Kathy Baker Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (2)  | Trivia (11)

Overview (3)

Born in Midland, Texas, USA
Birth NameKatherine Whitton Baker
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

For someone who has made an award-winning impact in all three mediums (stage, film and TV), actress Kathy Baker has been strangely denied all-out stardom, yet continues to demonstrate her versatility in whatever material comes her way.

The comely blonde was born Katherine Whitton Baker in Midland, Texas, to Helene Andree Baker (nee Whitton) and John Seawand Baker, a geologist and educator who taught at both Princeton and the University of Paris. Raised in New Mexico, she first took to the stage at age 10. Influenced by her French-born mother, Kathy attended the University of California at Berkeley and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in French in 1977, then went to Paris to study haute cuisine at the famed Cordon Bleu. She returned to the States to work as a pastry chef, but discovered that she still wanted to act and eventually joined San Francisco's Magic Theatre, where she appeared in the play "The Man Who Killed the Buddha." Her performance drew the immediate attention of playwright Sam Shepard.

1983 was a banner year for Kathy. At the Magic Theatre, wherein she used the stage name of Kathy Whitton Baker, Shepard cast her in a leading role in one of his new plays, "Fool for Love." The premiere garnered exceptional notices and the play (and Kathy) went to New York. She and co-star Ed Harris, won 1984 Obie Awards for their rich performances, as did playwright Shepard for directing. The production itself won the Obie for "Best New American Play." That same year Kathy made a strong movie debut co-starring in The Right Stuff (1983) as the wife of astronaut Alan Shepard (played by Scott Glenn).

Displaying an attractive intelligence in her performances, Kathy continued to make strides on the New York stage both in 1984's "Desire Under the Elms" and as a replacement for the Lemon character in the Obie-winning "Aunt Dan and Lemon" at Joseph Papp's Shakespeare Festival in 1986. Later in the decade, both Kathy and Morgan Freeman stole the thunder right from under star Christopher Reeve in the tense film drama Street Smart (1987) with Kathy delivering a grim, heartfelt performance as an ill-fated hooker to Freeman's feral pimp. Both performances delivered a one-two punch and were applauded for their shocking realism. Each received their share of awards and plaudits; Kathy nabbed both the National Society of Critics and Boston Society of Critics awards, but was shamefully snubbed when it came to the Oscar race (Freeman was nominated, but lost).

Throughout the rest of the decade Kathy continued to give spot-on performances in such quality films as Clean and Sober (1988), as a recovering addict; Permanent Record (1988), as a wife whose son commits suicide; Jacknife (1989), in which she was reunited with Ed Harris as the put-upon, plain-Jane sister of an alcoholic Vietnam vet; and Edward Scissorhands (1990) as a seemingly model housewife who has an uncontrollably flirtatious nature. Top-flight stardom seemed to be almost a given.

With the new decade, however, the movie roles tendered out to her became less frequent or noteworthy so Kathy decided to focus outside her medium of choice and actively search for TV roles. The results were customarily expert. In the slightly quirky Picket Fences (1992), Kathy found a perfect fit taking on the role of small town mother and doctor Jill Brock. Running for four seasons, she was nominated for an Emmy each year and took home the trophy three of those four times for "Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series".

Into the millennium Kathy has maintained consistency with quality roles in such releases as The Glass House (2001), Assassination Tango (2002), Cold Mountain (2003), Nine Lives (2005), All the King's Men (2006), The Jane Austen Book Club (2007), Miss Nobody (2010), Seven Days in Utopia (2011), Saving Mr. Banks (2013), The Ballad of Lefty Brown (2017) and The Art of Racing in the Rain (2019). On TV she and Helen Mirren picked up supporting Emmy nods in the bittersweet Door to Door (2002), with Emmy-winning William H. Macy starring as a man with cerebral palsy.

In 2001 she joined the cast of Boston Public (2000) as a manipulative mom (another Emmy nomination). Some of those episodes were directed by Steven Robman, whom she married in June of 2003. Kathy has two children from a previous marriage.

In addition to guest spots on such TV series as "Fathers and Son," "Nip/Tuck," "Gilmore Girls, "Grey's Anatomy," "Saving Grace," "Medium" (recurring), and "Criminal Minds," she had series roles in Against the Wall (2011), I'm Sorry (2017) and The Ranch (2016).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Family (2)

Spouse Steven Robman (June 2003 - present)
Donald Camilleri (1984 - 1999)  (divorced)  (2 children)
Parents Baker, Helene Andree
Baker, John Seawand

Trivia (11)

Obie Award for May in Sam Shepard's Fool for Love 1983.
Graduated from the University of California - Berkeley with a degree in French
Appeared on several occasions in performances of "Love Letters" with Picket Fences (1992) co-star Tom Skerritt for charitable causes.
Mother, with Donald Camilleri, of son Julian Joseph Camilleri (b. November 27th 1984) and daughter Marieclaire Camilleri.
Her father's cousin is actress Diana Muldaur (L.A. Law (1986), Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), McCloud (1970)).
As of 2015, has appeared in two films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: The Right Stuff (1983) and The Cider House Rules (1999).
Her acting mentor is Tom Skerritt.
Best friend of Tom Skerritt.
Though she played Tom Skerritt's wife on Picket Fences (1992), she is 17 years Skerritt's junior.
Has had the distinction of appearing in two films apiece with the following A-list actors: Ed Harris, Robert De Niro, Forest Whitaker, Jeff Goldblum, Michael Keaton, Robert Duvall, Morgan Freeman, Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Mark Ruffalo, Emma Thompson and Ted Danson.
Is a frequent collaborator of director Rodrigo Garcia, having appeared in vignettes of his films "Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her" (2000), "Ten Tiny Love Stories" (2002), "Fathers and Sons" (2005) and "Nine Lives" (2005).

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