2016 SME Women in Business®
Possessing an effervescent personality and embodying the beauty, grace, class and charm of old Hollywood, it’s no wonder Cheryl Ladd remains one of Tinseltown’s favorite actresses. Since her big break as one of the beloved “Charlie’s Angels,” Ladd’s career has traversed television, film, and Broadway, and the beautiful actor-singer-author is still very much a triple-threat!
In the Summer of 2016, audiences will be able to see Ladd guest starring opposite series star Liev Schreiber on the third season of Showtime’s hit “Ray Donovan.” Ladd will be playing ‘Tina Harvey,’ a longtime game show hostess. She is currently shooting FX’s “American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson”. She portrayed Linell Shapiro, the wife of Simpson’s defense attorney Robert Shapiro (portrayed by John Travolta).
Ladd recently guest starred as the love interest to Martin Sheen in Charlie Sheen’s FXX comedy “Anger Management.” Last year saw the release of the faith-based film “The Perfect Wave”, starring Ladd in a lead role. Her other recent credits include Ladd singing and dancing as ‘Mrs. Claus’ in the Disney musical THE SEARCH FOR SANTA PAWS: SANTA PUPS 2 as well as starring as an unhinged love interest to medical examiner ‘Ducky’ (David McCallum) on television’s highest-rated drama, CBS’ “NCIS.” She also appeared on “Chuck,” Hallmark’s “Love’s Resounding Courage,” and “CSI: Miami.”
A classic beauty and one of America’s sweethearts since her days as an “Angel,” Ladd made a memorable appearance alongside fellow angel and friend Jaclyn Smith to pay tribute to the late Farrah Fawcett and John Forsythe at the “TV Land Awards” several years ago. Prior to that, Ladd had a recurring role on NBC’s drama “Las Vegas” playing ‘Jillian Deline,’ the wife of James Caan.
An avid golfer with a respectable index of 14, she authored “Token Chick: A Woman’s Guide to Golfing with the Boys” in 2006, an autobiographical book recounting her experiences in the sport of golf. The book follows Ladd’s experiences from being introduced to the game by her husband to stories of celebrity golf tournaments and pro-ams, as well as pointers for players of all skill levels.
A tireless humanitarian, Ladd has had the honor of being the first woman to receive the prestigious “Hubert H. Humphrey Humanitarian Award” by the Washington D.C. Touchdown Club for her continuing philanthropic endeavors. She is an ambassador for Childhelp USA – one of the largest national non-profit organizations dedicated to the research, prevention and treatment of child abuse, and was the recipient of the “Woman of the World Award” from Childhelp USA in 1987. Every year, Ladd teams with actor John O’Hurley to host a celebrity golf tournament to raise funds and awareness for ChildHelp USA, the forthcoming event happening in January 2012.
Moving effortlessly between mediums has always been second nature for Ladd, and the seasoned performer demonstrated such versatility when she starred as ‘Annie Oakley’ in “Annie Get Your Gun!” on Broadway. Her lifelong dream became a reality when she replaced Bernadette Peters in the Tony Award-winning musical. Of her performance, syndicated columnist Liz Smith enthused, “Cheryl, who has winning pipes, is terrifically charming as the countrified ragamuffin sharpshooter transformed by love!”
Born and raised in Huron, South Dakota, Ladd spent her childhood focused on singing, dancing, acting – and moving on. “My mother says my bags were packed from the time I was three,” says Ladd. “She knew I was headed for either New York or Hollywood.” While in high school, Ladd sang with a local group called “The Music Shop,” which brought her to Los Angeles upon graduation. The band eventually broke up, but Ladd stayed in L.A. intent on pursuing her dream of becoming an actress. In just a short time, she got her first professional break as the singing voice of ‘Melody’ on the cartoon series, “Josie and the Pussycats.”
Armed with talent and perseverance, Ladd quickly added a string of significant credits to her resume, including the comedy/variety series, “The Ken Berry WOW Show,” with Steve Martin and Teri Garr. “If that show had hit, I think I would have become a comedienne,” she offers. Instead, Ladd was cast in the role of ‘Kris Munroe’ on “Charlie’s Angels” and was instantly catapulted into stardom. “The onslaught of attention and instant fame was pretty overwhelming,” says Ladd, who spent four years on the show.
While still on the series, she developed and starred in the ABC telefilm, “When She Was Bad,” which dealt with the harsh realities of child abuse. “At that time, no one was saying anything about this horrific epidemic going on in our country,” says Ladd. Because of her association with Childhelp USA, she “wanted to bring this issue to the forefront of people’s minds.”
Ladd’s numerous television credits include guest star roles on the sitcoms “Hope and Faith,” “Jesse” and a recurring role on “Two Guys and a Girl.” Additional television credits include “Though None Go With Me,” “Eve’s Christmas,” “Grace Kelly,” “Perfect Little Angels,” and “Every Mother’s Worst Fear” for the USA Network. The latter film, about a mother’s search for her teenage daughter who is abducted by someone who met her while surfing the internet was particularly special to Ladd, as it allowed her to star opposite her real-life daughter, Jordan Ladd.
Feature film credits include “Baggage” with Barry Bostwick, “A Dog of Flanders” opposite Jon Voight, “Permanent Midnight” with Ben Stiller, “Poison Ivy” with Tom Skerritt and Drew Barrymore.
In her spare time she keeps busy writing and developing new projects. She co-authored a children’s book with her husband of 34 years, Brian Russell. The book, “The Adventures of Little Nettie Windship”, teaches the value of good citizenship and championship.
She also enjoys spending time with her Labradoodle, Crockett, and taking long walks in the hills surrounding her home in the Santa Ynez valley.
Ladd’s focus, however, always remains on her acting. “I think it would be great fun to do a sitcom,” she says, “I’m one of those actors who is always looking forward to the next challenge!”