See "Police Woman" Star Angie Dickinson Now at 90
"I've had my day in the sun, and I am very content."
If you know Angie Dickinson's name because she starred on Police Woman, then know that that's exactly what she'd hoped would happen. In an interview with CBS Sunday Morning in 2019, the actor said of joining the show, "David Gerber was the producer, and he said, 'Don't you want to be a household name?' I realized I wanted to be a household name." Dickinson starred on Police Woman from 1974 to 1978 as Sergeant Pepper Anderson, and the series was one of the first TV dramas led by a woman.
But, Police Woman wasn't Dickinson's only major role. She has an acting career that spans decades. Now 90, Dickinson has looked back on her life in career in numerous interviews, sharing details about working in film and TV, as well as some very high-profile relationships. Read on to learn more about Dickinson's life after Police Woman.
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She continued acting for years after the show.
Dickinson found success as an actor prior to starring on Police Woman, notably starring opposite John Wayne in Rio Bravo and alongside the Rat Pack in Ocean's 11. After Police Woman, some of her movies and TV work has included Dressed to Kill, Wild Palms, Sabrina, and Pay It Forward. Her most recent roles were in the TV series Judging Amy in 2004 and in the 2009 TV movie Mending Fences.
"I am not looking for work, I don't really care," Dickinson said on Pioneers of Television in 2011 (via AARP). "I've had my day in the sun, and I am very content."
She's been married twice.
Dickinson was married to a football player, Gene Dickinson, from 1952 to 1960. Then, in 1965, she married composer Burt Bacharach. "He was so different," Dickinson told CBS Sunday Morning. "He should never have been married." She added, "He never loved me, I can tell you that right now … He loved in his own way, which is not too good." (Bacharach has admitted he had affairs.)
Dickinson has also talked about dating her Ocean's 11 co-star Frank Sinatra on-and-off for years. "He was the most important man in my life," she told Studio 10 in 2016. "We were lovers on-and-off for many years. " She added of whether they discussed marriage, "We started to talk about it. We did use the 'M-word.'" But, Dickinson wanted to be a movie star and, according to her, "He actually did say, 'You know, I'm not going to marry a movie star.' And then he married Mia Farrow."
She experienced a personal tragedy.
During their marriage, Dickinson and Bacharach welcomed a daughter, Nikki, who was born three months premature and weighed less than two pounds at birth. Nikki had vision loss and was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. In 2007, she died at age 40.
"She had no coping skills, so she just took her life," Dickinson told CBS Sunday Morning. "She was very smart and funny and wonderful, so all the memories of her are my best memories."
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She recognizes that Police Woman was "groundbreaking."
In the CBS Sunday Morning interview, Dickinson said that she has received fan mail in which people who watched Police Woman say, "I became a cop because of you."
Speaking to Fresh Air in 2001, Dickinson spoke about how Police Woman was the first show of its kind.
"It was absolutely groundbreaking. There was none before," she explained. "The only shows that succeeded to star a woman were the comedies. And this was the first drama starring a woman, an hour show, and the first cop that succeeded. There were a couple of other attempts, but they died off right away, so I'm very proud of that."
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