President Gerald Ford visited the set during filming, as it was one of his favorite television shows.
Ayn Rand was a great fan of the show, considering the idea of beautiful women doing impossible things to be a welcome divergence from its contemporaries.
The Cast Showoff: Before joining the series, Cheryl Ladd was already known as a singer (she was one of the singing voices in Josie and the Pussycats and recorded an album with the group), and she used her fame on Charlie's Angels to launch a solo singing career that actually scored a few hits in the late 1970s. Not surprisingly, the series built an episode titled "Angels in the Wings" around Kris performing in a musical, allowing Ladd to sing several tunes.
Hostility on the Set: Kate Jackson and Cheryl Ladd reportedly did not get along during their two seasons working together. Ladd stated in interviews there were some days Jackson would not even speak to her.
In an "Emmy TV Legends" interview 'John Forsythe' called the show a "potboiler"; (a bad show), of deliberately poor quality, made quickly on the cheap solely to make a lot of money, which it did. Money is also the reason he was never seen on-screen, claiming he'd have needed to be paid a lot to do so.
Jaclyn Smith was eventually given a raise from $5000 an episode to $40,000 to prevent her from leaving the show.
The Other Marty: The original Charlie was fired due to his drinking problems. John Forsythe was asked to do the voiceover on the midnight of the Friday before the pilot was to be broadcast. He recorded the first voiceover in his pyjamas.
Throw It In!: Kate Jackson suggested the name 'Charlie's Angels' after seeing a poster of angels in Aaron Spelling's office.
The series exemplified the start of the craze for men's butts among Western women which began with the publication of photographer Christy Jenkins' photo book A Woman Looks at Men's Buns in 1980 during the fourth and fifth seasons (1979-1981). During the fourth season, Kris and Tiffany visually assessed men's buns in both the "Love Boat Angels" and "Toni's Boys" episodes; during the fifth season, Julie stared at a guy's butt in the "Mr. Galaxy" episode, while Kris is seen checking out guys' butts in both the "He Married an Angel" and "Angel on a Roll" episodes.
"Angel on a Roll" also shows some of the first bank automatic teller machines (ATM).
The series features lots of 70's fashions, designs, hairstyles and sets that may seem either cool or cheesy today.
Several episodes also display the rampant discrimination against women that was still common in the era (usually in a lampshading manner as the Angels soon prove how outdated those viewpoints are).
It's perhaps telling that the series didn't survive very long into the 1980s.
Wag the Director: A lot of writers were fired from the show because the stars were always demanding better scripts.
Reportedly it was Ayn Rand's favorite show and Farrah Fawcett was her top choice for the role of Dagny Taggart if Atlas Shrugged was ever turned into a movie.note Unfortunately the movie version arrived two years after Miss Fawcett passed away.
Producers originally wanted to have a Blonde, Brunette, Redhead trio as the Angels, but they abandoned this in order to have Jaclyn Smith as the third Angel. They finally got their redhead when Tanya Roberts joined in Season 5.
Kate Jackson originally signed on to play Kelly, being the first name the showrunners had in mind. However, when she warmed up to the role of the rather brainy Sabrina, the producers cast Jaclyn Smith as Kelly instead. This is why the pilot episode mainly focuses on Kelly.
At the end of the fifth season, Jaclyn Smith’s five year contract was up, and she had made it clear she was not going to return. Interestingly enough, her character apparently was going to be killed off. But when the show was cancelled instead of renewed, it was decided that Kelly should remain alive for the sake of syndication. Had there been a sixth season, Kelly would have died.
Kim Basinger, who appears in the episode "Angels in Chains" as an inmate, was later offered the role of Kris Munroe and turned it down because she wanted to do film.
Kate Jackson was cast as Joanna in Kramer vs. Kramer but filming would overlap with Charlie's Angels. Despite attempts to work around Aaron Spelling's schedule, Kate had to drop out and Meryl Streep got the part instead.
Working Title: The series had two alternate titles: The Alley Cats and Harry's Angels.
For the 2000 Film series:
Ability over Appearance: In the original script, Vivian Wood was Chinese and her name was Vivian Wu. Once Lucy Liu was cast as Alex, they changed her to Caucasian.
Dyeing for Your Art: The women trained with their martial arts master for three months, eight hours daily (except weekends).
Hostility on the Set: During the filming of the movie, there was apparently so much hostility between Bill Murray and Lucy Liu (he repeatedly called her acting skills into question) that she attacked him at one point, forcing the crew to separate them. McG also claimed that Murray headbutted him, which Murray denies.
Troubled Production: Bill Murray and Lucy Liu had trouble getting along on a daily basis, often erupting into shouting matches (one argument even stopped production for a day). Beforehand the script was rewritten about thirty times until it was deemed "acceptable".
Drew Barrymore insisted that the Angels be able to do all their fighting without firearms, hence why only the bad guys use guns.
The Thin Man originally had lines, but Crispin Glover disliked what was in the script and asked for them to be changed. The director and producer then decided to make him The Voiceless because it made the character more mysterious.
The role of Alex was originally offered to Angelina Jolie who turned it down after admitting she was not a fan of the original series. It was then offered to Jada Pinkett Smith who declined it to film Bamboozled instead. Thandie Newton was finally cast but had to leave owing to freak weather which caused the Mission: Impossible II schedule to overrun. The role was eventually taken by Lucy Liu.
Jaclyn Smith, Kate Jackson and Farrah Fawcett - were invited to make Remake Cameo appearances, but declined. Reportedly, Fawcett said she'd only do it if she were allowed to be the voice of Charlie, and Jackson insisted on playing the role of Vivian Wood that eventually went to Kelly Lynch. Ultimately, John Forsythe and Smith did appear in its sequel. Smith's role was uncredited, however.
Jamie Foxx was originally in talks to play the new Bosley.
Courtney Love was offered the role of Madison Lee, but turned it down.
For the reboot TV series:
California Doubling: While the series is shot in Florida, there were some places (e.g. Cuba, some of the islands near Florida) that were shot in the state.
The Pete Best or The Other Marty: Robert Wagner was set to be the voice of Charlie (replacing the late John Forsythe) but was prevented by scheduling conflicts; ultimately Victor Garber supplied Charlie's voice.