Lenny Baker

(1945 - 1982)

A photo of Lenny Baker
Add photo
Lenny Baker
1945 - 1982
Born
January 17, 1945
Massachusetts
Death
April 12, 1982
Florida
Other Names
Leonard Joel Baker
Summary
Lenny Baker was born on January 17, 1945 at Massachusetts. He was born to Bertha Baker and William Baker, with siblings Malcolm and Alan. He died on April 12, 1982 at Florida at 37 years of age.
1 Follower
Updated: March 30, 2019
ADVERTISEMENT BY ANCESTRY.COM
Leonard “Lenny” Baker (January 17, 1945 – April 12, 1982) was an American actor of stage and film and screen best known for his Tony Award-winning performance in "I Love My Wife" in 1977.
Biography
Early years
Baker was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Bertha and William Baker. A 1962 graduate of Brookline High School, he received his college degree from Boston University, and performed in regional theater. He spent several summers at the O'Neill Center's National Playwrights Conference in Waterford, Connecticut.
Career
Baker appeared Off Broadway in plays such as Conerico Was Here to Stay, Paradise Gardens East, The Year Boston Won the Pennant, and Summertree, debuting on Broadway in 1974 in The Freedom of the City, performing in repertory in Secret Service and Boy Meets Girl, and in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry V and Measure for Measure with the Joseph Papp New York Shakespeare Festival. He devoted himself to the production of new plays at The O'Neill Center's National Playwrights Conference where he worked with Werner Liepolt and many other young playwrights. He was highly praised by critics Clive Barnes and Walter Kerr and won the Tony Award for his performance in "I LOVE MY WIFE"
In the course of his career Baker appeared in a number of television shows, such as Kojak, Starsky and Hutch, The Rockford Files, and Taxi.
Far and away most prominent amongst his film roles, which included The Hospital and The Paper Chase, was Next Stop, Greenwich Village, for which he was widely praised by critics and for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.
Personal life
Baker's career was cut short by illness. Throat problems led to him leaving the cast of the pre-Broadway show Broadway, Broadway in 1978, and his final television performances were in 1979. He died on April 12, 1982 of cancer, He had two brothers, Alan and Malcolm.
Work
Stage
Broadway
The Freedom of the City – Alvin Theatre, 1974
Secret Service – Playhouse Theatre, 1976 – Henry Dumont
Boy Meets Girl – Playhouse Theatre, 1976 – Robert Law
I Love My Wife – Ethel Barrymore Theatre, 1977 – Alvin
Off Broadway
Conerico Was Here to Stay – Fortune Theatre, 1969 – Young Man
Summertree - Players Theatre, 1969 - Young Man
Paradise Gardens East – Fortune Theatre, 1969 – Brother
The Year Boston Won the Pennant – Mitzi Newhouse Theatre, 1969 – Dillinger/Peabody
Barbary Shore – Joseph Papp Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, 1973 – Mike Lovett
Pericles, Prince of Tyre – Joseph Papp Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, 1974 – Thailard/Knight of Ephesus/Boult
The Merry Wives of Windsor – Joseph Papp Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, 1974 – Abraham Slender
Henry V – Joseph Papp Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, 1976 – Dauphin
Measure for Measure – oseph Papp Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, 1976 – Lucio
Television
The Teaching, 1970 – Samuel Golden
Pueblo, 1973 – Ensign T.L. Harris
Kojak: "Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die", 1974 – Joyce Harrington
Sunshine: "White Bread and Margarine", 1975 – Jinx
Secret Service – Henry Dumont, 1977
The Rubber Gun Squad, 1977 – Eddie
Starsky and Hutch: "Ninety Pounds of Trouble", 1979 – Damon
The Rockford Files: "Only Rock 'n' Roll Will Never Die" Parts 1 and 2, 1979 – Ronny Martz
Taxi: "Latka's Revolting", 1979 – Baschi
Film
The Hospital, 1971 – Dr. Schaefer
A.W.O.L., 1972 – Sidney Feitel
Malatesta's Carnival of Blood, 1973 – Sonja
The Paper Chase, 1973 – William Moss
Next Stop, Greenwich Village, 1976 – Larry Lapinsky
Show & Tell His Story
Share your memories, family stories, & photos so that Lenny is always remembered.
Biography
Lenny Baker
Most commonly known name
Lenny Baker
Full name
Leonard Joel Baker
Nickname(s) or aliases
Male
Gender
Lenny Baker was born on at Massachusetts
Birth
Lenny Baker died on at Florida
Death
Lenny Baker was born on at Massachusetts
Lenny Baker died on at Florida
Birth
Death
Heritage
Childhood
Adulthood
Obituary

Average Age

Life Expectancy

Lenny's immediate relatives including parents, siblings, partnerships and children in the Baker family tree.

