TV Article

Erik Estrada

Erik Estrada
Image credit: Erik Estrada: The WB / Brett Panelli

AGE 54

Who? Played Ponch on NBC's ''ChiPs,'' which ''Surreal Life'''s narrator helpfully explains was ''one of the highest-rated shows of the '70s''

Career high point People magazine named him one of the 10 sexiest bachelors of 1979.

Downfall Two years later, he left ''ChiPs'' in a salary dispute, and pretty much disappeared. By the early '90s, he resurfaced on a Mexican soap opera, despite his inability to speak Spanish.

Surreal moments Adjusts his signature hair helmet with a single tug. Forms a close bond with Vanilla Ice. Takes the only nice bedroom in the house. Feels bad and gives it to Tammy Faye.

Surreal quote ''It was better than being buried alive,'' Estrada says of his telenovela career.

Trishelle says ''Love him, but he worried too much about me. He was concerned about my drinking.''

Originally posted Jan 09, 2004