I was watching The Closer the other night, and I was observing again how much I like the character of Lt. Provenza, and the actor G.W. Bailey who plays him. In a nice bit of synchronicity, it turns out that I looked him up only a couple of days before his birthday today!
Bailey, who turns 65 today, has had a long and fun career. He seems to have made a guest appearance on every classic television show of the 70s and 80s: Charlie’s Angels, CHiPs, Starsky and Hutch, Soap, Laverne & Shirley, Lou Grant, Happy Days, Benson, M.A.S.H., St. Elsewhere, Remington Steele, Simon & Simon, Newhart.
His real mark on the 80’s was his recurring role as the cantankerous Lt. Harris in the Police Academy films. I personally will think of him most fondly for his role as the town drunk and sidekick Peter in the underappreciated cowboy comedy Rustler’s Rhapsody. Now he really shines as Lt. Provenza in The Closer, and I couldn’t have been happier to see him still in action.
A very happy birthday to G.W. Bailey, and best wishes for a long and prosperous career!