Rick Baker (makeup artist)

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Rick Baker
Rick Baker at Saturn Awards.jpg
Baker at the 2011 Saturn Awards
Born (1950-12-08) December 8, 1950 (age 63)
Binghamton, New York
Nationality American
Alma mater Academy of Art University
Occupation Special makeup effects artist
Years active 1971–present
Spouse(s)

Elaine Baker (m. 1974–84)

Silvia Abascal (m. 1987)

[1]

Richard A. "Rick" Baker (born December 8, 1950)[1] is an American special makeup effects artist known for his creature effects.

Personal life[edit]

Baker was born in Binghamton, New York to Doris (née Hamlin) and Ralph B. Baker, a professional artist.[1]

Career[edit]

As a teen, Baker began creating artificial body parts in his own kitchen.[citation needed] He also appeared briefly[citation needed] in the fan production "The Night Turkey" a one-hour, black-and-white video parody of "The Night Stalker" directed by William Malone. Baker's first professional job was as an assistant to Dick Smith on the film The Exorcist.[2] He received the inaugural Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling for his work on An American Werewolf in London.[3] He also created the "werecat" creature Michael Jackson transforms into in the music video Thriller.[citation needed] Subsequently, Baker has been nominated for the Best Makeup Oscar ten more times, winning on seven occasions, both records in his field.[4]

He was married to Elaine Parkyn for 10 years. Her sole acting appearance was as the Emperor whom Vader consults in the original version of The Empire Strikes Back. Elaine wore a mask and hooded robe for the role and her eyes were visually replaced with those of a chimpanzee, while her voice was dubbed over by Clive Revill. All subsequent versions since the DVD release replace her image with Ian McDiarmid reprising his role from Return of the Jedi and the prequel trilogy.

Baker claims his work on Harry and the Hendersons is one of his proudest achievements.[5] On October 3, 2009, he received the Jack Pierce – Lifetime Achievement Award title of the Chiller-Eyegore Awards.[6]

He was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Academy of Art University San Francisco in 2008.[7] He also contributes commentaries to the web series Trailers From Hell[8] for trailers about horror and science fiction films.[citation needed]

Baker received the 2485th star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame on November 30, 2012. The star is located in front of the Guinness World Records Museum.[9]

Acting roles[edit]

Baker played the title role in the 1976 remake of King Kong. In the 2005 remake, he had a cameo as the pilot and gunner (with director Peter Jackson) who shot down Kong. He also made cameo appearances in: the John Landis film Into the Night as a drug dealer with a business card; in Men in Black II as an MiB agent helping provide aliens with disguises; in Michael Jackson's music video for Thriller as one of the zombies; in The Haunted Mansion as multiple graveyard ghosts; and in The Wolfman as the Wolfman's first kill.[citation needed]

Filmography[edit]

Awards[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]