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Diane Baker
Born Diane Carol Baker
February 25, 1938 (1938-02-25) (age 72)
Hollywood, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1959–present
Official website

Diane Carol Baker (born February 25, 1938) is an American actress who has appeared in motion pictures and on television since 1959.


Life and career


Early life

Baker was born and raised in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Dorothy Helen Harrington, who appeared in several early Marx Brothers movies, and Clyde L. Baker.[1] She moved to New York at age 18 to study acting with Charles Conrad and ballet with Nina Fonaroff.


Securing a contract with 20th Century Fox, she made her film debut when she was chosen by director George Stevens to play "Margot Frank" in the 1959 motion picture The Diary of Anne Frank. In the same year, she starred in Journey to the Center of the Earth with James Mason and in The Best of Everything with Hope Lange and Joan Crawford.

Other Fox films in which Baker appeared include the assassination thriller Nine Hours to Rama, Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man and The 300 Spartans. Her television work in the late 1950s and 1960s includes appearances on Follow the Sun, Bus Stop, Adventures in Paradise, The Lloyd Bridges Show, The Nurses, The Invaders and Route 66.

Finally out of her contract with Fox after starring in 1960 in the fourth screen version of Grace Miller White's novel Tess of the Storm Country, Baker appeared in The 300 Spartans (1962) and Stolen Hours, a 1963 remake of Dark Victory, and, the same year, opposite Paul Newman and Elke Sommer in The Prize.

In 1964, she co-starred with Joan Crawford in both Strait-Jacket, the William Castle-directed thriller about an axe murderess, and an unsold television pilot Royal Bay, released to theaters as Della. Alfred Hitchcock cast her in his film Marnie (1964) as Lil Mainwaring, the sister-in-law of Mark Rutland (Sean Connery). She co-starred with Gregory Peck and Walter Matthau in the thriller Mirage (1965), directed by Edward Dmytryk, and in Krakatoa, East of Java (1969) with Maximillian Schell.

In August 1967, Baker had the distinction of playing David Janssen's love interest in the two-part finale of The Fugitive, which became the most-watched show in the history of episodic television up until that time. In January 1970, she had the lead guest-starring female role as Princess Francesca in the only three-episode mission of Mission: Impossible. In 1976, she played the alcoholic daughter of the title character of the Columbo episode Last Salute to the Commodore.

In the decades after Mirage, she appeared frequently on television and began producing films, including the 1980 drama film Never Never Land and the 1985 miniseries A Woman of Substance. She reemerged on the big screen in The Silence of the Lambs (1991) as Senator Ruth Martin. ("Love your suit," Hannibal Lecter memorably said to her.)

Baker also appeared in the films The Joy Luck Club, The Cable Guy, The Net and A Mighty Wind. She guest starred in two episodes of House in 2005 and 2008 as Blythe House, the mother of the title character.

Since August 2004, Baker has been the Director of Acting at the School of Motion Pictures and Television at Academy of Art University in San Francisco.


External links


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