Birthplace: Port Arthur, Texas, U.S.
George William "G.W." Bailey (born August 27, 1944) is an American 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 1979-1983); Lieutenant/Captain Thaddeus Harris in the Police Academy films (1984-1994) and Captain Felix Maxwell in Mannequin (1987). He played the role of Detective Lieutenant Louie Provenza on TNT's television crime drama The Closer, and its spinoff series Major Crimes, from 2005 to 2018.
Bailey was born in Port Arthur, Texas. He went to Thomas Jefferson High School in Port Arthur with Janis Joplin and Jimmy Johnson. He started college at Lamar University in nearby Beaumont and transferred to Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
Bailey 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. He also did a star making turn as Tom Berenger's sidekick in Rustler's Rhapsody (1985).
He returned to college in 1993, and graduated from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas in May 1993, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Theatre. For the 1999-2000 school year, he was the Artist-in-Residence.
In the late 1990s he starred in three of the seventeen television movies and miniseries in the Bible Collection series produced for the TNT television network, Solomon (1997), Jesus (1999), and Paul (2000).
Since 2001, Bailey has served as the Executive Director of the Sunshine Kids Foundation, which provides trips and activities for hundreds of young cancer patients annually. He first volunteered with the organization after his goddaughter was diagnosed with leukemia.