Charlie’s Angels became an instant cultural phenomenon and shot to the top of the ratings after premiering in 1976. It made overnight stars of its original crime-fighting “Angels”, Farrah Fawcett-Majors, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith and the trio made the cover of Time magazine that year. It went on to spawn two hit feature films of the same name.
However as Behind The Camera The Unauthorized Story of Charlie’s Angels (True Movies, Monday March 28 at 20h45) reveals all was not plain sailing. The show’s original title was Alley Cats; Farah Fawcett-Majors, then the loving wife of Six Million Dollar Man star Lee Majors took the role for a laugh while John Forsythe became the unseen Charlie as a last-minute replacement after a big-name star showed up drunk.The movie stars Emmy Award winner Dan Castellaneta as Aaron Spelling with Tricia Helfer as Farah Fawcett-Majors, Christina Chambers as Jaclyn Smith and Lauren Stamile as Kate Jackson.
If Farah Fawcett-Majors wasn’t prepared for fame nor was Robin Williams when the sitcom Mork and Mindy first aired.
Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Mork and Mindy (True Movies, Thursday March 31 at 15h15) follows Robin Williams’ sudden rise to fame and personal turmoil during that time as well as focusing on producer Garry Marshall who created the show. Beginning with Williams in his days as a San Francisco street performer, the narrative follows his meteoric rise after the fast-talking Marshall decides to introduce a “Martian” within the Happy Daysfranchise. Soon enough, he’s at the centre of his own major hit and neglecting his sweetheart-turned-bride (Michelle Harrison), hanging out in clubs, fooling around and partying with John Belushi (Tyler Labine).With two over-the-top performances at its centre – Chris Diamantopoulos as Williams and Daniel Roebuck as Marshall – the film is as much fun to watch as Williams’ manic improvisations.
The final in the Behind the Camera trio is The Unauthorized Story of Diff’rent Strokes (True Movies, Tuesday March 29 at 20h45) which tells of what really happened on the hit ‘80s comedy starring Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges and how it affected the lives of its childhood stars. As NBC’s hit sitcom Diff’rent Strokes proves a long-running hit, its young stars – Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges and Dana Plato, face all sorts of trouble off-camera. Gary battles with his parents over the management of his salary, Todd runs into trouble with the law countless times and Dana’s career after the show meets with despair and tragedy. Bridges and the late Coleman provide commentary. The biopic stars Bobb’e J. Thompson, John Innes and Teryl Rothery.
- True Movies is aired in South Africa on DStv Channel 138 and is available to DStv premium customers. The channel is dedicated to true-to-life drama films, mostly made for television. It shows movies from a range of cinematic genres including romance, crime, drama and docu-soaps, mostly based on real-life events.