‘WKRP in Cincinnati’ Star Jan Smithers Opened Up About Her Love Life

by Taylor Cunningham

WKRP in Cincinnati star Jan Smithers was in love with one man for nearly a decade of her life. But the romance wasn’t meant to last.

Smithers, who played Bailey Quarters in the 1980s sitcom, has been married twice. Her first husband was Gunsmoke actor Kipp Whitman. The two tied the knot in 1971 and divorced one year later.

Then in 1986, Smithers met and married James Brolin. The couple was head over heels for years. But at some point, they began to drift apart. And eventually, the union ended in another divorce.

“It was good—really good,” Smithers told Newsweek. “But somehow, somewhere, we started to wander. He traveled a lot for work. We grew apart. He was gone months at a time.”

The romance started to die in 1987 when the couple had their one and only daughter Molly. After becoming a parent, Smither lost all interest in Hollywood and retired. But Brolin was still chasing films, which meant that they were rarely together.

“I had Molly and wanted to be in the country and get away from that world,” she continued. ” I just wanted a different life, and we ended up getting divorced.”

James Brolin went on to marry Barbra Streisand in 1998 and they have been together ever since. Jan Smithers never remarried. And because she chooses to keep her personal life private, we don’t know if she has or is dating anyone.

‘WKRP in Cincinnati’ Star Jan Smithers Retired From Acting to Be a Full Time Mom

Jan Smithers began starring in both movies and television series at the age of 24. But when she was 38, she gave birth to her daughter Molly. And on that day, she realized that she was no longer interested in acting.

One year after marrying fellow actor James Brolin, the couple had their daughter. Shortly before giving birth, Smithers appeared on Mr. Nice Guy, and that ended up being her last gig.  

“I loved having a career,” Smithers admitted to Newsweek. “But when I met Molly, I just looked at her and told her, ‘You need me.’ And she looked at me so innocently. I thought, ‘I have to stay!’ She changed my life. I really longed to be her mom.”

The former actress did not come out of retirement after her daughter grew. Instead, she has remained mostly out of the limelight while she focuses on her spirituality and family.

Molly, however, decided to make a go at the film industry herself. But instead of standing in front of the cameras like her parents, she decided to stay behind the scenes.

Molly Brolin is now a 34-year-old producer and production manager who has worked on movies such as Men in Black 3.