|Date of Birth
|Place of Birth
Born on October 7, 1959 in Syracuse, New York, Baker was raised in Maryland, where he began his acting career as a teenager in regional theater productions. In 1986, after graduating from the College of William and Mary, he performed in an off-Broadway production of Not About Heroes, co-starring Edward Herrmann and directed by Diane Wiestand -- winning an Obie Award for his performance. After graduating from the Yale School of Drama, he scored on Broadway in such diverse roles as a yuppie (opposite fellow "Murder One" cast mate Patricia Clarkson) in Richard Greenberg's Eastern Standard (1989)--for which he won a Theater World Award--and as the Prince in the modern verse play "La Bete" (1991). He made his film debut in the 1987 John Candy-Steve Martin comedy, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. By 1995, he was a regular on the television dramas Feds and Murder One. Baker first became well-known beyond New York City in 1998 when he appeared in Todd Solondz's ensemble black comedy Happiness, taking on the extremely controversial role of a closeted pedophile who rapes two of his young son's friends. Baker was critically lauded for playing such an unsympathetic role as a three-dimensional human being rather than as a one-sided monster. While the film was criticized for the way in which the role was written, it launched Baker's career. In addition to roles in films such as Thirteen Days, The Cell, and Kinsey, Baker has also appeared extensively on the Broadway stage and on television, in shows such as Law & Order and the short-lived sitcom The Pitts. In 1990, he married actress Becky Gelke, now known professionally as Becky Ann Baker. They have one child (born 1993) and reside in New York City.