TOWNSEND AGENCY PROFILE:
“The Streetwise / Sensitive / Pretty One”
Portrayed by Jaclyn Smith
Years Active: 1976 – 1981
ESSENTIAL KELLY EPISODES
• The Seance
• To Kill An Angel
• Avenging Angel
• Night of the Strangler
• One Love … Two Angels
• Angel’s Child
• Let Our Angel Live
Jaclyn Smith has dubbed her character “The Sweet One”. None of the Angels’ histories were given much attention, but Kelly’s tragic, abusive, orphaned, suppressed memory, are-you-my-daddy story arc was the best of the bunch.
It is known that Kelly was raised in a Texas orphanage by kind nuns and sadistic nannies (The Seance) and it is implied that this is the reason why she seems to be the most maternal of the Angels, usually becoming emotionally involved/attached to children in duress (To Kill An Angel, Angel’s Child). At one point Kelly thought she might be the daughter of wealthy industrialist Oliver Barrows (One Love … Two Angels) but this proved to be part of a scheme to defraud Barrows of his fortune. She wasn’t amused.
YEARS OF SERVICE
BAD GUYS SHOT
BAD GUYS KILLED
What a sweetheart! Kelly really did care about people, and usually she cared about the person in trouble enough to blow her and her fellow Angels’ covers after having one conversation with the victim. This kindheartedness often led to trouble with Kelly taking in various abused cops’ sons, gun wielding pre-teens with bowl haircuts, scared pregnant single moms about to sell their babies and so on . . .
Despite the fact that Kelly is not the statistical best-fighting Angel nor the one with the most fights to her name, she does have some of the most memorable ones and therefore has gone down in history as the ass-kicking Angel anyway. If the rep is still sticking 40 years later, we can’t really take it away from her at this point. Be it a simple matter or sticking up for rookie Kris who was being threatened by a big ole butch broad in a towel (Angels in the Backfield), to roughing up showgirls backstage (Magic Fire, The Vegas Connection), Kelly didn’t give a damn – mess with her or her friends and her stunt double will shut you DOWN!
Can you say underrated? While Jill got all the praise, Kelly snuck by under the radar with some of the loveliest hair to ever stroll through Townsend Detective Agency. (Thank you, Wella Balsam and Breck.) Unfortunately Kelly’s originally long, luscious, glossy locks gradually got wider and frizzer as the show went on as novelty heroin addiction and Hawaiian humidity took its toll.
Compared to Kris, Bri and Tiffany, well, let’s just say Kelly would not be Bosley’s first choice as a scrabble partner, but compared to the meat-head bad guys, Miss Garrett routinely came up against, she was a rocket scientist. She did tend to state the obvious a lot though.
TASTE IN MEN
Again, we have a situation where she started pretty strong and went downhill. Kelly had a moustache-free Tom Selleck at her beck and call – hypnotized by her soft focus lighting, Selleck’s character was crazy for her, but harkening back to the above stated childhood issues, Kelly managed to shoo him out of her life and onto a private eye series of his own. In Season 3, she hit upon another good guy, the handsome, free-roaming pilot in Angel on High; but his wings couldn’t be clipped.
From there it sometimes got weird. Kelly hit it off with guest-star (and Jaclyn Smith’s then-real-life-husband) Dennis Cole in two episodes, and he was cute with his over-conditioned hair and tight jeans, but he kept trying to kill her in bowling alleys and at 6,000 feet in the air, which kind of put a damper on the courtship.
Kelly also lost major points for falling in love with the two-timing (but attractive) Bill Cord who was also secretly involved with Kelly’s friend and co-worker Kris Munroe during the whole One Love … Two Angels debacle. At least he paid with his life.
Kelly’s Mustang was sort of the Jan Brady of Angel cars. It’s way above the Pinto, but a definite backseat to Kris and Jill’s sporty Cobra. Though Mustangs always count as a cool car, but its mellow yellow color made it sort of unremarkable in comparison. When not blown to bits, it got the job done in style.
In the beginning, they really had to work at making Kelly not look good. Kelly can rock anything from a ballgown to a bikini and had some sweet threads in the 70’s. She started a lot stronger than she finished, and points had to be deducted for the tragedy that was early 1980’s fashion. Not her fault.
“Daddy had me shooting ducks from my stroller.” Okay she’s an orphan, but she shoots even better than she lies. Kelly didn’t just shoot, she shot to kill, and Kelly didn’t just shoot to kill, she shot to kill with her eyes closed. Kelly could shoot the gun out of your hand but was modest enough to say she was aiming for the shoulder. She is also the only Angel to work out her childhood issues by shooting and killing bad guys. Hey – it’s cheaper than therapy and safer than alcohol. Or heroin.
Kelly shot the most bad guys of any Angel (5) and also killed more people than anyone on the entire show, bad guys included (definitely 7 and maybe as many as 9).
Let’s just shoot from the hip. A former drug addict (sort of); has unresolved abuse issues which can cause Kelly to be delusional; known to be physically violent; a disregard for public safety (shooting a gun with her eyes closed). She’s known to lie about her background in order to receive a free action figure of herself. Tends to mentally check out of investigations and stare vacantly. Destructive with cars and property. Really bad luck when babysitting.
• Escape Artist
• Supreme Lock Picker
• Trained Dancer
• Motorcycle Stunt Rider
• Fuse Box Expert
• Dune Buggy Stunt Driver
• Expert Jive Talker
• Experience landing a 747 while wearing clogs
MEET THE ANGELS