Today is the 85th birthday of Tom Baker, the actor who held the role of The Doctor in Doctor Who for more years than any actor to play the part before or since. He is, if anyone is, the one of the most iconic and recognizable incarnations of the character.
He’s been a fan favorite at conventions around the world for decades, and hasn’t slowed down much. For his 85th birthday, Baker presents his new book Scratchman, a Doctor Who novel published by Penguin Group UK. The book is co-written with author James Gross, and it’s based on an unproduced screenplay by the same name, which he worked on conceptually with Doctor Who costar Ian Marter (Harry Sullivan).
Here is Baker presenting, with unfettered delight, his new book.
This is Baker’s Baker was in his thirties when his professional acting career began, and his first major film role was as Grigori Rasputin in Nicholas and Alexandra in 1971, when he was 37. He went on to play the villainous Prince Koura in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad in 1973, which led to his casting in Doctor Who. During his period as its star, the series was distinguished by high viewing figures and many stories which became regarded as classics.
He continued to win regular roles in TV later in his career, most notably in the series Medics and Monarch of the Glen. In addition to performing acting roles, Baker has narrated commercials, video games, audiobooks, radio plays and television series. Most recently, Baker has appeared in the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who and continues to work with Big Finish on their brilliant audio dramas.
Married three times, the second to Doctor Who co-star Lalla Ward, Baker has two sons from his first marriage.