Is Cheryl Ladd related to Alan Ladd? The truth behind the Hollywood connection

Many people wonder if Cheryl Ladd, the actress best known for her role as Kris Munroe in Charlie’s Angels, is related to Alan Ladd, the legendary star of films noir and Westerns. The answer is not as simple as it may seem. Here is the truth behind the Hollywood connection between these two famous names.

Who is Cheryl Ladd?

Cheryl Ladd was born Cheryl Jean Stoppelmoor on July 12, 1951, in Huron, South Dakota. She began her career in music, singing for a band called The Music Shop and providing the voice of Melody on the animated series Josie and the Pussycats. 

She moved to Los Angeles in 1970 and started to land roles in commercials and TV shows, such as The Rookies, The Partridge Family, Police Woman, and Happy Days. 

Her big break came in 1977 when she joined the cast of Charlie’s Angels, replacing Farrah Fawcett-Majors as Kris Munroe, the younger sister of Jill Munroe. She stayed on the show until its cancellation in 1981 and became a household name. 

She also pursued her musical career, releasing three albums and having a top-40 hit single with “Think It Over”. She performed the National Anthem at the Super Bowl XIV in 1980. 

After Charlie’s Angels, she continued to act in TV movies, such as Grace Kelly (1983), where she played the iconic actress and princess, and feature films, such as Purple Hearts (1984), Millennium (1989), Poison Ivy (1992), Permanent Midnight (1998), and Unforgettable (2017). 

She also wrote a children’s book called The Adventures of Little Nettie Windship (1996) and an autobiography called Token Chick: A Woman’s Guide to Golfing with the Boys (2005). 

She has been married twice: first to actor David Ladd, son of Alan Ladd, from 1973 to 1980, and then to music producer Brian Russell since 1981. She has two children: Jordan Ladd, an actress who is David’s daughter, and Lindsay Russell, Brian’s daughter from a previous marriage. 

Who is Alan Ladd?

Alan Ladd was born Alan Walbridge Ladd on September 3, 1913, in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He was the only child of Ina Raleigh and Alan Ladd Sr., a freelance accountant. His father died when he was four and his mother remarried a house painter named Jim Beavers. They moved to California during the Great Depression and lived in a migrant camp. 

Ladd was a high school swimming and diving champion and participated in drama. He also worked as a lifeguard, a carpenter, a radio announcer, and a gas station attendant. He got his first acting job in a stage production of The Mikado in 1932. 

He was discovered by a talent scout and signed to Universal Pictures in 1933, but he was dropped after six months for being too blond and too short (he was 5’6″). He then worked as a freelance actor for various studios, mostly appearing in small or uncredited roles in films such as Once in a Lifetime (1932), Citizen Kane (1941), The Black Cat (1941), Joan of Paris (1942), and The Glass Key (1942). 

His breakthrough came when he starred as Raven, a hitman with a heart, in This Gun for Hire (1942), opposite Veronica Lake. The film was a huge success and established him as a leading man and a star of film noir. He went on to make several more films with Lake, such as The Blue Dahlia (1946) and Saigon (1948). He also excelled in Westerns, such as Whispering Smith (1948), his first color film, Shane (1953), one of his most acclaimed roles, and The Proud Rebel (1958). 

He also appeared in other genres, such as historical dramas like Two Years Before the Mast (1946) and The Great Gatsby (1949), war films like China (1943) and Hell on Frisco Bay (1955), comedies like Boy on a Dolphin (1957) and The Carpetbaggers (1964), his last film role. He also produced some of his own films through his company Jaguar Productions. 

He was married twice: first to Marjorie Jane Harrold, a schoolteacher, from 1936 to 1941, and then to Sue Carol, a former actress and his agent, from 1942 until his death. He had three children: Alan Ladd Jr., a film producer and executive, David Ladd, an actor and producer, and Alana Ladd, an actress. 

He died of an accidental overdose of alcohol, a barbiturate, and two tranquilizers on January 29, 1964, at the age of 50. He was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. 

The connection between Cheryl and Alan

Cheryl Ladd is not related to Alan Ladd by blood, but she is related to him by marriage. Alan Ladd is the father of Cheryl’s first husband, David Ladd. 

Cheryl and David met in 1973 when they co-starred in the film The Treasure of Jamaica Reef. They married later that year and had a daughter, Jordan, in 1975. They divorced in 1980, citing irreconcilable differences. 

Cheryl has said that she admired Alan as an actor and that he was very kind to her when she joined the Ladd family. She also said that she learned a lot from him about the film industry and that he was supportive of her career. 

Alan died before Cheryl became famous as an Angel, but she has said that he would have been proud of her success. She also said that she still considers herself a part of the Ladd family and that she has a good relationship with David and his siblings. 

Conclusion

Cheryl Ladd and Alan Ladd are two talented actors who have made their mark in Hollywood history. They are not related by blood, but they are connected by marriage through David Ladd, Cheryl’s ex-husband and Alan’s son. They have shared a mutual respect and affection for each other and have passed on their legacy to their children and grandchildren.

Doms Desk

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