Many people have wondered if the famous actors Alan Ladd and Cheryl Ladd are related. They share the same last name and have both starred in popular movies and TV shows. But are they really family? The answer is not as simple as it may seem.
Who is Alan Ladd?
Alan Ladd was an American actor and film producer who rose to fame in the 1940s and early 1950s. He was best known for his roles in films noir and Westerns, such as This Gun for Hire, The Glass Key, The Blue Dahlia, Whispering Smith, and Shane. He was often paired with Veronica Lake in films noir, creating a memorable screen chemistry. He also appeared in ten films with William Bendix.
Alan Ladd was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, on September 3, 1913. He was the only child of Ina Raleigh and Alan Ladd, a freelance accountant. His father died of a heart attack when he was four, and his mother remarried a house painter named Jim Beavers. They moved to California during the Great Depression, where Ladd attended North Hollywood High School. He became a swimming and diving champion and participated in high school dramatics.
Ladd’s acting career began in 1932, when he appeared in a small role in Once in a Lifetime. He signed a contract with Universal Pictures in 1933, but was dropped after six months for being too blond and too short. He then worked as a radio actor, a gas station attendant, a waiter, a lifeguard, and a carpenter. He also started his own production company, Mayfair Pictures, with some friends.
Ladd’s breakthrough came in 1942, when he played the hitman Philip Raven in This Gun for Hire, based on the novel by Graham Greene. The film was a huge success and made him a star overnight. He continued to work with Paramount Pictures for the next decade, starring in many films that showcased his cool and stoic persona. He also formed his own production company, Jaguar Productions, with his agent and wife Sue Carol.
Ladd’s popularity declined in the mid-1950s, as he faced personal problems such as alcoholism, depression, insomnia, and chronic ulcers. He also had difficulties finding good roles that suited his age and image. He tried to revive his career with some independent films and foreign productions, but none of them matched his earlier achievements. His last film was The Carpetbaggers, released in 1964.
Ladd died of an accidental overdose of alcohol and drugs on January 29, 1964, at the age of 50. He was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. He left behind three children from his two marriages: Alan Jr., Alana, and David Ladd.
Who is Cheryl Ladd?
Cheryl Ladd is an American actress, singer, and author who is best known for her role as Kris Munroe in the ABC television series Charlie’s Angels. She joined the show in its second season in 1977 to replace Farrah Fawcett-Majors, who left to pursue a movie career. She played the younger sister of Fawcett’s character Jill Munroe and became an instant fan favorite.
Cheryl Ladd was born Cheryl Jean Stoppelmoor on July 12, 1951, in Huron, South Dakota. She was the second daughter of Dolores Katz and Marion Stoppelmoor, a railroad engineer. She began singing at an early age and joined a band called The Music Shop after high school. She moved to Los Angeles in 1970 to pursue a career in music.
Ladd’s first acting role was as the singing voice of Melody on the animated series Josie and the Pussycats. She also sang on the album of the same name. She then appeared in various commercials and TV shows, such as The Rookies, The Partridge Family, Police Woman, The Muppet Show, and Happy Days.
Ladd’s big break came when she was cast as Kris Munroe on Charlie’s Angels, one of the most popular shows of the late 1970s. She stayed on the show until its cancellation in 1981. She also used her fame to further her musical career, releasing three albums and having a top-40 hit single called “Think It Over”.
Ladd continued to act in movies and TV after Charlie’s Angels, starring in more than 30 made-for-television films. Some of her notable roles include Grace Kelly, the Philadelphia heiress who became a Hollywood star and then a European princess; Annie Hutton, a nurse who falls in love with a wounded soldier during the Vietnam War; Sarah Logan, a journalist who investigates a mysterious plane crash; Kate Sanders, a detective who solves crimes with her dog; Peggy Maxwell, a casino hostess who gets involved with a mobster; and Jillian James, a successful author who suffers from amnesia.
Ladd also wrote a children’s book called The Adventures of Little Nettie Windship, and a memoir called Token Chick: A Woman’s Guide to Golfing with the Boys.
Ladd has been married twice. She married fellow actor David Ladd (son of Alan Ladd) in 1973. They have a daughter, actress Jordan Ladd. They divorced in 1980. She then married music producer Brian Russell in 1981. They have a stepdaughter, Lindsay Russell.
Cheryl Ladd is not related to Alan Ladd by blood, but she is related to him by marriage. She was married to his son David Ladd for seven years, from 1973 to 1980. During that time, she took his surname as her own and kept it after their divorce. She also became the stepmother of his two children, Alan Jr. and Alana.
Cheryl Ladd has said that she admired Alan Ladd as an actor and as a father-in-law. She once said, “He was a wonderful man and a terrific actor. He was very kind to me and very supportive of my career. He was also a great grandfather to my daughter Jordan.” [according to ABTC]
Cheryl Ladd has also said that she felt a connection with Alan Ladd because they both came from humble backgrounds and struggled to make it in Hollywood. She once said, “We both had to fight for our careers. We both had to overcome being short and blond and not fitting the mold of what a star should look like. We both had to prove ourselves with our talent and our determination.” [according to Legit]
Therefore, Cheryl Ladd and Alan Ladd are related by marriage, but not by blood. They share a common name and a common passion for acting, but they have different origins and histories. They are both icons of their respective generations and genres, and they have left a lasting legacy in the entertainment industry.