George Baker (1931-2011) b. Varna, Bulgaria.
Born in Bulgaria, the son of the British Vice-Consul, George Baker’s father Frank was originally from Wetherby, so when war broke out, it was decided to send his mother Eva, George and his four brothers and sisters back to Yorkshire. Baker made his joint film and stage debuts in 1952. He got his big break whilst appearing on the West End stage; he was spotted by director Guy Hamilton and cast in The Dam Busters (1954). He was equally adept at authoritative characterizations, appearing in this capacity in two James Bond films; On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) and The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). When the “New Wave” of film-makers arrived in the 1960’s Baker’s matinee-idol good looks were no longer required and film work dried up. In the late 1980s, Baker became one of Britain’s best-loved personalities as the unflappable Chief Inspector Wexford in ITV’s The Ruth Rendell Mysteries.