Celebrity Spotlight - Jaclyn Smith
She’s an angel; one of Charlie’s Angels, to be exact. But this description reflects more than her acting career. Of course, being an actress represents a major portion of Jaclyn Smith’s life. In addition to her role as Kelly Garrett in Charlie’s Angels, she has appeared in more than 50 films and series, such as The Rookies and the recent CBS drama The District. She made a dramatic guest appearance last year in an episode of NBC’s Law & Order: SVU, and her portrayal of the legendary first lady in the critically acclaimed miniseries Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy netted her a Golden Globe nomination.
Although Jaclyn lights up the screen, she did not start out there. In fact, she left her native Houston for New York City to pursue a passion for dancing. An agent noticed her classic looks and, soon thereafter, she became the Breck Girl. She went on to become a face of Max Factor cosmetics, for which she developed an award-winning signature perfume.
She built on this flair for style, becoming a designer. She has partnered with celebrity hairstylist José Eber to create a line of affordable wigs for Paula Young, and she joined with Fabricut’s Trend line to develop a line of beautiful fabrics for the home at an exceptional value. Perhaps most notably, she began designing a namesake clothing line for Kmart in 1985. This year she celebrates her 25th anniversary of bringing accessible, beautiful clothes to women across the country via the budget-friendly retailer.
Beauty Inside and Out
All this focus on Jaclyn’s outer beauty only hints at what lies within. Her website features the tag line “Giving Is Beautiful.” She’s certainly given much to her adoring fans and even more to her adoring family, including her five dogs. “Being a dog lover is in my DNA,” Jaclyn says. “It’s the way I’m built. You look at their faces and smell that puppy smell. You can’t help but just fall in love at first sight.”
Jaclyn has had this animal affection since she was a child. “I’m lucky my mother was an animal lover,” Jaclyn says. “Growing up, I was never without a dog or a pet.” Her first pet: A shelter cat named Bootsie Gumdrop. “She was gorgeous,” Jaclyn says. “She was white with a black ear and a black spot and a black tail.”
Every one of Jaclyn Smith’s dogs gets regular wellness care at the veterinary practice. Honey Bun has an allergy, so she goes to a specialized veterinary dermatologist. Jaclyn has even had a veterinary acupuncturist as well as a veterinary oncologist treat her pets.
From this cat to her current brood of five dogs, Jaclyn’s pets have always been part of the family. “They slept with us, they hopped on the bed. And our dogs do this today, too,” Jaclyn says. “Honey Bun, our Toy Poodle, even travels to New York because she’s small and fits under the seat.”
Caring for five dogs takes a village. “I have a great support team,” Jaclyn says. “When I’m working, they take the dogs to the park. Everybody in this house loves the dogs. If you’re not a dog lover, you don’t belong in this house.”
Along with her dynamite dogs, Jaclyn shares her home with husband Bradley Allen, who’s a pediatric heart surgeon. She also has two children in their 20s—a son named Gaston Anthony and a daughter named Spencer Margaret.
Finding Canine Comfort
Family is intensely important to Jaclyn, and the recent death of her mother has been difficult. But Honey Bun, Jaclyn’s mother’s dog, has made the sadness a little more bearable now that the Toy Poodle is living with Jaclyn. “Honey Bun and I are soul sisters because we love the same lady deeply,” Jaclyn says. “There’s just something that we connect on that’s beyond anything I’ve known. My mom wanted me to have her, so Mom knew I needed Honey Bun.”
And Honey Bun needed Jaclyn. “She had issues when mom passed away,” Jaclyn says. “It was really hard. She stopped eating. She just sat on Mom’s chair or the love seat.” Honey Bun is doing better these days, and Jaclyn sees the comfort that they give each other as a gift.
This intense bond between people and pets has demonstrated itself in Jaclyn’s life before: “When my daughter was little, there was one time that she was upset. She was on the ground, crying. Our dog Bo went up to her and put one paw on one shoulder and one paw on the other. And Spencer Margaret stopped crying right then.”
Angels? Maybe so. As for Jaclyn, she’ll always surround herself with the love of two- and four-legged companions. “I have good friends, the greatest family, and the greatest dogs,” Jaclyn says. “You don’t want to be without pets. They add joy. They lengthen your life.”
An Insider’s Look at Jaclyn
First professional job
Model in a furniture store
Gone With the Wind
Andrea Bocelli, Tchaikovsky, Igor Stravinsky, and Coldplay. “I love the classics, being a ballet dancer originally,” Jaclyn says. “But if we’re talking today, I love Coldplay. It’s rather emotional music to me.”
Antiques and period items, whether they be china, crystal, or furniture
Best part of being one of Charlie’s Angels
The friendship—and the dogs. In the first season, 1976, Jaclyn would bring her dog Albert to the set. And so would the other angels: Kate Jackson had a Siberian Husky and Farrah Fawcett had an Afghan Hound.
Designing Clothes That Fit Every Lifestyle
Celebrating a silver anniversary is a major accomplishment. After 25 years of creating high-style, low-priced looks for her Kmart fashion line, Jaclyn Smith has reason to cheer—and so do women everywhere.
“Many people said they did not want me to do Kmart,” Jaclyn says in a video showing an on-location Kmart photo shoot. “They thought it was not in my image. It would be a conflict.” But Jaclyn scoffed at that idea. “I think it’s a way of giving back, making clothes at affordable prices,” she says. “Certainly today that means a lot, but it’s always meant a lot. Value means a lot, and I think we do that just right.”
When Jaclyn started the line in 1985, she was the first celebrity fashion designer to target mass-market shoppers. Today, more than 100 million women wear her clothes.
To appeal to a broad array of tastes, Jaclyn works with designers at Kmart’s New York City studio to ensure the outfits appeal to teenagers and women in their 60s. “We have so many points of view and what might be popular in California might not be in New York or Ohio,” Jaclyn says. “So we have people from all over the country who come together with different points of view about the needs of a customer. I’m in awe of my team. Yes, I have a strong point of view about fashion, but it takes more than one point of view. And I’m fortunate because we’re able to do so many wonderful things at an affordable price.”
Her wonderful offerings have expanded to include jewelry, shoes, purses, and home décor and outdoor living products—all at Kmart. She takes the same fashionably affordable approach to her home lines. “We combine beauty with functionality, and that’s a hard thing to do,” Jaclyn says. But she makes it all look effortless.