Parents:

Biography
Unknown - Unknown ? - ?
Biography
Unknown - Unknown ? - ?

Siblings:

Biography
Unknown - Unknown ? - ?
Biography
Unknown - Unknown ? - ?

Friends:

Add bio

Leave a comment to ask questions, share information, or simply to show that you care about Lenny.

Cancel
Member since 2014
Amanda S. Stevenson
12.5k+ favorites
Leonard Joel “Lenny” Baker (January 17, 1945 – April 12, 1982) was an American actor of ... Baker appeared Off Broadway in plays such as Conerico Was Here to Stay, Paradise Gardens East, The Year Boston Won the Pennant, and ...
Oct 18, 2017 · Reply

Share Lenny's obituary or write your own to preserve his legacy.

NEW YORK TIMES OBITUARY
LENNY BAKER, 37, STAGE ACTOR
By ELEANOR BLAU APRIL 13, 1982

Lenny Baker, who won a Tony award in 1977 for his performance in the Broadway musical ''I Love My Wife'' and who starred in the movie ''Next Stop, Greenwich Village,'' died of cancer yesterday in a hospital in Hallandale, Fla. He was 37 years old.

Mr. Baker won high praise for his leading role in ''I Love My Wife,'' a musical comedy about two couples who decide to swap partners. Clive Barnes wrote in The New York Times: ''Mr. Baker, with his look of heroic idiocy, his good nature and baffled mind, is a total joy. As an actor he has always been one of a kind.'' Walter Kerr, also writing in The Times, said, ''There's a zany on the prowl who will in the future (and right now) have to be reckoned with.''

The actor was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his role as the hero who flees Brooklyn to become an actor in Paul Mazursky's 1976 autobiographical movie ''Next Stop, Greenwich Village.'' His other film credits included ''The Hospital'' (1971) and ''The Paper Chase'' (1973).

Making his Broadway debut in 1974 in ''The Freedom of the City,'' he was seen in 1976 in repertory in the Phoenix Theater's productions of ''Secret Service'' and ''Boy Meets Girl.'' Earlier, he worked frequently in the Off Broadway theater, in such plays as ''Conerico Was Here to Stay,'' ''Paradise Gardens East,'' ''The Year Boston Won the Pennant'' and ''Summertree.'' He also appeared in 1976 in ''Henry V'' and ''Measure for Measure'' with the New York Shakespeare Festival in the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.

Mr. Baker, who was graduated from Boston University, played regional theaters and spent several summers at the O'Neill Center's National Playwrights Conference in Waterford, Conn. He told an interviewer in 1977 that the center was instrumental in his career, partly because he saw the National Theater for the Deaf there. ''It's perhaps because of watching them work,'' he said, ''that I can be so brazen with comic uses of my body.''

Surviving are his parents, Bertha and William Baker, and two brothers, Alan and Malcolm. A memorial service will be held in the Little Theater of the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, Friday at 11 A.M.

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Lenny's lifetime.

In 1945, in the year that Lenny Baker was born, on April 12th, President Roosevelt died of natural causes and Harry S. Truman, his Vice-President, became the 33rd President of the United States.

In 1955, Lenny was only 10 years old when on September 30th, movie star James Dean, 24, died in a car accident. He was headed in his new Porsche 550 to a race in Salinas California when, traveling at 85 mph, he collided with a 1950 Ford Tudor, also speeding, driven by a 23 year old college student. Dean died, his passenger and the other driver survived.

In 1961, when he was 16 years old, on August 13th, East Germany began erection of what would become the Berlin Wall between East and West Berlin. In one day, they installed barbed wire entanglements and fences (called Barbed Wire Sunday in Germany). On August 17th, the first concrete elements and large blocks were put in place.

