Art Baker (actor)
Art Baker hosting 'You Asked For It' in 1951
January 7, 1898
New York City, New York, USA
|Died||August 26, 1966
Los Angeles, California, USA
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park|
|Occupation||Film, television and radio actor|
Art Baker (born Arthur Shank; January 7, 1898 – August 26, 1966) was an American film, television and radio actor of the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.
Baker was born January 7, 1898, in New York City. He initially planned to be a singer, and during World War I he was a song leader while serving in the United States Army. His post-war occupations included touring with traveling evangelists and operating an appliance store in California.
Baker's radio career began because he was employed at Forest Lawn Memorial Park. When it began a radio program, Tapestries of Life, Baker was chosen to be the narrator. He went on to work on as many as 22 shows per week.
Baker appeared in more than 40 films. His tall, slim frame, snow white hair, smooth slightly nasal voice and genial nature made him a natural choice to play business executives, doctors, and senators in film.
Baker is best known for his work on a television series he created, titled You Asked For It (for which he became affectionately dubbed, the "genie with the light, white hair") between December 1950 and January 1958. It was originally named The Art Baker Show, but the title was changed in April, 1951. During the last 20 months of the show, Baker was replaced by Jack Smith.
Another Baker TV program, End of the Rainbow, debuted January 11, 1958. The program helped unsuspecting people "who are in need of a push to make a success of their dreams, such as a chance to regain a sound footing in business..."
Hollywood Walk of Fame
Baker had four children, Virginia, who died of TB, Arthur (Bart), Robert and Dorothy, all by his first wife. The family lived in Iowa.
- Spellbound (1945)
- The Farmer's Daughter (1947)
- A Southern Yankee (1948)
- State of the Union (1948)
- Cover Up (1949)
- Any Number Can Play (1949)
- Illegal Entry (1949)
- Take One False Step (1949)
- The Underworld Story (1950)
- DeLong, Thomas A. (1996). Radio Stars: An Illustrated Biographical Dictionary of 953 Performers, 1920 through 1960. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-2834-2. P. 19.
- "KRNR Dial-Log". Oregon, Roseburg. The News-Review. July 14, 1949. p. 5. Retrieved November 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Dunning, John. (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. P. 42.
- Wade, Tom (January 11, 1958). "Popular Art Baker Emcees New Series". Pasadena Independent. p. 12. Retrieved September 3, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Art Baker". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
- "Actor Art Baker Collapses, Dies". Independent. August 27, 1966. p. 8. Retrieved September 3, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Actor Art Baker Dies". The Kansas City Times. August 27, 1966. p. 21. Retrieved September 3, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.