Warner Bros.

G.W. Bailey has been in the industry long before he starred as Lt. Louie Provenza on The Closer and Major Crimes. However, that's where many of his supporters first got a dose of the beloved actor.

Born on August 27, 1944, George William Bailey didn't instantly get the acting bug like some of his peers. A Texas native, Bailey attended Thomas Jefferson High School, where singer Janis Joplin and NFL player Jimmy Johnson were his teammates. After graduating high school, he attended college to study law.

Midway through his collegiate career, he made a bold decision. Encouraged by his friend, Barry Corbin, who was also studying law, Bailey took a leap of faith into the world of Hollywood. This marked the beginning of a journey that would see him grace both the big and small screens.

Like many actors in the 1960s, he began with theater as the artistic director of the Lubbock Theater Center to get his feet wet. He also got married and had two children.

When the actor officially moved to California in the mid-1970s, the television roles rolled in. He made appearances on Harry O (1974-1975), Charlie's Angels (1976), How the West Was Won (1977), CHiPs (1977), and Starsky and Hutch (1975).

Bailey's face and skills were perfect for lots of screen time, which meant made-for-TV movies were in his path as well. In 1979, he made his film debut in A Force of One, a Chuck Norris movie.

However, his breakout role didn't happen until he appeared as Luther Rizzo in the classic war comedy-drama M-A-S-H in the same year. More success would follow, including an appearance in Murder, She Wrote.

He even returned to college, attending Texas State University in 1993 to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theater.

Eventually, Bailey played Lt. Louie Provenza on The Closer (2005-2012), a role that would carry over to its spinoff series, Major Crimes (2012-2018).

Provenza was a character the actor portrayed for an impressive span of almost 14 years, a testament to his dedication and the love he had for the role.

Watch Major Crimes on Start TV

Monday through Friday 8 PM & 9 PM Eastern/Pacific

By using our site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy