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Joe Don Baker –


About Joe Don Baker (1936 – )

Born February 12, 1936 in Groesbeck Texas, Joe is an American film actor. Joe Don Baker appeared in support roles in several Western vehicles both on TV and the cinema in the mid 1960s before his most memorable roles came, playing Steve McQueen's younger brother in Junior Bonner (1972), and the lead role of Buford Pusser in the unexpected hit Walking Tall (1973).

Joe received great success with his work in 1973's Charley Varrick where he portrayed a sadistic hit man. The film starred Walter Matthau as the bank robber Varrick, and won a British Academy Award.

His next big break came when he landed the role of police detective Earl Eischeid in To Kill a Cop (1978) (TV) which led him into reprising the same character in the short lived TV series "Eischeid" (1979).

Joe was "The Whammer," a mighty baseball slugger clearly modeled after Babe Ruth, in the 1984 baseball drama The Natural that starred Robert Redford and in 1985, he portrayed the corrupt Chief Jerry Karlin in Fletch. In 1989, he returned to television to play acting chief Tom Dugan on In the Heat of the Night.

Joe Don Baker picking up plenty of work in the James Bond series. In 1987, Baker got the role of the villain Brad Whitaker in the Bond film The Living Daylights, starring Timothy Dalton as James Bond. In 1995 and 1997 Baker returned to the series, this time playing a different character, CIA agent Jack Wade, in GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies with Pierce Brosnan as Bond. This makes Baker one of only two actors to appear as both a Bond ally and a villain, the other being Charles Gray who appeared as Henderson in You Only Live Twice and as Blofeld in Diamonds Are Forever.

After that things did not slow down for Joe, he stayed busy with roles in Vegas, City of Dreams (2001), Joe Dirt (2001), The Commission (2003), The Dukes of Hazzard (2005), and Strange Wilderness (2008).


Joe Don Baker in THE NATURAL.



Joe Don Baker in COOL HAND LUKE (1967).





Joe Don Baker in FLETCH (1985).