'CHiPs' Ponch and Jon: on the Beat Again

Katy Friedman of Washington, D.C., asks, "Whatever happened to the actors who played Ponch and Jon?"

Keeping the streets of Los Angeles safe was never too much for motorcycle-riding police officers Frank "Ponch" Poncherello and Jon A. Baker, the hunky stars of the hit TV series, "CHiPs."

For six seasons, Erik Estrada (Ponch) and Larry Wilcox (Jon) shuffled between snarly traffic, sinister bad guys, and romantic interludes on their macho police beat.

But, alas, even police officers have their problems, and in 1982, Mr. Wilcox left the show due to a falling out with Mr. Estrada. Although replaced by Tom Reilly, NBC consigned "CHiPs" to the rerun rack in 1983.

Though fans mourned the show's demise, Estrada and Wilcox both found life after "CHiPs."

Wilcox went on to form his own production company, Wilcox Productions, and later became president of Mediacore, a software company. He also recently appeared on "Pacific Blue" on the USA Network and "Profiler" on NBC.

Estrada continued acting, starring in a popular Mexican soap opera, and made numerous guest appearances on TV. He also wrote an autobiography, "Erik Estrada: My Road from Harlem to Hollywood." This month he's on tour in Greece with performer Charo, says his manager.

Fans need not worry, reruns aren't the only place where you can relive the life and times of Ponch and Jon. This July, the entire cast will start work on a reunion film set to air on TNT.

* If you wonder "Whatever Happened to..." write us at: One Norway Street, Boston, MA, 02115; or e-mail to: whatever@ csmonitor.com

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