Joe Don Baker (Actor) - Walking Tall
 
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Updated: 7/26/12

Name: Joe Don Baker

Born: February 12, 1936, Groesbeck, Texas

Claim To Fame: He is best known for his roles in Charley Varrick, Walking Tall, The Living Daylights, and the James Bond films GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies.

Family Life: He was married to Maria Dolores Rivero-Torres, but they are divorced.

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Info: Baker's start in acting came in 1967 with an uncredited role in the film Cool Hand Luke, followed by an appearance in an episode of the TV series Mod Squad. It was his role as Steve McQueen's younger brother in Sam Peckinpah's Junior Bonner that put him on the map.

Later, he starred in Phil Karlson's film Walking Tall and in the filmmaker's final work, Framed, in 1975. He is also remembered for his work in 1973's Charley Varrick as the hitman Molly.

He starred in the 1984 baseball drama The Natural as "The Whammer," a baseball player modeled after Babe Ruth. He has also appeared in 1985's Fletch, and as CIA agent Darius Jedburgh from the BBC television drama serial Edge of Darkness. He played a private detective in 1991's Cape Fear, which was directed by Martin Scorsese.

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Trivia: Attended the University of North Texas.

While Carroll O'Connor was recovering from bypass surgery, Baker appeared in O'Connor's place on "In the Heat of the Night" (1988) as Tom Dugan.

Is a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity.

Studied at the Actors Studio in New York City following a stint in the army.

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Where Are They Now: His most recent television role was in 2009 on the series The Cleaner on A&E. He will appear in the movie King, opening this year. Directed by Jeff Nichols, the film stars Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Sam Shepard.

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