March 16- Erik Estrada, is best known for his co-starring lead role in the 1977–1983 police television series CHiPs. Starting in 1977, Estrada co-starred as Frank “Ponch” Poncharello in CHiPs. In 1979, People magazine voted Estrada one of “The 10 Sexiest Bachelors in the World.” After CHiPs was canceled in 1983, he made a return to series television in a 1987 three-part episode of the police drama Hunter. In the 1990s, Estrada played the role of Johnny, a Tijuana trucker, in the Televisa telenovela Dos mujeres, un camino (“Two women, one road”). Originally slated for 100 episodes, the show went to 400-plus episodes and became the biggest telenovela in Latin American history. Estrada was reportedly paid one million dollars for that role.
In 1994, Estrada began co-hosting the syndicated outdoor adventure show American Adventurer, which ran until 2004. In 1998, he returned as the character “Ponch” in the TNT made-for-TV movie CHiPs ’99, along with the rest of the original cast. In the 2000s, Estrada had roles in the daytime drama The Bold and the Beautiful and did voiceovers for the Cartoon Network show Sealab 2021, Maya and Miguel. He has done a long-running series of infomercials as a national spokesman for National Recreational Properties, selling undeveloped real estate property. In 2000, Estrada was named the international “Face” of D.A.R.E., the anti-drug-use campaign. His experience in CHiPs led him to his latest role: a reserve officer for the Muncie Police Department in Muncie, Ind.
March 21 –Eddie Money, a rock guitarist, saxophonist and singer-songwriter, first found success in the 1970s and 1980s with a string of Top 40 hits and platinum albums. Rock impresario Bill Graham said of Money, “Eddie Money has it all. . . . Not only can he sing, write and play, but he is a natural performer.” Although Money trained to be a law enforcement officer, he secured a recording contract with Columbia Records in the 1970s and charted singles such as “Baby Hold On” and “Two Tickets to Paradise.” In the early 1980s, Money entered the MTV music video scene with his videos for “Shakin” and “Think I’m in Love.”
In 1986, Money returned to the mainstream rock spotlight with the album Can’t Hold Back. The album’s Ronnie Spector duet, “Take Me Home Tonight,” reached the Top 10, as did the hit “I Wanna Go Back.” Money followed the album with another Top 10 hit, “Walk on Water” (1988), but his Top 40 career ended following the No. 21 placement of “I’ll Get By” in 1992. During the 1990s and 2000s, Money continued to release numerous compilation albums along with several albums featuring new material. Today, he still tours regularly, often accompanied by other successful rock acts from the 1970s and 1980s, and has also made several television appearances on sitcoms.
March 24 – Nick Lowe a pivotal figure in British pub rock, punk rock and new wave, has recorded a string of well-reviewed solo albums. He is best known for his songs “Cruel to Be Kind” and “I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass,” as well as his production work with Elvis Costello, Graham Parker and others. Lowe also wrote “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding,” a hit for Costello. Along with vocals, Lowe plays guitar, bass guitar, piano and harmonica.
Lowe is also known for his work as a producer, responsible for producing some of the benchmark releases of punk and new wave, including The Damned’s first single, “New Rose,” considered the first English punk single, as well as the group’s debut album, Damned Damned Damned. He also produced Elvis Costello’s first five albums from 1977 to 1981. Other clients included The Pretenders (the 1978 debut single “Stop Your Sobbing”); Graham Parker (his well-received first and third albums); Dr. Feelgood (several LPs and their biggest hit single, 1979’s “Milk and Alcohol”); Paul Carrack; John Hiatt; The Fabulous Thunderbirds and The Men They Couldn’t Hang. Lowe was married to country singer Carlene Carter, stepdaughter of Johnny Cash, from 1979 to 1990, and played and recorded with Cash, while Cash recorded several of Lowe’s songs.
March 26 – Vicki Lawrence is best known for her co-starring role on The Carol Burnett Show, alongside her mentor, Carol Burnett, from 1967 to 1978, and as the quick-tempered, abrasive smart-aleck Thelma Harper/Mama (the elderly supporting character first appearing on The Carol Burnett Show, followed by the main character on its spin-off television series Mama’s Family, airing from 1983 to 1990). As a singer, she recorded “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” that made No. 1 on the U.S. charts as well as in Canada. She is credited with co-authoring two books.
Lawrence has multiple Emmy award nominations, winning one in 1976, and multiple Golden Globe nominations, all for The Carol Burnett Show. Besides the popular series, she has made multiple appearances in other TV shows such as Laverne and Shirley, The Love Boat, Murder She Wrote, Roseanne, Diagnosis Murder and, with friend and co-star Tim Conway, in Yes, Dear. In her famed Thelma Harper/Mama role, Lawrence has made numerous post-Mama’s Family guest TV show appearances, most recently in a special sketch for Betty White’s 2nd Annual 90th Birthday. In addition, Lawrence regularly hosts a stage show Vicki Lawrence & Mama: A Two-Woman Show.
March 30 – Ray Magliozzi is one of the co-hosts of National Public Radio’s (NPR’s) weekly radio show Car Talk, where he and his brother, Tom Magliozzi, are known as “Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers.” In 1992, their show was honored with a Peabody Award. A graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ray Magliozzi taught science in Bennington, Vt., for a few years, before returning to Cambridge in 1973, when he and Tom opened a do-it-yourself repair shop. Although the shop was not profitable, the two enjoyed the experience and were invited in 1977 to be part of a panel of automotive experts on Boston’s NPR affiliate WBUR. In January 1987, host Susan Stamberg of NPR’s Weekend Edition asked the two to contribute weekly to her program. Nine months later, Car Talk premiered as an independent NPR program. In 2012, Car Talk stopped producing new episodes, though NPR continues to air reruns of the show.
Tom and Ray both appeared in the film Cars (2006) and in a seventh-season episode of the PBS Kids show Arthur (2002). They also starred in their own PBS animated series, Click and Clack’s As the Wrench Turns, playing fictionalized versions of themselves (2008).