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Rick Baker

Rick Baker

American special makeup effects artist
Rick Baker
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American special makeup effects artist
A.K.A. Richard A. "Rick" Baker
Is Actor Makeup artist Theater professional
From United States of America
Type Arts Fashion Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 8 December 1950, Binghamton, Broome County, New York, USA
Age 70 years
Star sign Sagittarius
Education
Academy of Art University
Awards
Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling  
Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling  
Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling  
Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling  
Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling  
Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling  
Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling  
Academy Awards  
British Academy of Film and Television Arts 1985
Emmy Award  
Peoplepill ID rick-baker-1
The details

Biography

Richard A. Baker (born December 8, 1950) is a retired American special make-up effects creator and actor, mostly known for his creature effects and designs. Baker won the Academy Award for Best Makeup a record seven times from a record eleven nominations, beginning when he won the inaugural award for the 1981 film An American Werewolf in London.

Early life

Baker was born in Binghamton, New York, to Doris (née Hamlin), a bank teller, and Ralph B. Baker, a professional artist. Baker and his family moved to Covina, California when he was less than one year old.

Career

As a teen, Baker began creating artificial body parts in his own kitchen. He also appeared briefly in the fan production The Night Turkey, a one-hour, black-and-white video parody of The Night Stalker directed by William Malone. Baker's first professional job was as an assistant to prosthetic makeup effects veteran Dick Smith on the 1973 film The Exorcist. While working on The Exorcist, Baker was hired by director Larry Cohen to design and create a mutant infant for Cohen's 1974 film It's Alive.

Baker received the inaugural Academy Award for Best Makeup for his work on An American Werewolf in London. He also created the werewolf creature Michael Jackson transforms into in the music video Thriller. Subsequently, Baker has been nominated for the Best Makeup Oscar ten more times, winning on seven occasions, both records in his field.

Baker at the 2011 Saturn Awards

Baker claims that his work on Harry and the Hendersons is one of his proudest achievements. On October 3, 2009, he received the Jack Pierce – Lifetime Achievement Award title of the Chiller-Eyegore Awards.

He was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Academy of Art University San Francisco in 2008. He also contributes commentaries to the web series Trailers from Hell for trailers about horror and science fiction films.

Baker received the 2485th star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame on November 30, 2012. The star is located in front of the Guinness World Records Museum.

Baker announced his retirement on May 28, 2015: "First of all, the CG stuff definitely took away the animatronics part of what I do. It's also starting to take away the makeup part. The time is right, I am 64 years old, and the business is crazy right now. I like to do things right, and they wanted cheap and fast. That is not what I want to do, so I just decided it is basically time to get out. I would consider designing and consulting on something, but I don't think I will have a huge working studio anymore."

Acting roles

Baker played the title role in the 1976 remake of King Kong. In the 2005 remake, he had a cameo as the pilot and gunner (with director Peter Jackson) who shot down Kong. He has also made cameo appearances in: the John Landis film Into the Night as a drug dealer with a business card; Men in Black II as an MIB agent helping provide aliens with disguises; Men in Black 3 as a "brain alien"; Michael Jackson's music video Thriller as one of the zombies; The Haunted Mansion as multiple graveyard ghosts; The Wolfman as the Wolfman's first kill; and Rings as a flea market vendor.

Personal life

Baker is married; he was previously married to Elaine Melba Parkyn for ten years. He met his second wife, hairstylist Silvia Abascal, while they were both working on Into the Night. He also has two daughters, Veronica and Rebecca.

