Tall, broad shouldered character actor with Texan drawl first appeared in support in several Western vehicles both on TV and the cinema in the mid 1960s. Got himself noticed playing Steve McQueen’s younger brother in Junior Bonner (1972), and then scored the lead role of Buford Pusser (!) in the unexpected hit Walking Tall (1973), an allegedly true tale about a Southern sheriff confronting corruption & gangsters with a large wooden club and a mean attitude. Followed it up by playing a sadistic hit man called Molly, in Don Siegel’s bank heist drama Charley Varrick (1973). Joe Don Baker’s next few films were rather forgettable until he landed the role of police detective Earl Eischied in To Kill a Cop (1978)….which led him into reprising the same character in the short lived TV series Eischied (1979). Since then he has proved he is also quite adept at taking on comedy roles, as well as picking up plenty of work playing lawmen, military men, politicians etc. Keep your eye open for him as a nosy police chief in Fletch (1985), a meglomanical general in The Living Daylights (1987), as a redneck father in Mars Attacks! (1996), and as intelligence operative Jack Wade in the 007 films Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) and GoldenEye (1995).
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