G.W. Bailey
GW Bailey

G.W. Bailey played the recurring role of "Sgt. Luther Rizzo" on the M*A*S*H TV series.
Personal Information
Actor/Voice artist
Years active: 1974-present
Spouse(s): Eleanor June Goosby (1966-1999) (divorced) 2 children
Character information
Appeared on/in: M*A*S*H TV series
Character played: Sergeant Luther Rizzo

George William "G.W." Bailey (born August 27, 1944) is a veteran stage, television and film actor. Although he appeared in many dramatic roles, he may be best remembered for his "crusty" comedic characters such as Staff Sergeant Luther Rizzo in M*A*S*H (TV-Series 1979-83); Lieutenant—and later, Captain—Thaddeus Harris in the Police Academy films (1984–94), Captain Felix Maxwell in Mannequin (1987) and as Detective Lieutenant Louie Provenza from TNT's television crime drama The Closer, in which he has was featured in all 109 aired episodes across seven seasons, starting in 2005. He currently stars on the TNT series Major Crimes, a spinoff of The Closer, continuing in his role as Lt. Provenza.[1]


Bailey was born in Port Arthur, Texas. He attended Thomas Jefferson High School in Port Arthur with rock star Janis Joplin and Former NFL head coach Jimmy Johnson. He started college at Lamar University in nearby Beaumont, Texas and transferred to Texas Tech University in Lubbock. He left college and spent the mid-1960s working at local theater companies before moving to California in the mid-1970s, where he landed roles on television programs of the day such as Starsky and Hutch and Charlie's Angels. His film debut was in A Force of One (1979), an early Chuck Norris film. He then got his breakout role as Rizzo in M*A*S*H. [2]

He returned to college in 1993, attending Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. He graduated in May 1994 with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts, Theatre. For the 1999–2000 school year, he was the Artist-in-Residence.

Since 2001, Bailey has served as the Executive Director of the Sunshine Kids Foundation,[3] which provides trips and activities for hundreds of young cancer patients annually. He has been a volunteer for more than 15 years since being introduced to the organization by his goddaughter, who was diagnosed with leukemia.[4]


  1. Shifting tone keeps 'Closer' fans tuning in, The Columbus Dispatch August 27, 2007, accessed October 5, 2010.
  2. Random Roles by G.W. Bailey at
  3. The Sunshine Kids Foundation - Staff,, accessed October 5, 2010.
  4. "Sunshine Kids - Staff

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