Joe Don Baker (born February 12, 1936 in Groesbeck, Texas) is an American film actor best known for his three appearances in the James Bond franchise. Baker got his start in acting as an uncredited character in the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke, but his real beginnings came when he scored the role of Steve McQueen's younger brother in the film Junior Bonner . He would later star as the main character in the 1973 film Walking Tall, a film that was remade in 2004 starring The Rock.
Joe Don Baker appeared in a couple of films that were eventually lampooned on the Mystery Science Theater 3000 television series. This included the films Mitchell and Final Justice. Baker was reportedly incensed by his portrayal as an ignorant redneck in these episodes, allegedly at one point threatening to assault the writers of the show.
While actor Carroll O'Connor was undergoing heart bypass surgery, Baker took his place on the television series In the Heat of the Night. Baker appeared as Captain Tom Duggan, a retired police captain who filled in while O'Connor's character was away at a police convention.
James Bond franchise
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 Bond franchise, this time playing a different character, Jack Wade, in GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies with Pierce Brosnan as Bond. He is one of six actors to have played two separate roles in the official James Bond cinema franchise, preceded by Charles Gray, Walter Gotell, Jeremy Bulloch, Maud Adams, and Robert Brown. The character of Wade is similar to that of CIA agent Darius Jedburgh, played by Baker in the 1985 BBC Television serial Edge of Darkness. This serial was directed by Martin Campbell, who also cast Baker as Wade in GoldenEye.
Other notable films
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