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Arts & Life

Personalities: Cheryl Ladd, Pride of Huron

Cheryl Ladd as Kris Munroe in Charlie's Angels
imdb.com
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She was one of Charlie's Angels, portrayed Grace Kelly in Princess Grace, and most recently played Robert Shapiro's wife in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.

Cheryl Ladd is arguably South Dakota's most famous female celebrity.

What you may not know is that she was once Cheryl Stoppelmoor, a talented youngster born and raised in Huron. Chuck Anderson, a native Huronian himself, naturally had to find out how the town contributed to her success.

On July 8th, 1995, he got that chance.

Cheryl was planning to visit Huron for a special commemoration, but instead had to prepare for a trip to Europe to promote her new show, One West Waikiki. 

Chuck understood and thanked her for trying.

He immediately jumped into questioning, asking what her favorite productions were. She had a particular one in mind.

Cheryl Ladd as Grace Kelly and Ian McShane as the Prince of Monaco
Credit rottentomatoes.com
Cheryl Ladd as Grace Kelly and Ian McShane as the Prince of Monaco

cheryl_grace_kelly.mp3
Cheryl discusses the close relationship she had with the Princess Grace film.

Chuck segued into the gamechanging role of Cheryl's career: Kris Munroe in Charlie's Angels. How did she get it?

cheryl_getting_angel_role.mp3
Cheryl says she was pursuing another role in another show, but was persuaded to try out for Charlie's Angels.

She was daunted by the idea of replacing starlet Farrah Fawcett, an original Angel. So, she found a way to remove some of the pressure.

cheryl_replacing_farrah.mp3
Cheryl says replacing Farrah Fawcett became easier when she built a very different character.

Charlie's Angels
Credit everydayshouldbesaturday.com
Charlie's Angels

Charlie's Angels was a weekly hour-long program which called for greater time and resources, something the audience never saw. Chuck was curious about a typical filming day.

cheryl_angels_filming.mp3
Cheryl discusses the lengthy process of filming an hour-long show.

In order for a star to be born, one must be uniquely skilled and passionate. Cheryl was discovered exhibiting those traits.

cheryl_discovery_and_josie.mp3
Cheryl says she was performing in the Midwest when a Sherman Oaks couple discovered her.
Cheryl Ladd in Satan's School for Girls
Credit monstermoviemusic.blogspot.com
Cheryl Ladd in Satan's School for Girls

Cheryl intended to pursue singing in California, but her dancing and acting chops brought even more jobs. Not only does she owe gratitude to her arts training in Huron,...

cheryl_dancing.mp3
Cheryl recalls her dance training in Huron.
cheryl_singing_music_shop.mp3
Cheryl remembers her Music Shop days.

...but she also honors grade school teachers who instilled character and discipline.

cheryl_fave_teachers.mp3
Cheryl mentions the names of her most inspiring teachers in Huron.

She says her father has been her hero.

cheryl_parents.mp3
Cheryl says her father worked for the Chicago Northwestern Railroad and became her hero for it.

Before becoming famous, Cheryl worked a few odd jobs in Huron and California.

cheryl_huron_restaurants.mp3
Cheryl remembers working as a waitress at the Double H.
cheryl_odd_jobs.mp3
Cheryl says she worked in commercials for Arco Gas, Prell, and Max Factor.

She was fortunate enough to have jobs to fall back on, because the acting world is tough and unapologetic. Knowing this, Cheryl has advice for aspiring actors and actresses.

cheryl_struggle_to_become_actor.mp3
Cheryl says acting isn't for the tame and she recommends you try something else first.

At the end of the interview, Chuck reminded Cheryl of the pride and love her hometown has for her.

cheryl_chuck_and_huron_proud.mp3
Chuck reminds Cheryl of how proud she's made her hometown and how you can't mention the place and not think of her.

A short time later, Chuck took on a project to see where Cheryl's teachers/mentors are now.

cheryl_where_are_teachers_now.mp3
Chuck updates listeners on the status of Cheryl's favorite teachers.

He says he's sitting with Ladd's favorite Spanish teacher, Karen Mueller.

cheryl_classy_young_spanish.mp3
Chuck asks what happened to the "classy, young Spanish teacher" Cheryl once had.

He asks for a teacher's perspective on Ladd as a student, and only high praise is sufficient.

cheryl_karen_on_cheryl_as_student.mp3
Karen expresses great satisfaction in Cheryl's academics.

Being one of Cheryl Ladd's greatest mentors, Mueller felt responsible to share a bit of wisdom with the future actress to help keep her grounded. Cheryl did not heed the advice, and both women are actually glad.

cheryl_karen_s_advice.mp3
Karen asked Cheryl to pursue something important before deciding to act.
The cast of Unforgettable
Credit People
The cast of Unforgettable

Today, Cheryl Ladd is starring in the thriller Unforgettable with Katherine Heigl and Rosario Dawson. She continues to act in film and TV productions and is married to music producer Brian Russell.

Listen to Chuck Anderson's full interview with Cheryl Ladd here.

cheryl_ladd_7-8-95.mp3
Chuck Anderson's full interview with Cheryl Ladd

Chuck Anderson talked about his conversation with Cheryl Ladd during an interview with Lori Walsh on SDPB's "In the Moment" program.

itm_5_22_17_chuck_anderson_13_min_58_sec.mp3
Listen to the interview from May 22, 2017