Thomas Stewart Baker, usually credited as Tom Baker is a British character actor best known as the fourth incarnation of Time Lord known as The Doctor.
 Tom, along with his younger sister Lulu and younger brother John, was raised in a poor Irish Catholic community by his mother Mary Jane Fleming Baker, a house-cleaner and barmaid, who was a devout Catholic and his father John Stewart Baker, a Jewish sailor, who was rarely at home. At age 15, Baker left school to become a monk with the Brothers of Ploermel on the island of Jersey. Six years later, he abandoned the monastic life and performed his National Service in the Royal Army Medical Corps., where he became interested in acting. Baker then served on the Queen Mary for seven months as a sailor in the Merchant Navy before attending Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama in Kent, England, on scholarship. Baker acted in repertory theaters around Britain until the late 1960s when he joined up with the National Theatre, where he performed with such respected actors as Maggie Smith, Anthony Hopkins and Laurence Olivier, who helped him get his first prominent film role as Rasputin in Nicholas and Alexandra (1971). His performance in this film earned him two Golden Globe Award nominations, one for best actor in a supporting role and another for best new star of the year. A couple of years earlier, Baker had made his theatrical film debut in The Winter's Tale (1967). Despite appearances in a spate of films, including Pier Paolo Pasolini's The Canterbury Tales (1972), The Mutations (1974), The Vault of Horror (1973) and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973), Baker was working as a labourer at a building site when he landed the role of the main character in the popular, long-running British television series "Doctor Who" (1963), a role that brought him international fame and popularity. After his seven-year stint as Dr. Who from 1974 to 1981, Baker returned to theatre and made occasional television and film appearances, playing Sherlock Holmes in "The Hound of the Baskervilles" (1982), Puddleglum in The Chronicles of Narnia story "The Silver Chair" (1990) and Hallvarth, Clan Leader of the Hunter Elves, in Dungeons & Dragons (2000). Throughout his career, Baker's acting style has been to portray his characters with a "larger-than-life" air.
6' 3" (1.91 m)
Manic toothy grin
Powerful, velvety voice
An image of him appeared on the episode of "The Simpsons" (1989) shown on 26 November 1995.
He is the longest-serving actor to have portrayed the Doctor in "Doctor Who" (1963), having played the role for seven seasons from 1974 to 1981. In second place is his immediate predecessor, Jon Pertwee, who played the Third Doctor for five seasons from 1970 to 1974.
With the death of Jon Pertwee on May 20, 1996, he is both the oldest and earliest surviving Doctor from "Doctor Who" (1963).
Tom was a largely unknown, unemployed actor who had actually written to the BBC seeking work shortly before he was cast in his most famous role, as the star of "Doctor Who" (1963). His appointment as Jon Pertwee's successor came after series producer Barry Letts had already considered for the role more famous actors Jim Dale, Richard Hearne, Michael Bentine, Graham Crowden and Fulton Mackay, all of whom had been discounted for various reasons.
Has performed with the National Theatre, the Bristol Old Vic and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Children, with Anna Wheatcroft: Daniel and Piers.
He is a voice-over artist for television commercials in the UK.
He has been mistaken by members of the public for Jon Pertwee.
Trained at Rose Bruford Drama School, Sidcup, Kent, UK alongside Freddie Jones. Later members include actors Ray Fearon, Gary Oldman and Stephen Armourae.
His mother, Mary Jane Fleming Baker, was Irish.
He was a monk for six years before becoming an actor.
He is the longest-lived actor to have played the Doctor in "Doctor Who" (1963). He surpassed his predecessor Jon Pertwee on December 5, 2010. He became the first Doctor to reach the age of 77 on January 20, 2011.
At 6'3", he is the tallest actor, along with Jon Pertwee, to have played the Doctor in Doctor Who (1963).
His period on "Doctor Who" (1963) was the ratings high point of the series and produced many of the most enduringly popular stories. In a 1998 poll in "Doctor Who" (1963) Magazine, five of the stories voted into the top ten were from his period: "Doctor Who: City of Death: Part 1 (#17.5)" (1979), "Doctor Who: The Robots of Death: Part 1 (#14.17)" (1977), "Doctor Who: Pyramids of Mars: Part 1 (#13.9)" (1975), "Doctor Who: The Talons of Weng-Chiang: Part One (#14.21)" (1977) and the story voted into first place, "Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks: Part One (#12.11)" (1975). In fan site Outpost Gallifrey's 40th anniversary poll, six of the stories voted into the top ten were from his period: "Doctor Who: The Deadly Assassin: Part 1 (#14.9)" (1976), "Doctor Who: The Robots of Death: Part 1 (#14.17)" (1977), "Doctor Who: City of Death: Part 1 (#17.5)" (1979), "Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks: Part One (#12.11)" (1975), "Doctor Who: Pyramids of Mars: Part 1 (#13.9)" (1975) and the serial voted into first place, "Doctor Who: The Talons of Weng-Chiang: Part One (#14.21)" (1977). In addition to this, in 2003 he was voted the best star of "Doctor Who" (1963) in a poll in the Radio Times and again in 2005 by readers of science fiction magazine SFX.
He is a voracious reader of books.
I wasn't interested in novelty. I was looking for good drama.
To want to be an actor, especially these days, is to be ill.
I am a one success man.
I think quite often a fate worse than death is life, for lots of people.
The Old Testament is my favourite science fantasy reading.
