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It was a box office failure. For a time there was a distillation of Baker's screen persona in a series of roles as stern and uncompromising policemen - in Violent Playground (1958), Chance Meeting (1959), and Hell Is a City (1960). [28] He made a final film with Losey, Accident (1967), cast against type as an academic. His artistic ability was spotted at an early age by a local teacher, Glynne Morse, who encouraged Baker to act. "[citation needed], Baker was a heavy cigarette and cigar smoker, and was diagnosed with lung cancer on 13 February 1976. Producing gives you a continuity of effort that helps with acting. "[52] Baker was heavily criticised for earning vast sums of money despite propounding left-wing politics, sending all his children to English public schools, and owning a large holiday home in Spain. [39] Baker said in 1972 that: I love business for the activity it creates, the total commitment. (1969) for Oakhurst opposite Tommy Steele for director James Clavell. The feeling was mutual. He made the Hollywood-financed The Angry Hills (1959) in Greece with Robert Aldrich opposite Robert Mitchum. Had a splendid Welsh singing voice that he used on screen once, in Joseph Losey's 1962 film, "Eva.". Baker announced he would make another film for Levine, A Nice Girl Like Me acting opposite Hayley Mills who would play a girl who constantly gets pregnant. Sir William Stanley Baker (28 February 1928 – 28 June 1976) was a Welsh actor and film producer. The project was transferred in its entirety to New York for a limited run, and also toured throughout the US.[9]. Was on very good terms with the Richardson gangsters and helped to smuggle one of them out of the country. He told his wife shortly before he died: I have no regrets. [38] Baker, Deeley, and Spikings were also part of a consortium that bought British Lion Films and Shepperton Studios, selling Alembic House to finance it. Many of his friends believed Baker had damaged his acting career through his attempts to transform himself into a businessman. "CHURCH TO HOUSE FRY'S PLAY HERE: 'A Sleep of Prisoners' Will Be Presented at St. James'-- Drama Opening 16 Oct News and Notes of the Stage" by LOUIS CALTA. His body was cremated at Putney Vale Crematorium; his ashes being scattered on a hillside overlooking his childhood home. (1965), and appeared in two episodes of Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre: After the Lion, Jackals (1966) and Code Name: Heraclitus (1967). Initially, some of the American actors were a bit wary about working with Stanley Baker, owing to his being British and their thinking he would be a condescending snob. As an actor only, he appeared in The Games (1970) for 20th Century Fox. He had small roles in All Over the Town (1949), Obsession (1949), Your Witness (1950), Lilli Marlene (1950), Something in the City (1950), The Rossiter Case (1951), Cloudburst (1951), Home to Danger (1951) and Whispering Smith Hits London (1952). He was one of the founder members of Harlech Television, and was a director of it until his death.[36][37]. His son Glyn later said that: "My dad had to accept any and everything to keep the companies afloat. [16] The success of Hell Drivers saw Baker play a series of tough anti-heroes. [25] Zulu was a big hit at the box office and made a star of Michael Caine. "35,000 arrive in village for four-day pop festival. [26] (Chard died at age 49 in 1897, only a year older than Baker at his death; both died of cancer). "SHOOTING 'GUNS OF NAVARONE' ON THE AEGEAN: Grecian Settings Provide Major War Film with Authenticity and Color" by HALSEY RAINES. I think that 75% of the audience didn't realise that Accident was a flashback. He appeared in two films for producer Dimitri de Grunwald: The Last Grenade (1970), playing a mercenary, and Perfect Friday (1970), a heist movie directed by Peter Hall which Baker helped produce. I think the Welsh Nationalists are foolish and misguided people. His elder brother Freddie, a miner, died of pneumoconiosis early in 1976 after many years of debilitation and sickness. Baker said Aldrich offered to engage him in a 28-part series about an Englishman in New York, but he had turned it down to stay in Britain. Warwick liked his work so much they promptly reteamed him with Ladd in Hell Below Zero (1954), with Baker billed fourth as the main villain. Stanley Baker was unusual star material to emerge during the Fifties - when impossibly handsome and engagingly romantic leading men were almost de rigueur. I got into awful trouble. He was a unique force on screen, championing characterizations that were not clichéd or compromised. They developed a script about the Battle of Rorke's Drift written by Endfield and John Prebble. In that he was a dark mirror, more accurately reflecting human frailty and the vagaries of life than many of his more romantically or heroically inclined contemporaries. From the beginning I have been surrounded by love. [3] He thought he would most likely be a miner or maybe a boxer.[4]. His father lost a leg in an accident in the mine and was thereafter unemployed until the Second World War took men away into the services. The information is not available. Baker's widow later claimed that he was originally offered the role of James Bond, but turned it down not wanting to commit to a long-term contract. He once made insulting remarks about Cary Grant's sexuality at a party for Alma Cogan. [20] Hell Is a City (1960) had him as another hardbitten detective, a second collaboration with Val Guest. Where was Stanley Baker born? Baker was forced to keep acting to pay the bills, often accepting roles in poor films which adversely affected his status as a star. Scheuer, Philip K. "Looking at Hollywood: Here's the Inside Story—How 'Zulu' Was Made" Hopper, Hedda. When he was 14 he was performing in a school play when seen by a casting director from Ealing Studios, who recommended him for a role in Undercover (1943), a war film about the Yugoslav guerrillas in Serbia. The success of Baker's own productions was timely and did much to enhance the prestige of what was then considered an ailing British film industry. [23] He was a tough army officer committing a robbery in A Prize of Arms (1962) but the film failed at the box office and it seemed the market for the tough action films in which Baker had specialised might be drying up. [8], In 1951 he toured England in a play by Christopher Fry, A Sleep of Prisoners which was part of the Festival of Britain. Which is not to disparage these players, but to say that Baker was a welcome novelty, that he is one of Britain's most important screen actors, and that he has not yet been equalled – not even by Michael Caine.[17]. He was an opponent of Welsh nationalism and recorded television broadcasts in support of the Welsh Labour Party. They said the actor's word and handshake were all that was needed. In November 2006 a Lounge dedicated to his life and work was opened by his widow, Lady Ellen Baker and his sons at Ferndale Rugby club in the village of his birth. Baker immediately proved a unique screen presence - tough, gritty, combustible - and possessing an aura of dark, even menacing power.Stanley Baker came from rugged Welsh mining stock - and as a lad was unruly, quick to flare, and first to fight. At his peak he earned £120,000 for each film he made, at a time when the average house cost just £3,000. He made a series of films in Spain: Zorro (1975), starring Alain Delon, where Baker played the main villain; Bride to Be (1975), with Sarah Miles.

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