Kathy Baker biography

Saving Mr. Banks

Kathy Baker

Date of Birth: June 8, 1950

Born in Midland, Texas, Kathy Baker was raised in the Quaker religion. Her American father taught at Princeton and at the Sorbonne University in Paris, where he met her mother, a French citizen. Although Kathy showed an interest in acting at an early age, she did not study drama until she enrolled at the California Institute of the Arts. From there, she went on to the University of California at Berkley where she earned a Bachelor's degree in French. When she was married shortly after, she left acting behind, but the marriage didn't last long and Kathy was off to Paris to study to be a Cordon Bleu chef. She returned to the States and worked as a pastry chef for a while, but she was realized she was still drawn to the theater. Baker began her professional career as a stage actor, winning an Obie award for her performance in the off-Broadway play Fool for Love, written by Sam Shepard. The same year, she made her feature film debut in The Right Stuff (1983), opposite Sam Shepard and Ed Harris.

Baker returned to the big screen with the lead role in A Killing Affair (1986), and since then she has worked steadily, amassing guest performances on series such as Amazing Stories and Touched by an Angel, as well as in films such as Street Smart (1987) opposite Christopher Reeve, Permanent Record (1988) with Keanu Reeves, a co-starring role opposite Michael Keaton in Clean and Sober (1988), Jackknife (1989) with Robert DeNiro and Ed Harris, and Edward Scissorshands (2000) with Johnny Depp.

Having built a solid career in major motion pictures, Baker was reluctant to make the switch to series TV when she was asked by producer David E. Kelley to join the cast of the new drama, Picket Fences. She changed her mind after reading the script. "I thought, 'This is better than 90 percent of the film scripts I read,’" she told The New York Times. "The character was more interesting than the characters I was getting. The writing was as good as the feature scripts I saw. All the elements just fell into place, and there was no reason to turn it down." She played the role of Dr. Jill Brock for four years, winning three Emmy awards and a Golden Globe for her work.

Baker continued to work in features when on hiatus from the show, and when the series ended in 1996, she returned to them full time, completing roles in To Gillian on her 37th Birthday (1996), Inventing the Abbots (1997) and The Cider House Rules (1999). In 2000, she returned to the small screen with a regular role in Boston Public, created by David E. Kelley. She played the role of Meredith Peters for one season, earning an Emmy award nomination for her work before returning to feature films such as Cold Mountain (2003) with Nicole Kidman and Jude Law and The Jane Austen Book Club (2007) with Emily Blunt.

Most recently, she starred in The Age of Adaline (2015).

She married Donald Camillieri in 1985, but they divorced in 1999. They have two children.

Kathy Baker Filmography


Saving Mr. Banks

Genre:  Drama
Running Time:  125 min.
Release Date: December 20, 2013 - December 13, 2013 - Toronto
December 20, 2013 - Wide

DVD: March 18, 2014

Current rating: Rating: 4.37
based on 260 votes and 109 reviews
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Cast: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Rachel Griffiths, Bradley Whitford, B.J. Novak, Kathy Baker

Inspiration: P.L. Travers