Stanley Baker

Active - 1942 - 2005  |   Born - Feb 8, 1927   |   Died - Jun 28, 1976   |   Genres - Drama, Adventure, Crime, Action, Mystery

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Born in a Welsh industrial village, Stanley Baker moved to London with his parents in the mid-1930s. As a juvenile player, Baker made his film debut in 1943's Undercover; one year later, he made his London stage bow in Druid's Rest. Following military service, Baker began his adult film career with All Over the Moon (1949). Thereafter he played secondary roles until attaining stardom as an over-the-hill boxer duped into a life of crime in The Good Die Young (1954). Projecting a "dangerous" image, Baker proved equally convincing as a rough-hewn hero or sadistic heavy. Finding his contract with the Rank Organisation confining, he became a free-lancer in 1959, spending the rest of his career making his own opportunities rather than depending on the generosity of others. Many of his starring films dealt with African themes, notably Zulu (1964), Dingaka (1965) and Sands of the Kalihari (1965). Forming Oakhurst Productions, Baker was his own producer for such vehicles as Robbery (1968) and The Italian Job (1969). Stanley Baker was knighted not long before his death from lung cancer in 1976.

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