Jan. 20th, 1934
Liverpool, England, UK
Tom Baker's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
The British character actor Tom Baker, best known as the fourth incarnation of The Doctor, was born in 1934 in Liverpool, England. Tom, along with his younger sister Lulu and younger brother John, was raised in a poor Irish Catholic community by his mother Mary Jane Fleming Baker, a house-cleaner and barmaid, who was a devout Catholic and his father John Stewart Baker, a Jewish sailor, who was rarely at home. At age 15, Baker left school to become a monk with the Brothers of Ploermel on the island of Jersey. Six years later, he abandoned the monastic life and performed his National Service in the Royal Army Medical Corps., where he became interested in acting. Baker then served on the Queen Mary for seven months as a sailor in the Merchant Navy before attending Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama in Kent, England, on scholarship. Baker acted in repertory theaters around Britain until the late 1960s when he joined up with the National Theatre, where he performed with such respected actors as Maggie Smith (I), Anthony Hopkins and Laurence Olivier, who helped him get his first prominent film role as Rasputin in Nicholas and Alexandra (1971). His performance in this film earned him two Golden Globe Award nominations, one for best actor in a supporting role and another for best new star of the year. A couple of years earlier, Baker had made his theatrical film debut in The Winter's Tale (1967). Despite appearances in a spate of films, including Pier Paolo Pasolini's I racconti di Canterbury (1972), The Mutations (1974), The Vault of Horror (1973) and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974), Baker was working as a labourer at a building site when he landed the role of the main character in the popular, long-running British television series "Doctor Who" (1963), a role that brought him international fame and popularity. After his seven-year stint as Dr. Who from 1974 to 1981, Baker returned to theatre and made occasional television and film appearances, playing Sherlock Holmes in "The Hound of the Baskervilles" (1982), Puddleglum in The Chronicles of Narnia story "The Silver Chair" (1990) and Hallvarth, Clan Leader of the Hunter Elves, in Dungeons & Dragons (2000). Throughout his career, Baker's acting style has been to portray his characters with a "larger-than-life" air.
- An image of him appeared on the episode of _"The Simpsons" (1989)_ (qv) shown on 26 November 1995.
- At 6'3", he is the tallest actor, along with Jon Pertwee, to have played the Doctor in Doctor Who (1963).
- With the death of 'Jon Pertwee' (qv) on May 20, 1996, he is both the oldest and earliest surviving Doctor from _"Doctor Who" (1963)_ (qv).
- Trained at Rose Bruford Drama School, Sidcup, Kent, UK alongside 'Freddie Jones' (qv). Later members include actors 'Ray Fearon' (qv), 'Gary Oldman' (qv) and 'Stephen Armourae' (qv).
- Tom was a largely unknown, unemployed actor who had actually written to the BBC seeking work shortly before he was cast in his most famous role, as the star of _"Doctor Who" (1963)_ (qv). His appointment as 'Jon Pertwee' (qv)'s successor came after series producer 'Barry Letts' (qv) had already considered for the role more famous actors 'Jim Dale (I)' (qv), 'Richard Hearne' (qv), 'Michael Bentine' (qv), 'Graham Crowden' (qv) and 'Fulton Mackay' (qv), all of whom had been discounted for various reasons.
- His mother, Mary Jane Fleming Baker, was Irish.
- He is a voice-over artist for television commercials in the UK.
- After 'Jon Pertwee' (qv), he is the second longest-lived actor to have played the Doctor in _"Doctor Who" (1963)_ (qv).
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