Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy 80th Birthday to Angie Dickinson

It's kinda hard to believe that Angie turns the big 8-0 today. Although Angie has done scores of film and TV roles in her 50-plus year career, she is probably best remembered for her role as Sgt. Suzanne "Pepper" Anderson on the hit series Police Woman (which ran on NBC from 1974-1978).

These days, Charlie's Angels (which debuted 2 years later) gets most of the credit when people talk about female crime fighters of 70s TV. However, Police Woman was the first successful hour-long drama series in American primetime TV history to feature a woman in the starring role.With Angie proving that a female could carry an hour-long drama, she helped pave the way for the aforementioned Charlie's Angels as well as such series as The Bionic Woman, Wonder Woman, and Cagney & Lacey. In addition to Angie's role on Police Woman having an impact on the fictional world of TV, it was also influential in real life. The success of the series led to a sharp increase in applications for employment from women to police departments around the United States. So to those who dismiss Police Woman as exploitative fluff, take that... turkey!

Side note: When I think of Angie Dickinson, I'm also reminded of a great line from an episode of Frasier.The subplot involves Frasier being hooked on a mini-series. When Roz is surprised that Frasier actually likes the mini-series, he tries to explain.

Frasier: I think some of the intricacies of the plot are downright Dickensian
Roz: Yeah - Angie Dickensian!

Anyway, happy 80th Angie! Below is the season 4 opening credits sequence to Police Woman.

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