Harry Baird (actor)
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (February 2013)|
Baird as strongman Ubaratutu in Thor and the Amazon Women (1963)
12 May 1931|
Georgetown, British Guiana
|Died||13 February 2005
London, England, United Kingdom
Cause of death
|Occupation||Film, television and stage actor|
|Known for||Sapphire (1959)
The Story of a Three-Day Pass (1968)
Life and career
Baird was born in Georgetown, British Guiana and educated in Canada and Britain. He made his first film appearance in 1954 as a boxer called Jamaica in Carol Reed's A Kid for Two Farthings. A year later, he appeared in the play Kismet at the Stoll Theatre in London, and had a role in Jean Genet's The Blacks in 1961.
Baird subsequently appeared mostly in film and television. His first lead role was as Atimbu, in the TV series White Hunter, in 1958. A series of stereotyped roles followed, in low-budget films featuring generic African or "jungle" themes. Baird's most high-profile role, however, came in Michael Relph and Basil Dearden's racial drama film Sapphire (1959). Prominent roles for black actors in Britain remained scarce, although he appeared in supporting roles in the TV series Danger Man and UFO (1970; as Lieutenant Bradley, a role that he left half-way through the series' run).
Baird's only true lead film role was in the 1968 Melvin Van Peebles drama The Story of a Three-Day Pass, in which he played an American soldier who falls in love with a white Parisian woman. Other roles included The Whisperers (1967), The Touchables (1968) (as a gay wrestler named Lillywhite), the Hammer Horror film The Oblong Box (1969), and The Italian Job (1969) alongside his friend Michael Caine, whose wife, fellow Guyanese actor Shakira Baksh, Baird had appeared alongside in UFO.
- Offbeat (1961)
- Station Six-Sahara (1962)
- Thor and the Amazon Women (1963)
- He Who Rides a Tiger (1965)
- The Count of Monte Cristo (1975)