Thank you! I thought she was more attractive and more interesting than Loni Anderson (and Loni was no slouch either).
Why did she and Broslin break up?
Oh, wow. There's a blast from the past. I agree with R1. She was really underused as Bailey. There was so much potential for a cute, potentially sexy nerd. IIRC, that was the plot of one show when she had a crush on Johnny.
Whatever became of her? Her last credit was in '87.
Yes, she just disappeared.
Jan was the prototype of the cute, sexy, competent nerd running a show - like Maura Tierney in NewsRadio and Felicity Huffman and Sabrina Lloyd in Sports Night.
He can do better then Mr. Burns.
There was a story that ran in 2007 in the Enquirer and picked up by many sources that she had a mental breakdown due to the death of her mother. Last I've heard of her.
[quote]The ex-wife of Barbra Streisand's husband James Brolin is recovering in hospital after a bizarre traffic accident. Actress Jan Smithers, a star of beloved TV sitcom WKRP In Cincinnati, was driving naked when she stopped for help after her car broke down on a remote California highway in the middle of the night. She was hit by a truck after the driver caught sight of the 58-year-old waving him down too late. She has been recovering from her injuries ever since the September accident, but family members fear her health issues might be more than a few broken bones.
[quote]A family friend tells the National Enquirer she fears Smithers suffered a mental breakdown following the death of her father. The pal says, "Everyone thinks Jan felt abandoned and snapped - a complete meltdown." Ironically, police called to the scene of the accident found nothing wrong with her car and are puzzled as to why the actress stopped for help. Smithers can't remember anything about the accident or why she was driving naked in the middle of the night.
Oh dear god, R6! As I was reading that, I thought it was a parody of Anne Heche's incident in Bakersfield or wherever. That's just tragic. The poor woman.
There's only ONE star in this show and that's ME baby!!
Wow hadn't heard about her naked shenanigans. It's probably 50/50 between substance abuse or bi-polar.
Too bad, I always liked her. Why did she and Brolin divorce? Was it before Babs entered the picture?
[quote]Dismissed stories that singer Barbra Streisand had ruined her marriage to James Brolin, by pointing out that she and Brolin had parted (amicably, sharing custody of their daughter) a full five years before Streisand and Brolin got together.
I just have to point out that only on DL would we have the OFFICIAL Jan Smithers Thread -- just to ensure we don't have a whole bunch of Jan Smithers threads running willy-nilly all over the board.
I always got her mixed up with Marcia Strassman.
I love the National Enquirer. She wrecks her car while driving naked, and she still only rates third billing after Barbra Streisand and James Brolin. That's cold.
[quote]The ex-wife of Barbra Streisand's husband James Brolin is recovering in hospital after a bizarre traffic accident. Actress Jan Smithers, a star of beloved TV sitcom WKRP In Cincinnati, was driving naked when she stopped for help after her car broke down on a remote California highway in the middle of the night.
I remember her as Devola, the object of lecherous Harry Dean Stanton's affection in the depressing '70s classic [italic]Where the Lilies Bloom.[/italic]
Bump for Jan. My latent crush on her on Saturday evening TV should have been the first sign.
Remember the episode where the Russian guy defects and keeps singing "Tiny Dancer" to her?
R15 - Yes, that was a fun episode.
Here's a picture.
I wonder if she was having a Lunesta moment. Or whatever sleeping pill. Lots of cases of people sleepwalking, sleepdriving etc because that shit will fuck you UP.
I loved WKRP in Cincinnati. My favorite sitcom of all-time. Every cast member was perfect for their role. Bailey was slightly underused, but was a terrific character. I wish they would put out all four seasons on DVD with the original music, etc.
"Hold me closer, Tiny Dancer."
The Phone Cops
Looking at the photos in this thread are making me think of Taylor Swift for some reason - I don't know why - in a way they are visually similar or like sisters or somMinething
My favorite TV show ever. I loved Jan Smithers. I wish she was still acting. The previous poster said that every actor in the show was perfect for their role...AMEN! WKRP was smart, sexy, and hysterically funny. It didn't hurt that Gary Sandy, Tim Reid and even Howard Hesseman were hot as hell. WKRP was on the air from the time I was 13 until I was 17. Seeing the show now gives me a warm feeling and fills me with such nostalgia.
Loni wasn't beautiful as much as she was sexy. She looks like those blonde bimbo cartoons in Playboy. There's no denying that straight guys thought she was hot, it was the key to her success. Jan looked ok I guess, but no beauty, really quite ordinary.
Jan was strikingly beautiful, but in a tomboy, girl next door way.
Right, well if you lower the bar enough, Jan was indeed "striking." Strikingly bland, strikingly ordinary. I'm awestruck by her wholesome blandness.
I recently watched the episode where Bailey produced her first show and it was a disaster. Great, funny episode.
am I the last to know about her 40yr.old gigolo?
"Why did she and Brolin divorce? Was it before Babs entered the picture?"
Like Brolin left her for Babs? Biggest laugh I'll have this year.
r22, so do I.
Jesus, I remember that episode. He was the perfect washed up hippy.
I think I might have posted R12 over a year and a half ago.
She was the Joyce DeWitt of "WKRP"
I don't know who she is or if she ever did anything else but the woman who played Mother Carlson was funny as hell.
Mother Carlson was played by Sylvia Sidney, whose career in films stretched back to the '20s. Quite pretty, she also had a sultry quality that made her a bit of a femme fatale.She had a very brief marriage to What's My Line favorite Bennett Cerf.
Later in life, she published some books about needlepoint, which was a passion of hers. Very interesting woman. She died in 1999 at age 89.
Sylvia Sidney ONLY played Mama Carlson once, then a look a like actress Carol Bruce took over.
I think she was prettier than Loni.
Sylvia Sydney was the best part of Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams.
R38- No she wasn't, she was the Mary Ann to Anderson's Ginger. And R39- if memory serves,I believe Mother Carlson was played by Carol Bruce. Google her, maybe there is even some of her singing on Youtube. She sang as well as acted.
R41- I wasn't aware that Sylvia Sidney played the role first. Huh. Miss Sidney either played Auntie Mame on Broadway or did the tour. And she still absolutely breaks my heart in An American Tragedy. Beats rings around Miss Winters in A Place in the Sun.
Right you are, R42. All these years, I remembered it as being Sylvia Sidney the whole time. Boy, is my face red.
No she wasn't, if she was she would've been the star.
She was like the all the other dark haired uglies. Like the girl from Ted Knight's other show. Not the blonde boobie bitch.
Wow, r49, I would have loved to have been at that Paleyfest event. No Richard Sanders, Frank Bonner or Gary Sandy?
Shout Factory is working on a complete series release for "WKRP" with all the music intact. Would be great to get this Paleyfest reunion included as an extra.
Oh, she looks good in the photo at R49.
Yes, much older, but she looks content-ish. I'm happy that she seems to have overcome her issues.
I always thought Loni was rather coarse looking in the same way that I thought Jayne Mansfield was.