Frank Poncherello

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Francis "Frank" Llewellyn Poncherello
Actor Erik Estrada
Appears in Seasons 1 through 6 (1977 - 1983)
Call Numbers 7 Mary 4 (7 Mary 6 in Season 6)
Badge Number B600

Ponch is a graduate of Lehigh Polytechnical High School. He has brothers named Robert and Martin and a sister, Patti. Robert and Martin both work for his father in Chicago.

In "Flashback!" we learn that it was Jon who convinced him to join the CHP. He was commissioned in 1975 as an officer of the law. Six months before the first episode, he was assigned as a partner to Jon Baker as part of his six month probation.

Ponch used to live in a mobile home for two years but sold it for $2625 and moved to an apartment in "Family Crisis". He planned to buy furniture, an 8 track, and a car with the money. He also used to drive his motor home around...but bought a burned out Trans Am for $83 in "Neighborhood Watch" which has been wrecked at least three times (once by a thief in a late second-season episode, once by Jon in "Destruction Derby", and by a forklift in "Forty Tons of Trouble").

In "Tight Fit", Ponch became "The Barcelona Man" for a jeans ad. He's also an LA Rams fan. His talents include: skate boarder, street/roller hockey player, handball, racquetball, basketball, student pilot, singer, jet-skier, hang-glider, sky-diver, wind-surfer, waterskiier (he claims), demolition derby driver, square dancer, drag racer, volleyball player, chess player, and black belt in Karate.

Ponch enjoys eating Tutti-frutti ice cream (although he has been known to eat strawberry in "[The Strippers]]") and Ding Dongs ("Green Thumb Burglars"). He often takes to work a sandwich which Harlan calls a "Peanut Butter Chocolate Smoothy" ("To Your Health"). Ponch keeps junk food in a plastic bag in his saddle bag ("Name Your Price"). In the sixth season, his partner is Bobby Nelson...until Bruce Nelson becomes his partner in "Fast Company".

Shortly after the sixth season, Jon Baker returned to the CHP and became Ponch's partner for another year and a half. At some point during this time, Ponch married the woman he met in a car accident in the first episode and had a son, Frank Jr.. When his wife became ill, Ponch retired to care for his family. After her death, be became a painter to get his mind off of it.

In 1999, Ponch re-joined the California Highway Patrol.