Joe Don Baker
An imposing, Texas-born character actor and occasional lead who specialized in hardboiled types on either side of the moral fence, Joe Don Baker rose to fame as crime-smashing sheriff Buford Pusser in the blockbuster "Walking Tall" (1971) and enjoyed a three-decade career in its wake that included the BBC miniseries "Edge of Darkness" (1986), Martin Scorsese's "Cape Fear" (1991) and three appearances in the James Bond franchise, including "The Living Daylights" (1987). He began on Broadway and headed West in the mid-1960s, where he labored as hoods on episodic television. "Walking Tall," based on the tragic and violent life of a Tennessee lawman, made him a star, but he struggled to maintain a career as a leading man throughout the 1970s. He stepped back into character parts in the 1980s and 1990s, where he enjoyed steady and critically praised work, most notably in the TV biopic "Wallace" (TNT, 1997). Throughout his lengthy tenure on screen, he maintained an air of authentic toughness that made him a favorite among a wide variety of viewers.