‘Charlie’s Angels’: Why Farrah Fawcett Left the Show

by Samantha Whidden

Although she was only on one season of “Charlie’s Angels,” Farrah Fawcett is one of the more well-known names on the hit classic TV series. But even decades later, fans are still wondering exactly why Fawcett was only on the show for one season. 

According to Biography.com, while “Charlie’s Angels” quickly gained popularity earlier on, it was a shock to everyone who Fawcett announced she was quitting the TV show after one season. It was later revealed that her departure was due to financial, creative, and personal considerations that made her leave the series. Producer, Aaron Spelling, also spoke about how Fawcett helped make the show become popular. “Her hair helped make the show,” he stated. “It became one of our signatures.”

However, Fawcett was only paired $5,000 per episode, which was half of what her “Charlie’s Angels” co-star, Kate Jackson, made per episode. Fawcett also only made just two percent of the show’s merchandise income despite her face being featured on lunchboxes and board games. 

The Washington Post reported at the time that Fawcett was up to get $10,000 per episode after the first season. However, the actress reportedly wanted $75,000 per episode instead. She also requested 10 percent of the merchandise income as well. Producer Leonard Goldberg reflected on the discussion he had with Fawcett about the show. But she wasn’t interested in negotiating. “I would say, ‘Well, Farrah, if we give you eight percent?’ And she would say, “Well, no, I don’t know.’”

‘Charlie’s Angels’ Star Farrah Fawcett Said She Wanted to Make Movies 

While speaking to the Washington Post in early 1977, “Charlie’s Angels” star Farrah Fawcett shared that she wanted to make a film “with real woman’s emotions.” Jaclyn Smith also said that Fawcett wanted to do features instead of series. 

Fawcett and her then-husband Lee Majors went on to create Fawcett-Majors Productions to produce their own films. However, the “Charlie’s Angels” producers attempted to make a deal with Fawcett to allow her to star in films while continuing to fulfill her duties on the hit TV series. But she decided to not take the offer. This was due to the producers not being able to guarantee she would have creative satisfaction on the show. 

“I want them to start showing she’s had some hard knocks, too,” Fawcett stated about her “Charlie’s Angels” character. “And cries, and is sad. Who’s gonna care about her if all she does is say, ‘Oooo! This week I get to play a hooker?’” 

Fawcett further spoke about how the show continued to make progress with ratings. She noted she didn’t believe its popularity was due to the acting.  “When the show got to be No. 3, I figured it was our acting. When it got to be No. 1, I decided it could only be because none of us wears a bra.”