Mostly Credited As: Roy Ward Baker
Sometimes Credited As: Roy Baker
Birth Name: Roy Horace Baker
Date Of Birth: December 19, 1916 (Age 93)
Country Of Birth: United Kingdom
Birth Place: London, England
Date Of Death: October 05, 2010
Baker learned his directorial labor from the master Alfred Hitchcock and ended up directing some of the hardest thrillers that were ever filmed in the United Kingdom of the postwar period, after which he was imported to Hollywood thanks to the contract that he signed with 20th Century Fox where he guided Marilyn Monroe's first steps in her inaugural starring role.
When he was older, Baker was daring enough to visit the lands of the sci-fi movies and helmed one of the greatest sci-fi sagas, "Five Million Years To Earth" and unforgettable terror titles like "The Vampire Lovers," "Doctor Jekyll and Sister Hyde," and "Asylum." Baker distributed his time between Hammer Films and Amicus Productions, two English giants of the genre, and also directed several episodes of " The Avengers. " Despite being older, at 75, he still kept on directing movies. "I never developed a personal style," confided Baker, "and I've always loved challenges, and have taken considerable chances more than once. I was committed to projects that I didn't understand and for which I was not the most suitable man." Baker was born on December 19, 1916 in London. His father was a wholesaler of fish and Roy Ward - the only son who had the marriage-, was educated in Lyceé Corneille of Rouen, France, and in the City of London School . One night of 1929 his parents took him to the opening of the Leicester Square Theater, by then the most luxurious theater in the whole Europe and this event resolved what vocation his life was going to pursue.
While in the Gainsborough Studios he became first assistant director and met Hitchcock, who was directing by that time "The Lady Vanishes." "I learned all I know about movies from Stevenson, Reed and Hitchcock," recalled Baker. The second World War interrupted his career: Baker was recruited in 1940 by the English Army, for which he shot several documentaries. The scriptwriter and producer of these movies was the famous English novelist Eric Ambler, who became a big friend of his.
Baker was discharged in 1946 and Ambler didn't delay in inviting him to make his debut as the director of full-length films with "The October Man." Henceforth, he showed that suspense suited him well and continued with this trend in other movies. His first movie for Fox "I'll Never forget You," starring Tyrone Power, was shot in england and pleased the studio. In 1952 he returned to the US and filmed "Don't Bother To Knock" starring Marilyn Monroe and Richard Widmark. In the sixties Baker returned to England and devoted his efforts to TV. By 1965, he was willing to direct full-length features again and Hammer Production gave him the chance to direct "Quatermass and the Pit" based on the successful TV series.
Baker went back to TV and directed some telefims, "The Spy Killer," and TV series, Journey To The Unknown ("The Indian Spirit Guide".) Though he directed his last feature film in 1980, he remained working in television until the early '90s on series such as The Irish RM (Channel 4, 1983-85) and Minder (ITV, 1979-94).