|Born||Betty Lee Oakes
August 19, 1951
Sumner, Iowa, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Gregory Harrison (1980–present) (4 children)|
|Children||Emma Lee Harrison (b. 1985)
Lily Anne Harrison (b. 1989)
Kate Harrison (b. 1991)
Quinn Edgar Harrison (adopted)
Betty Lee "Randi" Oakes (born August 19, 1951) is an American actress and fashion model. Active in the 1970s and early 1980s, she is probably best known for her role as Officer Bonnie Clark on the television series CHiPs, a role she played from 1979 to 1982. Married to actor Gregory Harrison since 1980, Oakes retired from acting when their first child was born in 1985.
Oakes was born in Sumner, Iowa, and grew up in tiny Randalia, Iowa. While in high school, she went to Des Moines, Iowa, twice a week to attend modeling school. Oakes was named Miss Iowa Model of the Year and moved to New York City with a modeling contract at age 17. She quickly became one of the top fashion models in the United States. While modeling, she was in a relationship with pro football star Joe Namath for seven years and was sometimes referred to as "Joe's fiancee". Oakes began a shift from modeling to acting when, at the age of 23, she overheard one model tell another, "You know, you're kind of a young Randi Oakes."
Oakes was a frequent guest star on television series during the late 1970s and early 1980s, including roles on McCloud, Delvecchio, Switch, B. J. and the Bear, Barnaby Jones, The Love Boat and Fantasy Island. She also starred as Sally in the 1978 theatrical crime drama Acapulco Gold and had recurring roles as Georgia on the 1977 television series Rosetti and Ryan and as a young Taurus woman on the original Battlestar Galactica.
A guest role as a car thief in the episode "Down Time" on CHiPs led to the featured role as the blonde police officer Bonnie Clark that made her a household name. She appeared on the series from the beginning of its third season until the end of its fifth season. Along with costar Larry Wilcox, Oakes left the show in 1982. According to a 1983 article that appeared in People, a lack of time spent with significant other Gregory Harrison led to the actress's departure from CHiPs.
Oakes appeared on multiple editions of Circus of the Stars and was a frequent competitor on (and one-time host of) Battle of the Network Stars. She retired from acting to be a full-time mother after the birth of her first child in 1985.
As of 2015, Oakes returned to television, with other notable CHiPs stars, for a series of introductions and interviews for METV's weekly CHiPs reruns.
While competing on a 1979 edition of Battle of the Network Stars, Oakes (on the NBC team) met her future husband, actor Gregory Harrison of Trapper John, M.D. fame (playing for the CBS team). Oakes and Harrison were married on December 21, 1980, although their marriage was kept secret from the public for several years. Together, they have three daughters, Emma Lee (born 1985), Lily Anne (born 1989), and Kate (born 1991). The couple also adopted a son, Quinn Edgar. The couple originally lived together in Sherman Oaks, California, but since the early 1990s the family has lived in Southern Oregon; first in Gold Beach for 15 years then relocating to Eugene.
- "Randi Oakes was there when the CHiPS fell". Lakeland Ledger. July 27, 1980. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
- "Feminine Clothes Will Make A Come-Back". Natchez News Leader. Natchez, MS. January 21, 1973. p. 15C. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
- Gilman, Kay (August 18, 1974). "Sports Sex Symbols; Women of All Ages Are Tirned On by Pro Athletes--and Joe Namath Is No. 1". Los Angeles Times. p. C1. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
- Sasso, Joey (October 8, 1976). "People". Telegraph Herald. p. 2. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
- "Randi Oakes, Greg Harrison deny wedding bell rumors". Lakeland Ledger. December 24, 1980. p. 2A. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
- Buck, Jerry (July 6, 1980). "Randi Oakes Stars As Officer". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Associated Press. p. TV19. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
- Lane, Lydia (November 16, 1979). "Only a Farmer's Daughter, But...". Los Angeles Times. p. F18. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
Randi Oakes' success story is an inspiring one. After two guest appearances on NBC's "CHiPs," she was invited to become a regular.
- Maksian, George (May 19, 1982). "Randi Oakes Dropped". Toledo Blade. Knight News Service. p. P4. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
- "Trapper John's Gregory Harrison Is Sitting Pretty in a New Role as Hotshot Producer". people.com. 10 October 1983.
- "Ark of triumph". Ocala Star-Banner. May 1, 1982. p. 62. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
- "Stars Perform Circus Feats". Mid-Cities Daily News. November 30, 1984. p. TV3. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
- "Judds Planning TV Pilot". The Dallas Morning News. November 16, 1986. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
Gregory Harrison says his wife, Randi Oakes, who played Officer Bonnie Clark on CHiPs, doesn't want to act anymore. 'She doesn't enjoy acting, has no interest in pursuing it. She just enjoys being a mother,' he says.
- Mills, Nancy (March 8, 1985). "Trapper's Sidekick Steps Out". The Sun. Vancouver, BC. p. TV42. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
- "Harrison, Oakes are parents again". Lewiston Journal. Knight Ridder News Service. February 11, 1989. p. 6D. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
- Gelt, Gary (December 21, 1980). "Actress finds bit of Iowa in Sherman Oaks; 'CHIPs' co-star loves seclusion". Los Angeles Times. p. L1. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
- Brady, James (February 25, 1990). "In Step With: Gregory Harrison". Parade. p. 18. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
- Goldsborough, Bob (April 2, 2008). "Actor Gregory Harrison and his retired actress wife, Randi Oakes, list their estate in southeast Oregon for $5.9M". Big Time Listings. Retrieved December 3, 2011.
- Smith, Azenith (December 18, 2007). "Hollywood actor speaks to area Rotarians". KCBY (CBS 11). Retrieved November 30, 2011.
- Ryon, Ruth (March 30, 2008). "Hot Property". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 1, 2011.