Everyone remembers the hit TV series - "Police Woman" that had a good run for four years in the 70s, which marked the first time ah hour-long television drama centered on the exploits of a female cop. Angie Dickinson in the starring role of Sgt. Suzanne "Pepper" Anderson made her one of the hottest stars on the tube and gave her her best remembered role.
Angie Dickinson was born Angeline Brown in Kulm, North Dakota on 30th September 1931. Her father was a publisher of the Kulm Messenger. When Angie was eleven, the family moved to Burbank California. While in college, she married Gene Dickinson. Angie, being the daughter of a publisher, at first had visions of becoming a writer, but gave this up after winning her first beauty contest. After finishing college she worked as a secretary in a Burbank airplane parts factory for 3-1/2 years. In 1953 she entered the local Miss America contest one day before the deadline and took second place. In August of the same year she was one of five winners in a beauty contest sponsored by NBC and appeared in several TV variety shows.
She appeared briefly in Doris Day's "Lucky Me" (1954) , unbilled as a party guest and a western, "Tennessee's Partmer" (1955). She was seen in low-budget westerns and action fare over the next few years. Her first significant part was in John Wayne's "Rio Bravo" (1959) as Feathers, the dancehall hostess. She popped up in drama "The Bramble Bush" (1960) as one of Richard Burton's conquest. She was Frank Sinatra's wife in the Ratpack's "Ocean's Eleven" (1960) and the lead in the glossy soap opera "The Sins Of Rachel Cade" as a missionary who gives birth to an illetimate child. In "Rome Adventure" (1962), she was vying for Troy Donahue's attention and the title role in "Jessica" (1962), as a midwife who drives the men in an Italian village to distraction.
She did not have much to do in the better "Captain Newman M.D." (1963), playing a nurse. She had a juicy role as the deadly femme fatale in the 1964 remake "The Killers". She did two poor Dick Van Dyke's comedies - "The Art Of Love" (1965) and "Some Kind Of Nut" (1969). Angie was also seen in the misfired "The Chase" (1966) as Marlon Brando's wife; a war drama "Cast A Giant Shadow" (1966) as Kirk Douglas's wife and an all-star flop "Poppies Are Also Flowers" (1966). She was seen to good effect in tough thriller "Point Blank" (1967) and romanced Robert Mitchum in "Young Billy Young" (1969). She had a nude scene in the trashsy and enjoyable "Big Bad Mama" (1974). Around that time, she started her role in "Police Woman".
Angie finally had a sensational movie role in Brian DePalma's 1980 hit thriller, "Dressed To Kill", as anfulfilled wife whose adulterous fling has deadly consequences. In later years, she played Lauren Holly's wealthy mom in the remake of "Sabrina" (1995); appeared as a former Vegas showgirl in "Duets" (2000) and as Helen Hunt' horrid, alcoholic and vagrant mother in "Pay It Forward" (2000) and popped up in a cameo in 2001's "Ocean's Eleven".
(Scanned autographed photo - property of author)