Chet Baker

Chet Baker's substantial achievements as a jazzman were often overshadowed by his tragic story and dark charisma. An Oklahoma native, he honed his chops playing trumpet and fluegelhorn in the Army and in the San ... Read more »
Born: 12/23/1929 in Yale, Oklahoma, USA

Filmography

Music (22)

Shame 2011 (Movie)

"Let's Get Lost" (Song Performer)

The Guard 2011 (Movie)

("Everything Happens To Me") (Song Performer)

Elegy 2008 (Movie)

("Early Morning Mood") (Song)

Elegy 2008 (Movie)

("Early Morning Mood") (Song Performer)

Silence Becomes You 2006 (Movie)

("I Fall In Love Too Easily") (Song Performer)

Sidewalks of New York 2001 (Movie)

("Shouldn't Have Walked Away") (Song Performer)

B. Monkey 1999 (Movie)

("Imagination") (Song Performer)

Elephant Juice 1999 (Movie)

("Here's That Rainy Day") (Song Performer)

The Love Letter 1999 (Movie)

("I've Never Been in Love Before") (Song Performer)

The Sixth Sense 1999 (Movie)

("I Fall In Love Too Easily") (Song Performer)

The Talented Mr. Ripley 1999 (Movie)

("My Funny Valentine") (Performer)

Playing By Heart 1998 (Movie)

("I'm Glad There Is You" "I soliti ignoti" "Lucius Lu") (Song Performer)

L.A. Confidential 1997 (Movie)

("Look for the Silver Lining" "Makin' Whoopee") (Song Performer)

This World, Then the Fireworks 1997 (Movie)

("The Thrill Is Gone" "You Dont' Know What Love Is") (Song Performer)

Broken Noses 1991 (Movie)

("Whatever Possessed Me" "Little Girl Blue" "Everytime We Say Goodbye" "My Foolish Heart" "If I Should Lose You") (Song Performer)

It's a Blue World 1990 (Movie)

(Music)

Let's Get Lost 1989 (Movie)

("Every Time We Say Goodbye" "Chetty's Lullaby" "So che ti perdero") (Song)

Let's Get Lost 1989 (Movie)

("Almost Blue" "Blame It on My Youth" "Daydream" "Imagination" "My One and Only Love" "You're My Thrill" "Zingaro") (Song Performer)

Chet's Romance 1987 (Movie)

("I'm a Fool to Want You") (Song Performer)

Round Midnight 1986 (Movie)

("Fairweather") (Song Performer)

Eine Liebe Wie Andere Auch 1981 (Movie)

(Music)

Sharky's Machine 1981 (Movie)

("My Funny Valentine") (Song Performer)
Actor (4)

Let's Get Lost 1989 (Movie)

Chet Baker (Actor)

Chet's Romance 1987 (Movie)

Trumpeter (Actor)

Chet's Romance 1987 (Movie)

(Voice)

Stolen Hours 1963 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Biography

Chet Baker's substantial achievements as a jazzman were often overshadowed by his tragic story and dark charisma. An Oklahoma native, he honed his chops playing trumpet and fluegelhorn in the Army and in the San Francisco clubs. After tours with Stan Getz and Charlie Parker, he achieved fame after joining the Gerry Mulligan Quartet in 1952. Baker launched his own quartet the following year and became a key player in the West Coast cool jazz movement; Rodgers & Hart's "My Funny Valentine" was an early signature number. And his James Dean-like leading-man looks didn't go unnoticed: The 1954 album <i>Chet Baker Sings</i> featured romantic standards and introduced him to pop audiences; the following year saw his acting debut in the film <i>Hell's Horizon</i> (1955). He worked with a larger group and a livelier bop sound on the 1956 album <i>Chet Baker & Crew</i>, and in 1960 starred in the autobiographical film <i>All The Fine Young Cannibals</i>. Yet his heroin addiction derailed his career for the first time during the early '60s; he served a year's jail time in Italy and was then deported from West Germany. A failed drug deal in Sausalito resulted in his teeth being knocked out in a beating; Baker had to get a full set of dentures before he was able to play again. He continued to record and by 1974 had achieved a comeback, reuniting with Mulligan for a well-received live album at Carnegie Hall. From then on he lived and performed mainly in Europe, he recorded prolifically and his career was further revived by rock and pop associations: Van Morrison sang on his 1986 version of "Send in the Clowns," recorded live in London; Baker also played a famous solo on Elvis Costello's "Shipbuilding" and made Costello's "Almost Blue" a late-career signature tune. His addiction to heroin ultimately claimed his life; Baker died after a fall from an Amsterdam hotel window. The Academy Award-nominated documentary <i>Let's Get Lost</i> was released in September 1988, four months after Baker's death. In 2016, Ethan Hawke starred in a Chet Baker biopic, "Born to Be Blue" (2016).

Bonus Trivia

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Baker had a fractious friendship with jazz saxophonist Stan Getz, who is widely thought to be the person who introduced Baker to heroin.

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