Philippa Baker (actress)
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Baker was initially a librarian. She switched to acting in the late 1940s. After several theatre roles she acted in long-running radio serial Blue Hills, spending five years portraying a Scottish nurse. When television began in Australia she acted in televised plays for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and in series such as Homicide.
Baker joined Number 96 early in its run in 1972, becoming part of a comedy double-act with Johnny Lockwood who played her character's soon-to-be husband Aldo. They continued in the series until the end of 1974 when they were abruptly written out of the series with the attached publicity, but they were returned to the show less-than two months later. The departures of Aldo and Roma had been planned as only a temporary absence all along; press reports of the characters being "dropped" from the show had just been a publicity stunt.
By August 1975 the program's ratings had entered a slump, and a drastic revamp of the show was planned. The writers decided to write out several high profile characters, including Aldo and Roma. In early September 1975 a bomb blast tore through Number 96 killing four residents, including Roma and Aldo. Baker never acted in the series again after the death of Roma though she and Johnny Lockwood returned to present a segment of the show's 1000 episode retrospective And They Said It Wouldn't Last in June 1976.
In 1976 Baker acted in a recurring sketch in comedy series The Norman Gunston Show. This sketch, called The Checkout Chicks, was a parody of melodramatic soap operas set in a supermarket, and mostly featured other former Number 96 actors – Abigail, Vivienne Garrett, Candy Raymond, Judy Lynne and Anne Louise Lambert.
Baker subsequently made various appearances in films and on stage and television. She had small roles in high profile productions Annie's Coming Out (1984) and Young Einstein (1988). When not acting, Baker returned to her career as a public librarian until her retirement.
- Fawcett, Tony. "The Double Life of Mrs Godolfus!" TV Week. 4 August 1973, p.20