American-born actor Joe Don Baker has come to be known for playing eccentric and distinctive characters in films and television shows. Early in his career he became famous for appearing in action films such as Guns of the Magnificent Seven, Wilde Rover , Charley Varrick , Walking Tall and Mitchell
At the height of his career, Baker appeared in three James Bond films. as a villain in Living Daylight and as a CIA agent in Golden Eye and Tomorrow Never Dies This Hollywood icon has indeed had several iconic roles for his almost five decade acting career. His ability to go from villain to hero between films has made him a pro in action films. In the comedy films, he picked up some major film credits as well, including the 2005 box-office hit The Dukes of Hazzard
Dude – Who Is Joe Don Baker?
Joe Don Baker was born in Groesbeck, Texas on12. February 1936. His parents were Edna (née McDonald) and Doyle Charles Baker. He graduated from the University of North Texas in 1958 where he majored in business. After a brief service in the US Army, he trained at the Actors Studio in New York City before beginning his acting career on stage.
In the mid-1960s, Baker ventured into guest-starring roles in such TV series as Honey West (1965), The Great Valley (1969), and Gunsmoke (1969). Standing at a tall 6ft 2½ inches tall, it was a perfect match for western movies. It wasn’t long before he was casting in such films as Guns of the Magnificent Seven (1969), Wilde Rover (1971) and Junior Bonner (1972).
Joe Don Baker got his big break when he was cast as the lead in the action biopic Walking Tall (1973). His portrayal of the main character Sheriff Buford Pusser earned him critical acclaim and the film was also a huge box office success. He further cemented his profile when he played the supporting role of the sadistic killer Molly in the crime thriller Charley Varrick (1973). Baker also appeared in the crime thriller The Outfit (1973), as well as other action films such as Framed (1975), Mitchell (1975) and Speedtrap (1977), all of which reinforced his on-screen “tough guy” role. He also appeared in the adventure comedy film Checkered Flag or Crash (1977).
As his film credits grew, Baker was cast as Chief of Detectives Earl Eischied, the titular character of the crime series Eischied (1979-80). He received a staggering $1 million paycheck for his role, but the series only lasted one season. He returned to the screen with roles in the comedy films Wacko (1982), Joysticks (1983) and Fletching (1985), as well as the Babe Ruth-inspired sports film The Natural (1984). The talented actor starred in the BBC series Edge of Darkness (1985) and his performance earned him a Best Actor nomination at the 1986 British Academy Television Awards.
He appeared as a villain arms dealer in the James Bond film Living Daylight (1987). He later played the role of CIA agent Jack Wade in two other Bond films, Golden Eye (1995) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). Baker also appeared in the highly successful thriller film Cape Fear (1991), which was headlined by Robert De Niro and in the sci-fi action film Congo (1995). More recently, he has starred in films such as Joe Dirt (2001), The Dukes of Hazzard (2005) and Wilderness Strange (2008). He was also in the star-studded cast of the coming-of-age film Mud(2012) opposite Matthew McConaughey,
Reese Witherspoon and Sam Shepard.
Wealth (income and earnings)
His acting career has slowed down in recent years, however, Joe Don Baker still has a tremendous financial base that he has drawn from his weddings. Between the 1970s and 1990s he played several lucrative roles, including the highly successful James Bond film series. The legendary Hollywood star has an estimated net worth of $3 million.
His wife and family
Joe Don Baker has kept his private life away from the public eye in recent times; hence it is difficult to know if he is currently married. However, it is known that he was married to a woman named Maria Dolores Rivero-Torres in the past. The duo tied the knot on December 25, 1969, and their union lasted just over a decade. They eventually separated and their divorce was finalized in 1980. Since then, the actor has kept his personal life, relationships and affairs away from media scrutiny. It’s unclear if Baker had a child with his ex-wife or another partner.
Is he alive?
Joe Don Baker is still very much alive and well. In his 80s, the Hollywood star rarely appears in public. He had his last known acting role back in 2012, starring in the star-studded drama film Mud , and has remained on a career hiatus ever since.