Actor George Baker, best known for playing Tiberius in the British television series I, Claudius, and Inspector Wexford in The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, died on Oct. 7 according to The Guardian. He was 80.
Though best remembered for his television work, Baker appeared in about 30 movies during the course of nearly half a century. Among his most notable big-screen credits are William Fairchild’s comedy The Extra Day (1956), co-starring Simone Simon and Richard Basehart (the “extra” in the title refers to movie extras); Gordon Parry’s crime drama Tread Softly, Stranger (1958), opposite popular sex symbol Diana Dors; and as Sir Gawaine in Cornel Wilde’s costume drama The Sword of Lancelot (1963), starring Wilde as Sir Lancelot, his wife Jean Wallace as Guinevere, and Brian Aherne as King Arthur.
Additionally, Baker was featured opposite Diane Cilento in George More O’Ferrall’s 1955 love-triangle drama The Woman for Joe, in which a sideshow owner and a midget vie for the same woman. Curiously, Cilento succumbed to cancer yesterday.
Among George Baker’s other films were Curse of the Fly (1965), the Peter O’Toole version of Goodbye Mr. Chips (1969), and Lewis Gilbert’s James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). Baker’s last feature film was Michael Tuchner’s adventure-fantasy Back to the Secret Garden, with Joan Plowright, Cherie Lunghi, and Leigh Lawson.
Baker’s third wife, Louie Ramsay, died earlier this year. She played his wife Dora in The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, which ran for 13 years.