Jan Smithers

When WKRP show came on I knew it was different than any show before it. The show had a great cast and every character had their own unique personality. The show started when Andy Travis came in as a program director and change the stale station to Rock and Roll…the writers wisely made it an ensemble show.

The two women on the show were smart and beautiful…Bailey Quarters and Jennifer Marlowe….played by Jan Smithers and Loni Anderson respectively.

Jan was born Karin Jan Smithers, on July 3, 1949. She grew up in Woodland Hills, California.

Jan was in high school when one of her friends asked her to go for surfing. At the beach, while she was watching her friend surf, she was approached by two men who carried cameras. They told Jan about their search for a Californian girl for one of their articles. She agreed, and that changed her life forever.

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Jan was featured on the cover of the March 21, 1966 edition ‘Newsweek. An article in the magazine, titled ‘The Teen-Agers: A Newsweek Survey of What They’re Really Like, profiled Jan and six more teenagers. Jan was the only one of all the teenagers featured in the article who became a famous personality later. The article pushed her modeling career, and her mother helped break into Hollywood.

Jan got her breakthrough role of ‘Bailey Quarters’ in the ‘CBS’ sitcom ‘WKRP in Cincinnati.’ She continued her role for 86 episodes, from 1978 to1982.

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Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

30 thoughts on “Jan Smithers”

  1. WKRP was one of our favorites. (I come from a one television family.) Then later, I learned how vastly different radio really was. From my recollection the WKRP Djs didn’t even wear headphones when they were on the air. And the way they handled the records and cued them up, nothing like in the studio. And how they used the mic. Yikes! But here I go being legalistic. Ha!…Anyway, my husband had a big crush on Bailey.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh yes it was different from radio. The music they focused on was what drew me to it…and it was some good writing. They used every character well.
      It was a 70s version of Ginger or Mary Ann…Yes Bailey Quarters was a a crush for me also.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. As a radio guy, you know I HAD to comment on this!

    Like allthingsthriller stated, no headphones! This wasn’t a big deal to me before I got into the biz, but bugged the hell out of me afterward!!

    Ginger VS Mary Ann – good comparison! Jennifer VS Bailey is just like that! I guess I was always drawn to Mary Ann and Bailey. The “ultra” sexy Jennifer and Ginger just seemed unrealistic to me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The music is what drew me into this show…you didn’t see too many prime time shows centered around rock music….well I tuned in to watch Bailey also.

      Yep! there was no choice between the two for me…Bailey Quarters.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow, imagine how few girls who got approached about ‘being in the movies’ actually ended up doing just that, vs a modeling sham. Jan hit the lottery. She was lovely and had a really pleasant demeanor. As a female professional, I always feared becoming a Bailey Quarters, i.e., smart, sensible and hard working, but never got enough credit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve worked with a few Bailey Quarters who were always passed over for raises and promotions which sometimes went to troublemakers… the squeaky wheel theory.

      She was extremely lucky it turned out well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lol. That movie rocks all day and all night. I have the Billy Jack boxed set! My kids bought it for me for Christmas one year. I watched a youtube of Tom Laughlin on his 80th birthday a couple of nights ago. He was talking about the hat he wore in the movie. Some eerie/synchronous things going on there!


      2. He must have liked that name…. I remembered him on the Dick Cavett show…he is on the same show as Janis Joplin in 69… I found this in Wiki

        In 1969, he appeared uncredited with The Committee (though at the time using the name Don Sturdy) in several sketches on The Dick Cavett Show, and appeared in one sketch with guest Janis Joplin.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. GAWD, I miss this show. It will never be aired again, even as reruns, as all the music licenses expired. And, the DVDs had dubbed music. Damn shame.

    I had SERIOUS hots for Andy. I always loved the “wings” haircuts. Nobody cuts hair like that, anymore. They don’t teach it in schools, now.

    Check this out (can’t see this on the phone app):

    Liked by 1 person

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