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Joe Don Baker

  1. William Devane,  Rolling Thunder, 1977.    Among Quentin Tarantino's favourite movies:  “There were a lot of folks trying out for the role of Major Charles Rane. Joe Don Baker was considered. Even David Carradine, but it was fate that landed William Devane in what is the best role of his career.”  Extremely  Brandoesque as   Frank Kearney in Mission Impossible #133: The Miracle, TV, 1971, JDB shrugged off his Marlon mannerisims for the movies
  2. Tommy Lee Jones, Coal Miner’s Daughter. 1979.  C&W singer Loretta Lynn chose Sissy Spacek  for her biopic. Her husband, Doolittle Lynn, was plain jealous about three  actors being seen to play him… He didn’t like Ford, much less JDB and was totally anti-TLJ. So, Jones got pissed on moonshine, drove a car wildly through the location township of Butcher Holler, Kentucky,  was arrested  by the cops, beat ‘em up and spent the  night in jail.  After all that, said Loretta,," Doo ended up falling in love with Tommy Lee.s
  3. Stubby Kaye, Doctor Who #146: Delta and The Bannermen, TV, 1987.    Not so surprising that the burly Hollywood character player should be offered a Whoverse shot.   Baker had, after all, won some of his more memorable roles in the UK. (The BBC’s thriller serial, Edge of Darkness, 1985, and three Bond films: Timothy Dalton’s debut, Living Daylights, 1986, Pierce Brosnan’s debut, GoldenEye, 1994, plus his Tomorow Never Dies, 1997). While some Whovians strongly objected to UK comic Ken Dodd being chosen for The Tollmaster, there was not a murmur about hiring the US comic for Weismuller (!). That, apparently, was oh-Kaye.
  4. Donald Sutherland, Outbreak, 1995.    Dustin Hoffman and Wolfgang Petersen were not pleased with Baker's redneck take on his pivotal Army officer. “We wanted a more complex, Oliver North type.”  Or... Sutherland. “He costs too much,” moaned producer Arnold Kopelson.  He  sent 45 minutes of footage to the Warners chairman.  And Sutherland was in.  Immediately.




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