Bob Baker (actor)
Stanley L. Weed|
8 November 1910
Forest City, Iowa, USA
29 August 1975 (aged 64)|
Prescott, Arizona, USA
|Known for||Singing cowboy|
Bob Baker (8 November 1910 - 29 August 1975) was a singer who had several starring roles as a singing cowboy in the late 1930s.
Baker was born Stanley Lelend Weed on 8 November 1910 in Forest City, Iowa. He spent part of his childhood and youth in Colorado and Arizona. Unlike most movie cowboys, Baker really worked as a cowboy in his youth, and was a rodeo champion when he was sixteen. He joined the army at the age of 18, where he learned to play the guitar. He began singing professionally at the age of twenty, for the KTSM (AM) radio station in El Paso, Texas. In Chicago he spent several months with WLS (AM). In 1935 he married Evelyn. They were to have four children.
Baker won a Universal Studios screen test in 1937 in competition against Leonard Slye (Roy Rogers), and became the studio's lead singing cowboy. He starred in a dozen pictures before suffering an injury and being demoted to secondary roles. Bob Baker starred in the "B" western Courage of the West (1937) with Lois January. She said, "Bob Baker was too pretty! He was nice, but didn't get friendly. He didn't want me to sing a song in his picture. That business is full of jealousy...". This movie, his first, was thought to be his best. The others suffered from predictable plots and poor scripts.
Fuzzy Knight worked with Baker as a sidekick on his first four films. Starting with The Last Stand (1938) Baker rode Apache, a pinto he had bought in Arizona. A well-trained horse, Apache tolerated his signature trick of vaulting over the horse's rear into the saddle. Between work on the sets, Baker had to tour and perform at movie theatres, in part to promote the pictures and in part to earn extra income. Bob Baker accompanied his singing with a Gibson Advanced Jumbo guitar. He did not make any recordings.
In a poll of 1939, Baker was rated tenth in a list of moneymaking Western stars. However, he did not have the star quality of a performer like Gene Autry. In 1939 he was partnered with Johnny Mack Brown and Fuzzy Knight in a series of movies where Brown clearly emerged as the star. His career went downhill, and he began playing in secondary roles, then in bit parts.
After leaving the movie industry Baker served again in the army in World War II. He then became a member of the police force of Flagstaff, Arizona. He once again served in the US Army during the Korean War. He later ran a dude ranch and became an expert in leather crafts. He had a series of heart attacks towards the end of his life. He died of a stroke on 29 August 1975 in Prescott, Arizona.
|1937||*||Courage of the West||Jack Saunders|
|1937||*||The Singing Outlaw||Bob 'Scrap' Gordon|
|1938||*||Border Wolves||Rusty Reynolds|
|1938||The Last Stand||Tip Douglas posing as the Laredo Kid|
|1938||*||Western Trails||Bob Mason|
|1938||*||Outlaw Express||Captain Bob Bradley|
|1938||*||Black Bandit||Sheriff Bob Ramsay / Don Ramsay|
|1938||*||Guilty Trails||Bob Higgins|
|1938||*||Prairie Justice||U.S. Marshal Bob Randall, aka Bob Smith|
|1938||*||Ghost Town Riders||Bob Martin|
|1939||*||Honor of the West||Sheriff Bob Barrett|
|1939||*||The Phantom Stage||Bob Carson|
|1939||*||Desperate Trails||Clem Waters|
|1939||Oklahoma Frontier||Tom Rankin|
|1939||Chip of the Flying U||Dusty|
|1940||West of Carson City||Nevada|
|1940||Riders of Pasco Basin||Bruce Moore|
|1940||Bad Man from Red Butte||Gabriel 'Gabby' Hornsby|
|1941||-||Along the Rio Grande||Deputy Bob||Uncredited|
|1941||-||Arizona Bound||Marshal Bat Madison||Uncredited|
|1942||-||Ride 'Em Cowboy||Ranch Cowhand Driving Bus||Uncredited|
|1942||Overland Mail||Bill Cody [Chs.1,14]|
|1943||Wild Horse Stampede||Marshal Bob Tyler|
|1944||-||Oklahoma Raiders||Cowhand in Saloon / Lyncher with Rope||Uncredited|
|1944||-||Mystery Man||Bar 20 Cowhand||Uncredited, (Last appearance)|
- Aldrich, Margret; Dregni, Michael; Murray, Charles Shaar (2003-09-19). This Old Guitar. Voyageur Press. ISBN 978-0-89658-631-4. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
- Brumburgh, Gary (2012). "Biography for Bob Baker". IMDB. Retrieved 2013-01-28.[unreliable source?]
- Driscoll, Jim (2008-12-30). "Warblin' Bob". Reflections of a B- Movie Junkie: A Tribute To, and Homage Of, the B-Movie Genre Films of the Saturday Matinees, of Primarily the '40's and '50's. Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 978-1-4628-3820-2. Retrieved 2013-01-28.[self-published source?]
- Fitzgerald, Michael G.; Magers, Boyd (2009-10-30). Ladies of the Western: Interviews With 25 Actresses from the Silent Era to the Television Westerns of the 1950s and 1960s. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-3938-6. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
- Stanfield, Peter (2002-05-01). Horse Opera: The Strange History of the 1930s Singing Cowboy. University of Illinois Press. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-252-07049-5. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
- Tribe, Ivan M. (2006). Country: A Regional Exploration. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-33026-1. Retrieved 28 January 2013.