Really.