Tom Reilly was born in
Tom led the Bergenfield High School Bears to a state championship title as a tight end his senior year, in 1977. Tom's high school number was 87. As an all-star football player, Tom was offered several athletic scholarships. Tom ended up chosing Montclair State College, partly because it was close to home. It also gave him a chance to play varsity ball in his freshman year. He was even offered a chance to play professionally in
"By strange coincidence, I met my manager, Larry Folgo, at about the same time. He was on the
Satisfied with his young charges progress, Folgo set up a number of appointments for Reilly with West Coast talent agents in December of 1980. He impressed the TV moguls enough to be offered development contracts with ABC and NBC networks. Nothing happened during the next 12 months, though he did manage to complete a screen test for 'The Powers of Matthew Star'.
At that time his acting experience consisted of only two television projects: The first was a tiny part in a telefilm called ‘Paper Dolls’. The second effort was a meatier role in a special CHiPs episode called “Force Seven”.
On June 18, 1982 Tom went in to NBC studios for a screen test, for the role of Ponch’s new partner Officer Bobby Nelson on CHiPs.
Two months later Reilly recieved a call from the producers of CHiPs congratulating him on his new role as Officer Bobby 'Hot Dog' Nelson.
As the months went by, Reilly learned a lot about the business. He honed his craft and began to win over audiences as Ponchs young and crazy new partner.
However, his career took a devistating turn, on December 21, 1982.
Reilly was caught driving under the influence of a controlled substance, qualudes to be exact. He put up a fight with LAPD by refusing to roll his window down and shouting at the police, 'You don't know who I am, I'm Tom Reilly on CHiPs'. Though Reilly was charged with posession of a controlled substance, he was not fired from CHiPs. The role of Officer Bobby Nelson was significantly cut, and the lead role as Ponch's partner was given to Bruce Penhall, as Officer Bruce Nelson. (Tom and Bruce played brothers on the show.) CHiPs was eventually cancelled by the spring of 1983, leaving Reilly out of work.
Later that year, Tom landed the role of Scott, a young college jock just lookin' for a good time, in the movie Young Warriors, put out by The Cannon Group, Inc.
Not much is known about Tom from that point in his career, on. However, we do know that Tom either starred in or made an apperance in:
Paper Dolls (1982) (TV)
CHiPs -Force Seven (1982) TV Episode .... Rick Nichols
"CHiPs" .... Officer Bobby 'Hot Dog' Nelson (1982-1983)
Young Warriors (1983) .... Scott
Slaughterhouse Rock (1988) .... Richard Gardner
Kiss and Be Killed (1991) .... Phil
"Married... with Children" - Just Shoe It (1992) TV Episode .... Caterer
Animal Instincts (1992) .... Ken
Sworn to Vengeance (1993) (TV)
"Valley of the Dolls" (1994) TV Series .... Peter D'Allesio
Mirror Images II (1994) (V) .... Jake
Animal Instincts 2 (1994) .... Man with Loose Tie
Ice Cream Man (1995) .... Charley
Deep Cover (1996)
Shades of Gray (1997) .... Frank Maxwell
(It was said that Tom appeared in the 2004 movie 'Uptown Girls', but he told me in an interview that he stopped acting in 1997...so it couldn't have been him.)
Tom also appeared in several other movies under the name Robert L. Newman from 1995 to 1997.
The Affair (1995) .... Mark
Friend of the Family (1995) .... Tony
(Not sure if he's really in this one... I have it, but I haven't seen him.)
Siren's Kiss (1995) .... Mark
The Last Embrace (1997) .... Tom
I also recently discovered (I'm slow, I know...) on the IMDB forum for Tom, that he had a job in 2005 with Orco Construction Supply in
(Whoever posted the information on the IMDB forum, please let me know, and I'll give you credit.)
Movie Listings Courtesy of IMDB.com
Information courtesy of E! Television Network and Bruce Penhall
Information also courtesy of TV.com and Dena Keathley
Information also courtesy of TV Magazine - September 1982