I'm very interested in nostalgia because that's pretty well all that's left for me.
I'm a sort of Buddhist, like all actors are, you know, that nonsense about not bathing in the same river twice - you're not even the same person bathing in the same river. So actors, it seems to me, I don't know much about them, I avoid them like the plague, especially the ones at my age, but inevitably I do meet them and they do seem to me to be a bit like me in that they are not really certain who they are.
I recently got a copy of the Tom Baker Friendship Group's Fan Letter. It said owing to diminishing interest the price of this fan letter is going up from 30 to 58 pence.
[on The Magic Roundabout]: I haven't seen a script but I've accepted everything, simply because the money was excellent.
The biggest cause of death in Maidstone is boredom.
I learned nothing at drama school. The tutors were all far too old and out of date. Not their fault. I'm now extremely old and very dated.
[on the "Doctor Who" (1963) serial "The Talons of Weng-Chiang"]: The BBC is very good at period drama but not very good at giant rats.
I think I'm made for the role of Donald MacDonald ("Monarch of the Glen" (2000)). He's quite clearly from another planet.
I enjoy overacting and I'm very good at it. I suppose you could say I've made a career out of it.
As you get near death, as I am, you have to laugh at everything. Otherwise the alternative is to be utterly depressed.
I've never had a problem with the fame thing, but as I get older I feel I am starting to look less and less like Tom Baker. People used to mistake me for Shirley Williams, but now they just seem to mistake me for my Great Auntie Molly.
I don't watch television. I know better than that.
[on David Tennant, who began playing the Tenth Doctor in "Doctor Who" (2005)]: I did watch a little bit of the new Doctor Who and I think the new fella, Tennant, is excellent.
I began to realize that I was not much fun to work with from the point of view of the producer because I got very, very opinionated. I thought that I knew what worked. It meant that I was quite difficult to deal with. And so when I offered my resignation I was quite astounded at how swiftly it was accepted. (On "Doctor Who" (1963))
"Doctor Who" (1963) is watched at several levels in an average household. The smallest child terrified behind a sofa or under a cushion, and the next one up laughing at him, and the elder one saying 'sh, I want to listen', and the parents saying 'isn't this enjoyable'.
I began to get into the part and then the part began to get into me... I was the Doctor and the Doctor was me... for more than six years I left myself and floated about as a hero.
Dickens (Charles Dickens) is full of all that theatricality from simple times when people could be heroic, ridiculous and strike attitude. And, of course, all that pretentiousness and snobbery is right up my street. I was born to play Mr Crummles. Even when I played Macbeth, someone said to me that I would make a great Crummles.
The readers' vote is very pleasing and reassuring. I was lucky because all my stuff was in colour, the scripts were coming along, the effects were getting more refined, the sets didn't fall over so often. (On winning a poll in the Radio Times as the best star of "Doctor Who" (1963))
It was inconceivable during our time. We didn't think like that. I played him entirely... I never did handle the girls. Or if I did handle the girls, I always did it clumsily, because I reasoned that the Doctor wouldn't know about that. (On the sexual portrayal of the Doctor in the revived series, "Doctor Who" (2005))
I don't know what it will be like and they haven't approached me yet and I'd want to have some say about the script. I'm not asking for Tom Stoppard to write the script but for it to be as I remember it and as the others remember their time. (On returning to the part of the Doctor)
I think it is quite difficult now to surprise an audience with special effects, you may please an audience, but visually you can't actually amaze an audience can you? In a sense you just watch them trying, but if people can appear and disappear and walk through walls and disappear and then carry on fencing or kissing girls, that amazes me. (Speaking in 2009)
30-odd years later people say, 'What did it feel like when you left "Doctor Who" (1963)?' I never did leave "Doctor Who" (1963) because it never left me.
Frank Bough said to me once, 'Don't you think, actually, your programme frightens people?' I said, 'Not nearly as much as your programme does.'
Jon Pertwee put a big stamp on "Doctor Who" (1963). He found a style that was really wonderful.
The whole of television seemed to staffed entirely by producers, directors and script editors and people like that were all actors, because where did the original people come from? At that time, you see, when television got going, the only people that knew anything about theatricality and plays were actors. So lots of the producers had been actors in their day.
I was not good in it. The BBC apologised for my performance. They didn't like it at all. (On "The Hound of the Baskervilles" (1982))
He was the big link in changing my entire life really because it was he who decided to cast me in "Doctor Who" (1963). It was left down to Barry Letts deciding to employ me or not. He was very anxious at the time because replacing Jon Pertwee was considered a big hurdle. He filled me with great confidence. He was a good man, you know, a really good man. He was a gentleman, you know, that old fashioned gentleman, so kind, so kind. There's no substitute for kindness is there really? (On the death of Barry Letts)
I've been with them a long time so we're effortlessly friendly. I am very fond of those boys, they're very young, so I feel rather paternal towards them. I'm also full of admiration for what they do and I'm devoted to their bad taste. (On David Walliams and Matt Lucas)
I would rather be in "Little Britain" (2003) than King Lear, because there are more laughs.
I get sweet messages from time to time from David Tennant, yes, but I've never actually seen it, no. Of course, I didn't watch it when I was in it. Well, once, from behind the sofa. (On "Doctor Who" (2005))
Where Are They NowEdit
(2006) He and his wife Sue Jerrard moved back to Kent, England, after spending four years living in south west France.