Joe Don Baker

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Tall, broad shouldered character actor with Texan drawl first appeared in support in several Western vehicles both on TV and the cinema in the mid 1960s. Got himself noticed playing Steve McQueen's younger brother in Junior Bonner (1972), and then scored the lead role of Buford Pusser (!) in the unexpected hit Walking Tall (1973), an allegedly ... See full bio »

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1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »


Known For

GoldenEye Jack Wade
Mars Attacks! Richie's Dad
Congo R.B. Travis
The Living Daylights Brad Whitaker


Hide Hide Show Show Actor (84 credits)
  Cowboys from Hell (pre-production)
'Shotgun' Tucker
 2012 Mud
 2009 The Cleaner (TV Series)
Major Larry Duren
- Last American Casualty (2009) ... Major Larry Duren
 2008 Strange Wilderness
Bill Calhoun
 2005 The Dukes of Hazzard
Governor Jim Applewhite
 2003 The Commission
Rep. Hale Boggs
 2001 Joe Dirt
Don, Brandy's Dad (uncredited)
 2001 Vegas, City of Dreams
Dylan Garrett
 1999 Too Rich: The Secret Life of Doris Duke (TV Mini Series)
Buck Duke
 1998 Poodle Springs (TV Movie)
P.J. Parker
 1997 Tomorrow Never Dies
 1997 George Wallace (TV Mini Series)
Big Jim Folsom
 1997 To Dance with Olivia (TV Movie)
Horace Henley
 1996 Mars Attacks!
Richie's Dad
 1996 The Siege at Ruby Ridge (TV Movie)
Gerry Spence
 1995 GoldenEye
Jack Wade
 1995 The Grass Harp
Sheriff Junius Candle
 1995 Congo
R.B. Travis
 1995/I Panther
 1995 The Underneath
Clay Hinkle
 1994 Felony
 1994 Traps (TV Series)
- Retirement Party (1994)
 1994 Ring of Steel
Man in Black
 1994 Reality Bites
Tom Pierce
 1993 The Wild West (TV Mini Series)
- Gunfighters/Townspeople (1993) ... (voice)
 1993 Complex of Fear (TV Movie)
Det. Frank Farrel
 1992 The Distinguished Gentleman
Olaf Andersen
 1992 Citizen Cohn (TV Movie)
Sen. Joseph McCarthy
 1991 Cape Fear
Claude Kersek
 1990 The Children
Cliffe Wheater
 1989 In the Heat of the Night (TV Series)
Acting Chief Tom Dugan / Tom Dugan
- Missing (1989) ... Acting Chief Tom Dugan
- The Pig Woman of Sparta (1989) ... Acting Chief Tom Dugan
- Ladybug, Ladybug (1989) ... Acting Chief Tom Dugan
- Fifteen Forever (1989) ... Tom Dugan
 1989 Screen Two (TV Series)
Hunter McCall
- Defrosting the Fridge (1989) ... Hunter McCall
 1988 Criminal Law
Det. Mesel
 1987 Leonard Part 6
Nick Snyderburn
 1987 The Killing Time
Carl Cunningham
 1987 The Living Daylights
Brad Whitaker
 1987 The Abduction of Kari Swenson (TV Movie)
Sheriff Onstad
 1986 Getting Even
King R. Kenderson
 1985 Edge of Darkness (TV Mini Series)
Darius Jedburgh
- Fusion (1985) ... Darius Jedburgh
- Northmoor (1985) ... Darius Jedburgh
- Breakthrough (1985) ... Darius Jedburgh
- Burden of Proof (1985) ... Darius Jedburgh
- Into the Shadows (1985) ... Darius Jedburgh
 1985 Fletch
Chief Karlin
 1984 Final Justice
Deputy Sheriff Thomas Jefferson Geronimo III
 1984 The Natural
The Whammer
 1983 Joysticks
Joseph Rutter
 1982 Wacko
Dick Harbinger
 1979-1980 Eischied (TV Series)
Chief Earl Eischied
- Buddy System (1980) ... Chief Earl Eischied
- Powder Burn (1980) ... Chief Earl Eischied
- Fire for Hire (1979) ... Chief Earl Eischied
- Friday's Child (1979) ... Chief Earl Eischied
- Spanish Eight (1979) ... Chief Earl Eischied
 1980 Power (TV Movie)
Tommy Vanda
 1978 To Kill a Cop (TV Movie)
Chief Earl M. Eischied
 1977 The Pack
