70s and early 80s TV star Larry Wilcox was born on August 8, 1947 in San Diego California, the product of a broken home. His father, a bartender left the house when Larry was but an infant and died soon after divorcing Larry's mother. His mother, a secretary, found the going rough trying to feed four children and moved the family to Wyoming to live with relatives. Raised on his grandfather's ranch in Rawlins, Larry was a quiet, introspective youngster but grew up fast and worked occasionally in the summer on sheep and cattle ranches. He trekked to Los Angeles, following high school and a year in college, and worked a series of menial jobs while learning the piano in order to pursue a music career. The love of acting, however, finally won out. In order to avoid the draft, he interrupted his acting studies by enlisting in the Marine Corps Reserve in 1967, and wound up serving over a year in Vietnam as an artilleryman. Discharged with the rank of Sergeant, he went back to college and focused briefly on a career in dentistry before resuming his acting training on the west coast.
The clean-cut young lad with corn-fed good looks soon went out for commercials and won a number of them including one for Old Spice, the after-shave lotion. In 1972, he found perfect casting as assistant ranch hand "Dale Mitchell" in the revamped "Lassie" (1954) series for two seasons, and also appeared in scattered guest parts on prime-time TV, including "M*A*S*H" (1972), "The Streets of San Francisco" (1972) and "Hawaii Five-O" (1968). In 1977, he hit the jackpot when he won the role of "Officer Jon Baker" in "CHiPs" (1977). An accomplished motorcycle rider, horseman, race car driver, and jet skier, Larry performed many of his own stunts. He and co-star Erik Estrada became major TV idols with Estrada taking a slight edge as the "bad boy" charmer.
Larry formed his own production company, "Wilcox Productions", which is still running today. He has continued acting and directing, primarily in action adventures. One of his producing projects early in the game involved the retelling of the murder of actress/Playboy playmate Dorothy Stratten in a mini-movie starring Jamie Lee Curtis. Nurturing his entrepreneurial talents, Wilcox moved into business outside the entertainment arena with a pharmaceutical company called "Team Elite" in the 1980s. He is also the president of "MediaCore", a software company specializing in CD-ROMs and Internet compression technology. On the humanitarian side, Larry has served with the National Health Foundation Luminary; served as Honorary National Chairman for Toys for Tots; and Honorary Member of the California Highway Patrol. He is also a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association.
In 1999, Wilcox returned to his "Officer Jon Baker" role in the TV-movie reunion movie CHiPs '99 (1998) (TV) with former co-stars Estrada, Robert Pine and Paul Linke. Not seen much since, the father of five children currently lives on his ranch in the San Fernando Valley with his third wife and their two children.