Filmography

  • Octaman (1971) (Octaman costume; with Doug Beswick)
  • The Thing with Two Heads (1972) (special effects)
  • Schlock (1973) (makeup artist)
  • The Exorcist (1973) (special effects assistant)
  • It's Alive (1974) (makeup artist)
  • The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974) (makeup artist)
  • King Kong (1976) (makeup effects, actor)
  • Track of the Moon Beast (1976) (makeup artist)
  • Squirm (1976) (makeup designer)
  • The Incredible Melting Man (1977) (special makeup effects)
  • Star Wars (1977) (makeup artist: second unit)
  • The Fury (1978) (special makeup effects)
  • An American Werewolf in London (1981) (special makeup effects)
  • The Howling (1981) (special makeup effects consultant)
  • The Funhouse (1981) (special makeup design)
  • The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981) (makeup effects)
  • Videodrome (1983) (special makeup effects designer)
  • Thriller (1983) (special makeup effects creator, special makeup effects design)
  • Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984) (special makeup effects)
  • Starman (1984) (Starman transformation)
  • Into the Night (1985) (actor)
  • My Science Project (1985) (special makeup effects artist)
  • Captain EO (1986) (special makeup effects)
  • Ratboy (1986) (designer: Ratboy)
  • Harry and the Hendersons (1987) (makeup artist, creature designer: Harry)
  • Beauty and the Beast (1987–89) (creature designer: Beast)
  • Werewolf (1987–88) (special makeup effects artist)
  • Coming to America (1988) (special makeup effects)
  • Gorillas in the Mist (1988) (special makeup effects, associate producer)
  • Missing Link (1988) (special makeup effects)
  • Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) (special effects supervisor, co-producer)
  • The Rocketeer (1991) (makeup creator: Lothar)
  • Wolf (1994) (special makeup effects)
  • Ed Wood (1994) (makeup creator: Bela Lugosi, makeup designer: Bela Lugosi)
  • Batman Forever (1995) (special makeup designer/creator)
  • The Nutty Professor (1996) (special makeup effects)
  • The Frighteners (1996) (special makeup artist: The Judge)
  • Escape from L.A. (1996) (special makeup effects)
  • Ghosts (1997) (special makeup effects artist)
  • Men in Black (1997) (alien makeup effects, special makeup effects artist)
  • Critical Care (1997) (special makeup effects: Mr. Brooks)
  • Mighty Joe Young (1998) (special makeup effects)
  • Psycho (1998) (Norma Bates corpse dummy design)
  • Life (1999) (special makeup effects)
  • Wild Wild West (1999) (special makeup effects)
  • Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) (special makeup effects)
  • Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000) (special makeup effects)
  • Planet of the Apes (2001) (makeup artist, special makeup effects designer/creator)
  • Men in Black II (2002) (alien makeup effects, special makeup effects artist)
  • The Ring (2002) (special makeup effects artist)
  • The Haunted Mansion (2003) (special makeup effects artist)
  • Hellboy (2004) (special effects director, special makeup effects artist)
  • The Ring Two (2005) (special makeup effects artist)
  • King Kong (2005) (actor)
  • Cursed (2005) (special makeup effects artist, special makeup effects designer/creator)
  • X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) (special makeup effects consultant, visual effects consultant)
  • Click (2006) (special age makeup artist, special makeup effects artist)
  • Enchanted (2007) (special makeup effects artist)
  • Norbit (2007) (special makeup effects artist)
  • Tropic Thunder (2008) (makeup designer: Mr. Downey Jr.)
  • The Wolfman (2010) (special makeup effects)
  • Tron: Legacy (2010) (special makeup effects artist)
  • Men in Black 3 (2012) (alien makeup effects, special makeup effects artist)
  • Maleficent (2014) (Maleficent makeup design)
  • Rings (2017) (actor)

Awards

Academy Awards for Best Makeup

Year Nominated work Result
1981 An American Werewolf in London Won
1984 Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes Nominated
1987 Harry and the Hendersons Won
1988 Coming to America Nominated
1994 Ed Wood Won
1996 The Nutty Professor Won
1997 Men in Black Won
1999 Life Nominated
2000 How the Grinch Stole Christmas Won
2007 Norbit Nominated
2010 The Wolfman Won

BAFTA Awards

Year Nominated work Result
1984 Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes Won
1994 Ed Wood Nominated
1996 The Nutty Professor Won
2000 How the Grinch Stole Christmas Won
2001 Planet of the Apes Nominated

Saturn Awards

Year Nominated work Result
1977 Star Wars Won
1978 The Fury Won
1980 The Howling Nominated
1981 An American Werewolf in London Won
1987 Harry and the Hendersons Nominated
1994 Ed Wood Won
Wolf Nominated
1995 Batman Forever Nominated
1996 The Nutty Professor Won
The Frighteners Nominated
1997 Men in Black Nominated
2000 How the Grinch Stole Christmas Won
Nutty Professor II: The Klumps Nominated
2001 Planet of the Apes Nominated
2002 The Ring Nominated
2003 The Haunted Mansion Nominated
2010 The Wolfman Won

Other awards

  • Inducted to the Monster Kid Hall of Fame at the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards
  • Jack Pierce – Lifetime Achievement Award at the Chiller-Eyegore Awards
  • 2485th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • Emmy Award for Outstanding Makeup
    • The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
  • Time Machine Award, Sitges Film Festival 2015
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 29 Dec 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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Reference sources
References
http://www.filmreference.com/film/85/Rick-Baker.html
https://www.oscars.org/collection-highlights/rick-baker
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSrNG1ctTKk
https://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-dick-smith-20140801-story.html
//www.worldcat.org/issn/0164-2111
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/makeup-artist-howard-j-smit-87280
http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=930109
https://web.archive.org/web/20080604092051/http://movies.about.com/od/interviews/a/rickbaker062806.htm
http://movies.about.com/od/interviews/a/rickbaker062806.htm
http://www.dreadcentral.com/news/33839/dread-central-2009-chiller-eyegore-awards-and-halloween-horror-nights
http://newsfeed.academyart.edu/2009/10/oct-30-academy-to-preview-nova%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Cbecoming-human%E2%80%9D-%E2%80%94-students-modeled-recreations-of-neanderthal-physiology/
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