Joe Don Baker

Actor, Waiter, Salesman
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 ... Read more »
Born: 02/12/1936 in Groesback, Texas, USA

Filmography

Actor (60)

Mud 2013 (Movie)

King (Actor)

The Cleaner 2009 (Tv Show)

Actor

Strange Wilderness 2008 (Movie)

Bill Calhoun (Actor)

The Dukes of Hazzard 2005 (Movie)

Governor Jim Applewhite (Actor)

Joe Dirt 2001 (Movie)

(Actor)

Vegas City of Dreams 2000 (Movie)

Dylan (Actor)

Tomorrow Never Dies 1997 (Movie)

Jack Wade (Actor)

Ruby Ridge: An American Tragedy 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

The Grass Harp 1996 (Movie)

Sheriff Junius Candle (Actor)

Congo 1995 (Movie)

R B Travis (Actor)

Felony 1995 (Movie)

Donovan (Actor)

Goldeneye 1995 (Movie)

Jack Wade (Actor)

Panther 1995 (Movie)

Brimmer (Actor)

The Underneath 1995 (Movie)

Clay Hinkle (Actor)

Reality Bites 1994 (Movie)

Tom Pierce (Actor)

Ring of Steel 1993 (Movie)

Man in Black (Actor)

The Distinguished Gentleman 1992 (Movie)

Olaf Anderson (Actor)

Cape Fear 1991 (Movie)

Claude Kersek (Actor)

Criminal Law 1989 (Movie)

Detective Mesel (Actor)

In the Heat of the Night 1988 - 1989 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Children 1989 (Movie)

Cliffe Wheater (Actor)

Edge of Darkness 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Leonard Part 6 1987 (Movie)

Snyderman (Actor)

The Abduction of Kari Swenson 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The Killing Time 1987 (Movie)

Sheriff Carl Cunningham (Actor)

The Living Daylights 1987 (Movie)

Brad Whitaker (Actor)

Getting Even 1986 (Movie)

King R Kenderson (Actor)

Final Justice 1985 (Movie)

T J Geromino (Actor)

Fletch 1985 (Movie)

Chief Karlin (Actor)

The Natural 1984 (Movie)

Whammer (Actor)

Eischied 1979 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Wacko 1983 (Movie)

Dick Harbinger (Actor)

Joysticks 1982 (Movie)

Mr Rutter (Actor)

Power 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

Crash 1977 (Movie)

Andy "Walkaway" Madden (Actor)

Wishbone Cutter 1977 (Movie)

(Actor)

Speedtrap 1976 (Movie)

Pete Novick (Actor)

The Pack 1976 (Movie)

Jerry (Actor)

Framed 1974 (Movie)

Ron Lewis (Actor)

Golden Needles 1974 (Movie)

Dan (Actor)

Mitchell 1974 (Movie)

Mitchell (Actor)

Charley Varrick 1973 (Movie)

Molly (Actor)

Doc Elliot 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

The Outfit 1973 (Movie)

Cody (Actor)

Walking Tall 1973 (Movie)

Buford Pusser (Actor)

Junior Bonner 1972 (Movie)

Junior's Brother (Actor)

Welcome Home, Soldier Boys 1972 (Movie)

Danny (Actor)

Adam at 6 A.M. 1970 (Movie)

Harvey Gavin (Actor)

Wild Rovers 1970 (Movie)

Paul Buckman (Actor)

Guns of the Magnificent Seven 1969 (Movie)

Slater (Actor)

Citizen Cohn (TV Show)

Actor

Complex of Fear (TV Show)

Actor

George Wallace (TV Show)

Actor

Mongo's Back in Town (TV Show)

Actor

Poodle Springs (TV Show)

Actor

That Certain Summer (TV Show)

Actor

The Wild West (TV Show)

Voice

To Dance With Olivia (TV Show)

Actor

To Kill a Cop (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

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.

Relationships

Doyle Charles Baker

Father

Edna Baker

Mother

Maria Rivero-Torres

Wife
married on December 25, 1969 divorced

EDUCATION

University of North Texas

Denton , Texas 1958
appeared in plays senior year

Actors Studio

New York , New York

Milestones

2005

Cast as Governor Jim Applewhite in the big-screen version of "The Dukes of Hazzard" based on the 1970's hit show

1997

Acted the part of Big Jim Folsom in TNT miniseries "George Wallace", starring Gary Sinese in title role

1996

Cast as a trailer-trash dad in Tim Burton's "Mars Attacks!"

1992

Played Senator Joe McCarthy in the HBO biopic "Citizen Cohn"

1991

Portrayed Kersek, the private investigator hired by Sam Bowden to protect his family, in the Martin Scorsese remake "Cape Fear"

1986

Delivered an accclaimed performance in the BBC miniseries "Edge of Darkness"

1985

Starred opposite Chevy Chase as a crooked sheriff of an L.A. beach community in "Fletch"

1984

Portrayed a fictionalized version of Babe Ruth called The Whammer who was struck out by the young Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) in "The Natural"

1979

Starred in the NBC series "Eischied", a spin-off from "To Kill a Cop"

1978

First played Eischied, a NYC chief of detectives, in the miniseries "To Kill a Cop" (NBC)

1975

Reunited with "Walking Tall" director Phil Karlson and writer Mort Briskin for the even more venal "Framed"

1973

Starred as real-life hero Sheriff Buford Pusser in the action melodrama "Walking Tall"

1972

Played Steve McQueen's little brother in Sam Peckinpah's quiet "Junior Bonner"

1970

TV-movie debut, "Mongo's Back in Town"; played professional gunman (Mongo) in cast that included Telly Savalas, Sally Field and Martin Sheen

1967

Film acting debut as Fixer in "Cool Hand Luke"

1963

Broadway debut, "Marathon 33"

Upon completing military service, moved to NYC to pursue an acting career

After college, served in the US Army

Bonus Trivia

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"Looking at my career, it seems that the good guys make more money, but the bad guys have all the fun. I guess you try to do a little of both." --Joe Don Baker quoted in the press material for "Getting Even" (1986)

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