 1977 Speedtrap
Pete Novick
 1977 The Shadow of Chikara
Wishbone Cutter
 1977 Checkered Flag or Crash
Walkaway Madden
 1975 Mitchell
 1975 Framed
Ron Lewis
 1974 Golden Needles
 1973 The Outfit
Jack Cody
 1973 Charley Varrick
 1973 The Streets of San Francisco (TV Series)
Leonard Collier Cord
- Beyond Vengeance (1973) ... Leonard Collier Cord
 1973 Doc Elliot (TV Series)
Aaron Hickey
- Pilot (1973) ... Aaron Hickey
 1973 Walking Tall
Buford Pusser
 1972 That Certain Summer (TV Movie)
Phil Bonner
 1972 Ironside (TV Series)
Eric Blair
- Camera... Action... Murder! (1972) ... Eric Blair
 1972 The Valachi Papers
Irish Member of Valachi Gang (uncredited)
 1972 Junior Bonner
Curly Bonner
 1971 Mongo's Back in Town (TV Movie)
Mongo Nash
 1971 Mission: Impossible (TV Series)
Frank Kearney
- The Miracle (1971) ... Frank Kearney
 1971 Wild Rovers
Paul Buckman
 1971 The High Chaparral (TV Series)
- The Hostage (1971) ... Yuma
 1970 The Most Deadly Game (TV Series)
- Breakdown (1970) ... Alan
 1970 Adam at Six A.M.
Harvey Gavin
 1970 The F.B.I. (TV Series)
Alex Drake
- Summer Terror (1970) ... Alex Drake
 1968-1970 Lancer (TV Series)
Clovis Horner / Santee / Day Pardee
- Shadow of a Dead Man (1970) ... Clovis Horner
- Cut the Wolf Loose (1969) ... Santee
- The High Riders (1968) ... Day Pardee
 1970 Bracken's World (TV Series)
Nick Fontaine
- Focus on a Gun (1970) ... Nick Fontaine
 1969 Mod Squad (TV Series)
Willie Turner
- Willie Poor Boy (1969) ... Willie Turner
 1969 The Big Valley (TV Series)
Tom Lightfoot
- Lightfoot (1969) ... Tom Lightfoot
 1966-1969 Gunsmoke (TV Series)
Tom Butler / Woody Stoner
- Reprisal (1969) ... Tom Butler
- Prime of Life (1966) ... Woody Stoner
 1968 The Outsider (TV Series)
Billy Joe Corey
- A Wide Place in the Road (1968) ... Billy Joe Corey
 1968 Bonanza (TV Series)
Luke Harper
- The Real People of Muddy Creek (1968) ... Luke Harper
 1967 The Felony Squad (TV Series)
Shep Taubs
- My Mommy Got Lost (1967) ... Shep Taubs
 1967 Cool Hand Luke
Fixer (uncredited)
 1967 Judd for the Defense (TV Series)
Merl Varney
- Shadow of a Killer (1967) ... Merl Varney
 1966 Iron Horse (TV Series)
- Cougar Man (1966) ... Johnson
 1965 Honey West (TV Series)
Rocky Hansen
- Rockabye the Hard Way (1965) ... Rocky Hansen
Show Show Additional Crew (2 credits)
Show Show Production manager (1 credit)
Show Show Self (4 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (11 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Stage Play: Marathon '33. Written by June Havoc. Based on the novel "Early Havoc" by June Havoc. Scenic Design by Peter Larkin. Costume Design by Noel Taylor. Lighting Design by Tharon Musser. Music by Conrad Janis and His Tail Gate 5. Entire production under the supervision of Lee Strasberg. Assistant Director: Tim Everett. Directed by ... See more »

Publicity Listings:

1 Article | See more »


6' 2¼" (1.89 m)


Maria Dolores Rivero-Torres  (divorced)

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

[on working with Sam Peckinpah in Junior Bonner (1972)] I didn't care for Peckinpah at all. He was one of those little guys who tries to bully big guys and he almost got his ass whipped for trying to do it to me. Every time I was going to throttle Peckinpah, Steve McQueen would come over and calm me down like a brother would.


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. See more »

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