Joe Don Baker

Highest Rated: 100% Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Birthday: Feb 22, 1936
Birthplace: Groesbeck, Texas, USA
Veteran character actor Joe Don Baker has been playing rugged good ol' boys since his uncredited role in Cool Hand Luke in 1967. Born in Texas, his Southern drawl and ample proportions made him suitable to play countless numbers of simple-minded sheriffs, cops, and detectives in everything from big-budget blockbusters to low-grade action movies, although he more often appeared in the latter. On TV in the '60s, he guest starred on Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and Mission: Impossible before starring in his own show, the short-lived detective series Eischied. On the big screen, he played the drifter in Sam Peckinpah's Junior Bonner in 1972. He same year he made the "hicksploitation" classic Walking Tall, followed by Charley Varrick, Golden Needles, Framed, and plenty of other poorly made action thrillers that have since gained a small but appreciative audience on home video. The best example is 1975 crime flick Mitchell, which was featured on an important transitional episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Baker plays the titular slob detective who goes after drug dealers while drinking a lot of Schlitz malt liquor and eating pork rinds. After this movie, he became something of a legendary figure to a small but loyal fan base, and his persona as a lovable rascal was fixed for the next few decades. In the '80s he appeared in bad comedies (Fletch, Leonard, Part 6) as well as bad action thrillers (Final Justice, Getting Even). In 1989, he returned to television to play acting chief Tom Dugan on In the Heat of the Night and made small appearances in films, like the police chief who drinks Pepto-Bismol in Cape Fear (1991). He did branch out a little in the '90s to play Senator Joseph McCarthy in the made-for-TV movie Citizen Cohn as well as Winona Ryder's yuppie dad in Reality Bites. His later accomplishments include three James Bond appearances, first in Living Daylights as a bad guy, then in Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies as good guy Jack Wade. He returned to his stereotypical roots playing white-trash slobs as Richie's trailer park dad in Mars Attacks! and in an uncredited role in Joe Dirt. In 2003, he appeared with veterans Martin Landau, Martin Sheen, and Edward Asner in The Commisson.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
97% Mud King $21.6M 2013
2% Strange Wilderness Bill Calhoun $6.6M 2008
14% The Dukes of Hazzard Gov. Jim Applewhite $80.3M 2005
No Score Yet Wacko Dick Harbinger 2003
11% Joe Dirt Actor $27.1M 2001
No Score Yet Vegas, City of Dreams Dylan Gerrett 2001
No Score Yet Poodle Springs P.J. Parker 1998
58% Tomorrow Never Dies Wade 1997
No Score Yet George Wallace Big Jim Folsom 1997
53% Mars Attacks! Glenn Norris 1996
50% The Grass Harp Sheriff Junius Candle 1996
No Score Yet Ruby Ridge: An American Tragedy Gerry Spence 1996
No Score Yet Felony Donovan 1996
78% GoldenEye Jack Wade 1995
22% Congo R.B. Travis 1995
27% Panther Brimmer 1995
59% The Underneath Clay Hinkle 1995
57% Outbreak Actor 1995
66% Reality Bites Tom Pierce 1993
No Score Yet Ring of Steel Man in Black 1993
No Score Yet Complex of Fear Det. Frank Farrel 1993
13% The Distinguished Gentleman Olaf Andersen 1992
No Score Yet Citizen Cohn Joseph McCarthy 1992
75% Cape Fear Claude Kersek 1991
No Score Yet Children, The Cliffe Wheater 1991
33% Criminal Law Det. Mesel 1989
9% Leonard Part 6 Nick Snyderburn 1987
No Score Yet The Killing Time Sheriff Carl Cunningham 1987
71% The Living Daylights Brad Whitaker 1987
No Score Yet The Abduction of Kari Swenson Sheriff Onstad 1987
No Score Yet Getting Even (Hostage: Dallas) King Kenderson 1986
No Score Yet Final Justice Thomas Jefferson Geronimo III 1985
77% Fletch Chief Karlin 1985
82% The Natural The Whammer 1984
No Score Yet The Power Actor 1984
No Score Yet Joy Sticks Mr. Ruttler 1983
No Score Yet Speed Trap Actor 1978
No Score Yet Speedtrap Pete Novick 1978
No Score Yet Checkered Flag or Crash Walkaway Madden 1978
No Score Yet The Pack Actor 1977
No Score Yet Curse of Demon Mountain Wishbone Cutter 1977
No Score Yet Mitchell Mitchell 1975
No Score Yet Framed Ron Lewis 1975
No Score Yet Golden Needles Dan 1974
No Score Yet The Outfit Cody 1974
88% Charley Varrick Molly 1973
75% Walking Tall Buford Pusser 1973
91% Junior Bonner Curly Bonner 1972
No Score Yet Welcome Home, Soldier Boys Danny 1972
50% Wild Rovers Paul Buckman 1971
No Score Yet Adam at 6 A.M. Harvey Gavin 1970
No Score Yet Guns of the Magnificent Seven Slater 1969
100% Cool Hand Luke Fixer 1967

TV

CREDIT
No Score Yet Ironside
1967-1975
Eric Blair
  • 1972
No Score Yet Mission: Impossible
1966-1973
Frank Kearney
  • 1971
No Score Yet Gunsmoke
1955-1975
Woody Tom Butler
  • 1969
  • 1966
No Score Yet Bonanza
1959-1973
Luke Harper
  • 1968

QUOTES FROM Joe Don Baker CHARACTERS