Tom Reilly

Actor And Entertainer

Tom Reilly Interview - March 2007

Acting/CHiPs Related

As most of us CHiPs fans know, ‘Force 7’ was intended to be a pilot for a spin-off of CHiPs. Had ‘Force 7’ worked out, which do you think you would have stuck with, Force 7 or CHiPs?

I really had fun on that show. It was nice working with a bunch of new actors trying to create something new. I don’t know if I choose one over the other.

What is your best memory from your days on CHiPs?

Riding the motorcycles. I really like that. Also seeing the stunts. Those guys were truly crazy!!

Were there ever any bloopers or embarrassing moments from your days on CHiPs you’d like to share with your fans?

Yes! My first day of shooting I had to pull up to the scene riding the bike. I pulled into the shot, thought I had the kickstand down, and then I dropped the bike. Great... right in front of all the press! lol

How long did it normally take to film one episode of CHiPs?

7 Days

When you were on CHiPs doing Force 7, you had brown hair. When you started on CHiPs that fall, you were a blond. Had the producers request that you dye your hair for the show in the fall, and did you mind doing it?

Yes, for some strange reason…..I guess they wanted me to really contrast with Erik.

Was there one episode of CHiPs you enjoyed doing more than the others and was there one person that was easier or harder to work with than the others?

There was a show where we played cowboys and had a bar fight. That was cool!
Robert Pine was great to work with. Very loving talented man.

Do you keep in touch with any of the cast or crew from CHiPs?

No, I really don’t. I hope all are doing well.

As a CHiPs fan, I was disappointed that I didn’t see you in either ‘CHiPs 99’ or the ‘E! True Hollywood Story’ on CHiPs. How come?

I wish I could have been in the E True Hollywood Story. I don’t know why, just maybe to tell my story.  I saw it and wow, was Bruce Penhall not a fan of Tom Reilly.

Did you know that CHiPs is coming to DVD June 5th? Will you be doing any commentary for any of the 6th season episodes?

Now that will be real fun. They will most likely start with the first couple of seasons. Then hopefully the shows I was in. I’ll buy them! LOL

What did you take away from your experience on CHiPs?

I grew up a lot. I decided, after CHiPs, to go back to acting class; and years later I did a night soap called “Valley Of The Dolls”. I truly enjoyed that.

What was your favorite movie role?
(I'm partial to Phil and Frank...they really showed your talent.)

I’m not sure…there is a movie out there called “Shades of Gray”. That was a good role.


This is the thing everybody has been dying to know…
What have you been up to lately? (Since your ‘retirement’ from acting.)

Life is great. I love being a dad. In October of last year I got my private pilot license. I do a lot of camping and I love to be near the beach.

Are you still living in California?


I read that you only went to school for a few months at Montclair State College (now University). Did you regret your decision to drop out and pursue other ventures, and have you gone back to school since then?

No….. I try not to live in regret. Just live!

Are you married? Do you have a family?


If you have kids… what are they interested in, how old are they, and what are their names?

Yes, two boys, ages 9 and 6. Really great kids. My joy. 

Would you ever recommend or encourage acting as a career choice if your kids showed  interest?

If they have interest in acting, totally. But I would really push them to know the craft. Start in the theater and a good school/class. Do it for love, not money.

How are your parents? Are they still alive, and how did they react to your career changes?

Just my mom, dad died 10 years ago Valentines Day. My parents always just wanted me to be happy. I guess that goes for me also being a dad.

Why did you decide not to continue with your acting career and would you ever come back to it if an opportunity presented itself?

Love. [In order to go back to acting,] It would have to be really something special. Ten years is a long time. I would need a acting coach on the set with me. LOL

Why has it taken so long for us to hear from you?

Don’t know. I hope answering these questions do make some fans happy though.

Are there any pictures from your days on CHiPs or from your personal collection you’d like to share with your fans?

I’d have to look around……It seems you got that handled. Those pictures on the site... Wow... its been years since I’ve seen them.

Thank you so much Tom, for taking the time to do this interview. All your fans and everyone involved with the site sincerely thank you.

I know you feel as though you’re just a normal guy now… and all this fan attention is probably pretty strange (especially now…) but we’ve never forgotten your contribution to the entertainment industry and we want you to know that it was appreciated and respected.

Thanks Again!

P.S. Love to you all. Thank you for your support and a very big thank you and hug to you 'Reilly82'.