In 1973, Lenny was 28 years old when in October, Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned - President Nixon nominated Gerald Ford for Vice President. Nixon's tax returns came under investigation. Nixon offered the recently discovered Oval Office tapes be heard by one person and summarized - his offer was rejected by the Special Prosecutor. Nixon ordered the Attorney General, then the assistant Attorney General, to fire the Special Prosecutor. Both refused and were fired. The Solicitor General became the acting Attorney General and fired the Special Prosecutor (the Saturday Night Massacre). Nixon releases some of the tapes, under extreme pressure because of the firings.

In 1982, in the year of Lenny Baker's passing, on September 14th, Princess Grace of Monaco (American actress Grace Kelly), 52, died of injuries when her car plunged off a mountain road. Her 17 year old daughter, Stephanie, was also in the car and suffered serious injuries but recovered. It's believed that the accident was caused when Princess Grace, who was driving, had a mild stroke.

Other Bakers

Biography
Dec 26, 1961 - May 6, 1966 1961 - 1966
Biography
Unknown - Unknown ? - ?
Biography
Unknown - Unknown ? - ?
Biography
Unknown - Unknown ? - ?
Biography
1927 - Unknown 1927 - ?
Biography
Unknown - Unknown ? - ?
Biography
Unknown - Unknown ? - ?
Biography
Unknown - Unknown ? - ?
Biography
Unknown - Unknown ? - ?
Biography
Jul 23, 1966 - Unknown 1966 - ?
Biography
Unknown - Jan 1, 1990 ? - 1990
Biography
Aug 25, 1953 - Unknown 1953 - ?
Biography
Dec 28, 1966 - Unknown 1966 - ?
Biography
Sep 21, 1931 - Dec 24, 2008 1931 - 2008
Biography
Unknown - Unknown ? - ?
Biography
Sep 9, 1956 - Unknown 1956 - ?
Biography
c. Aug 8, 1960 - Jan 29, 2018 1960 - 2018
Biography
Aug 5 - Unknown ? - ?
Biography
Jan 29, 1980 - Unknown 1980 - ?
Biography
Unknown - Unknown ? - ?

Other Bios

Biography
Unknown - Unknown ? - ?
Biography
Unknown - Unknown ? - ?
Biography
Feb 2, 1942 - Aug 27, 1991 1942 - 1991
Biography
Unknown - Unknown ? - ?
Biography
1915 - 1996 1915 - 1996
Biography
1924 - 1992 1924 - 1992
Biography
1878 - Unknown 1878 - ?
Biography
1880 - Unknown 1880 - ?
Biography
Sep 20, 1892 - Nov 27, 1947 1892 - 1947
Biography
Sep 12, 1896 - Mar 7, 1973 1896 - 1973
Biography
May 7, 1916 - Jun 6, 1984 1916 - 1984
Biography
Jan 26, 1918 - Jul 15, 1987 1918 - 1987
Biography
Jan 9, 1920 - Unknown 1920 - ?
Biography
Jun 5, 1931 - Sep 16, 2006 1931 - 2006
Biography
Jan 9, 1924 - Mar 18, 2003 1924 - 2003
Biography
c. Aug 17, 1928 - Jun 7, 2002 1928 - 2002
Biography
Mar 8, 1934 - Dec 22, 2003 1934 - 2003
Biography
Unknown - 1950 ? - 1950
Biography
1923 - 1993 1923 - 1993
Biography
Apr 26, 1970 - 2015 1970 - 2015
Times Were Tough During The Great Depression Of The 1930's
Looking at these photos of the 1930s Depression era, life seemed so hard. Around 15 million in the U.S. alone were unemplo...
A Father's Love Can't Be Matched
Fathers have always been honored: in Europe, the Catholic population as far back as the Middle Ages have celebrated father...
Visual History of Voting in the United States
Most Americans have their first voting experience in school - class president, vice-president, and other officers are chos...
Created on Jun 04, 2020 by Daniel Pinna
"Thank you for helping me find my family & friends again so many years after I lost them. I get the chance to remember them all this time later."

Highlights of just a few of the many successes of sharing memories on AncientFaces. From reuniting lost or 'orphan' photos with their families, seeing faces of relatives for the first time, to the many connections made with family & friends.

These special moments are why it's important we share.
Back to Top