Diane Baker Poster


Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (11) | Personal Quotes (4)

Overview (3)

Born in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA
Birth NameDiane Carol Baker
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Actress with a notable career in films and television. Born and raised in Hollywood, she moved to New York at eighteen to study acting with Charles Conrad and ballet with Nina Fonaroff. She continued her training in Los Angeles at the Estelle Harman Workshop, securing a contract with Twentieth Century Fox. Baker's first film assignment was a true prestige picture: legendary director George Stevens cast her as Margot Frank, older sister of Anne, in The Diary of Anne Frank (1959). Baker remained at Fox as a contract player performing in films such as Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959), The Best of Everything (1959) and Nine Hours to Rama (1963). After her contract ended, she worked on a pair of distinguished projects at Universal Studios: Mirage (1965) with Gregory Peck and Marnie (1964) for director Alfred Hitchcock.

Baker was also a reliable performer in episodic television. She produced sensitive, affecting work in Rod Serling's touching Night Gallery: They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar/The Last Laurel (1971) and, in a colorful turn as an unstable dipsomaniac, in Columbo: Last Salute to the Commodore (1976).

While continuing to perform, Baker moved into producing small, independent films such as ABC Weekend Specials: Portrait of Grandpa Doc (1977) with director Randal Kleiser and Never Never Land (1980) with Petula Clark, and larger projects such as the Emmy-nominated television miniseries adaptation of Barbara Taylor Bradford's A Woman of Substance (1984) with Deborah Kerr.

More recently, she distinguished herself essaying the role of clan matriarch Rose Kennedy in the CBS miniseries Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis (2000) and performed memorably with Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs (1991) as the distraught Senator Ruth Martin and, with Jim Carrey and Matthew Broderick, in The Cable Guy (1996).

In 2005, she acted with Frank Langella in the HBO series Unscripted (2005) directed by George Clooney. She also teaches acting courses in the School of Motion Pictures, Television, and Acting at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Scott Skelton

Trivia (11)

Was a contestant in the 1957 Miss Rheingold pageant, an annual promotion by Rheingold Beer (Liebmann Breweries), and was pictured on Rheingold beer cans issued during the promotion.
An August 1960 The Hollywood Reporter news item noted that Baker was originally to co-star with Elvis Presley in Flaming Star (1960).
In Mirage (1965), she took over the part that was originally intended for Tippi Hedren. Director Edward Dmytryk was told by Alfred Hitchcock that Hedren wasn't interested in working with him. Ironically, Baker and Hedren co-starred in Hitchcock's Marnie (1964) the year before.
Is a liberal Democrat.
Studied for three semesters at the University of Southern California.
At the start of her career, she was judged by a panel consisting of Joan Fontaine, Ida Lupino, and Irene Dunne.
Friends with: 'Tippi Hedren' 'Gregory Peck' Millie Perkins, Maximilian Schell, Melvyn Douglas, Congresswoman, Helen Gahagan Douglas, Norman Cousins, author, Henry Miller, Robert Redford, Jenny Seagrove, Randal Kleiser, Harry Winer, Robert Osborne...
Interviewed in the SF Chronicle, she is now heading the acting program at the SF Academy of Art. [August 2004]
While continues to act in film and television, Ms. Baker is the executive director of the School of Motion Pictures, Television, and Acting at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. [November 2008]
Appeared alongside Joan Crawford in three films: The Best of Everything (1959), Della (1964) and Strait-Jacket (1964). In the latter two, she played Crawford's daughter.
Executive Director Motion Pictures, Television & Acting Academy of Art University San Francisco CA [November 2009]

Personal Quotes (4)

[on working with Joan Crawford on The Best of Everything (1959)] She had just lost Alfred Steele, and there were moments when she was having a very difficult time. I saw that she was very vulnerable and that she was just about holding it together. I saw her several times, sitting by herself before a take and crying her eyes out. I brought her a box of tissue and gave her a sign that indicated, "You're going to be fine!" and that meant a lot to her.
[on Joan Crawford] I just don't understand how she allowed that strong outward personality, allowed the fragility, the vulnerability, the fear to overcome her near the end. It seems to me that even when we were doing Strait-Jacket (1964) that she was also having her drinks before everyone went home. That can cause you to do a lot of things. You don't handle things well. It is ironic that at the last part of her life that she allowed herself to not be her best. We mustn't forget that there's a dark side to every great person. We have to remember that we cannot expect everybody to be perfect.
She was Joan Crawford the star and that's how she wanted everybody to see her. One of the things she constantly said to me was you never go to the market even unless you're dressed the best you can possibly dress. She wanted to be the lady and she was wanting to be royalty with almost a tiara type look with the jewels. I'm sure that she felt she owed all this to her public. You got the idea that the public wanted to see you as a movie star. And once you were there you owed it to those people out there to be your best.
[on David Janssen] It was always a joy to work with an instinctive actor, and that's what David was.

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