Vale: George Baker

UK actor George Baker (pictured, right), best known as Chief Inspector Wexford in ITV’s The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, has died at the age of 80.

Baker died of pneumonia on the weekend following a recent stroke.

In  a career spanning six decades he appeared in countless television shows including Minder, Bergerac, I Claudius and more recently New Tricks and Spooks. He also appeared in over 30 films including The Dam Busters, The Spy Who Loved Me, The Ship That Died of Shame and The 39 Steps, and formed his own theatre company.

His daughter Ellie told the BBC it was The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, which ran for 13 years that was his joy: “He absolutely loved Wexford and he loved being Wexford… and he loved the whole thing.”

Baroness Rendell said Baker ‘made’ Wexford.

“If some other actor had played the part and hadn’t had George’s -charisma, Wexford would never have become as well known as he did. He made him more famous than the Irish county he was named after,” she said.

“George was a wonderful, versatile actor, with a face you can picture in your mind’s eye. He was brilliant in many roles – I particularly enjoyed him in I, Claudius. And he was multi-talented; he wrote many of the adaptations of my stories for The Ruth Rendell Mysteries.’

His late wife Louie Ramsay (pictured, left) also played his on-screen wife Dora in The Ruth Rendell Mysteries.

Source: Telegraph, Daily Mail

7 Comments:

  1. There was definitely a Wexford on 7TWO in the last few days. Saw about five minutes of it.

    Always thought that Lazenby would have been a passable Bond if he’d been able to keep Baker’s voice…

  2. Hi deedeedragon,
    7two had the rights to Ruth Rendell Mysteries, I don’t know if they are showing more Wexford, I guess check the guide.
    He made great Wexford. Baker was also in The Prisoner as the No.2, in the Goodies ahead of the Beefeaters, like others shows. He was in a film call Mr. 10% with Charlie Drake, about a playwright who did not want his play perform, and George was one of the actors, as Drake came down the stairs, Bakers shouts, ‘Now I know what inside a Dalek’

  3. @Tony H – Most is something of an exaggeration – he dubbed the parts where Bond was impersonating Sir Hilary Bray who he also played; which is not really most of the movie…

    This is tragic news. I remember Baker from his performance in Doctor Who, and the Bond movies, but was very pleased when he found fame as Wexford. Good luck, George.

  4. Sad news.
    A bit of trivia – he dubbed George Lazenby’s voice for most of ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’. ( Knew I’d find an Aussie link somewhere!).

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