Larry Wilcox

  1. Tom Reilly, CHiPS, TV, 1982-1983.     Wilcox had had enough. Not of the show. Of his co-star Erik Estrada. They did not gell well as Highway Patrol cops. In fact, Wilcox alleged it was Estrada who got him fired, so that he could be The Star.  To a certain extent that was true as it was his behaviour that made Wilcox quit the hit series. (They re-teamed up for the CHiPS 99  tele-film in 1998). Reilly took over, as a new cop, for 23 shows, during which time his role was reduced after a drugs bust, and Bruce Penhall became Estrada’s partner.  The seventh season was cancelled. Michel Peña and Dax Shepard starred in the 2016 film version. With the poster pitch: CHIP happens.
  2. Don Johnson, Miami Vice,TV, 1984-1990.   The legendary pitch, from NBC chief Brandon Tartikoff, was simple.  “MTV cops!”  But they could not decide between the finbalists for vice cop Sonny Crockett – Johnson or Wilcox.  The fact that Larry has spent six years as a Highway Patrol cop in CHiPSruled against him and Johnson became (eventually) the then highest paid actor in US TV series. Richard Dean Anderson was also in the mix.  Plus Jeff Bridges, Nick Nolte and Mickey Rourke, although TV was still frowned upon – not to say, downright sneered at – by film folk.  Yet the show  gave some of their earliest screen acting gigs to such folk as Annette Bening, Julia Roberts, Jimmy Smits, John Turturro,  Bruce Willis,… even Miles Davis and Little  Richard! 

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  2