Diane Baker is a pioneer in the film and television industry. In a distinguished career that has spanned over 50 years, Diane has received numerous awards and acclaim as an actress, producer and director.
After spending several semesters at the University of Southern California, Diane signed a contract with Twentieth Century Fox. There she was introduced to director George Stevens Sr., who cast her in The Diary of Anne Frank (1959).
Diane’s film credits include Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959), The Best of Everything (1959), Tess of the Storm Country (1960), Nine Hours to Rama (1963), and Stolen Hours (1963) with Susan Hayward in London.
At Universal Pictures she starred in Mirage (1965) with Gregory Peck and Marnie (1964) for Alfred Hitchcock. At MGM she starred in The Prize (1963) with Paul Newman and at Columbia Pictures in Strait Jacket (1964) with Joan Crawford.
Diane starred in The Joy Luck Club (1993), The Net (1995), The Cable Guy (1996) with Jim Carrey, Harrison’s Flowers (2000) with Andie MacDowelland, most recently, Harrison Montgomery (2008). Diane acted with Anthony Hopkins under the direction of Jonathan Demme in Silence of the Lambs (1991), and her most recent television credits include several episodes of “House, MD,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “ER” with Noah Wyle and five episodes of HBO’s “Unscripted,” directed by George Clooney. Other television credits include “First Monday in October,” starring Games Garner, The Blue and the Grey, Inherit the Wind (for which she received an Emmy nomination), About Sarah, and CBS’ four-hour miniseries, Jackie O, in the role of Rose Kennedy.
Diane’s first effort as a producer came in the self-financed documentary Ashiana, which dealt with the end of feudalism and the beginning of democracy in India, and was followed by Portrait of Grandpa Doc (1977), starring Melvyn Douglas, Barbara Rush and Bruce Davison, directed by Randal Kleiser. Ms. Baker became fascinated with filmmaking and self financed and produced One of a Kind, which she sold to ABC, and which received the Child of the Year Award in Milan. Other award-winning documentaries followed, including HBO’s To Climb a Mountain and Emmy-nominated Miracles in the Making. She produced the film Never Never Land (1980) in London starring Petula Clark and Cathleen Nesbitt. Two years later Diane purchased the Barbara Taylor Bradford novel A Woman of Substance, and produced the six-hour mini-series in London starring Deborah Kerr, Liam Neeson and Jenny Seagrove, nominated for Emmy for Best Mini Series.
She has received numerous honors and awards, including multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, an Honorary Doctorate in Law from the University of Irvine in Southern California, and Cinecom Career Award in 2005 given at the legendary Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. Ms. Baker is a voting member of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Science as well as BAFTA, and is on the Advisory board of the Documentary Channel. Diane also serves on the Board of Directors of Roots of Peace, an international non-profit organization working to unearth dangerous landmines in war-torn countries and empower the local communities to build sustainable crops on land once too dangerous to traverse.
She documented her trips to Croatia and Afghanistan for Roots of Peace and will soon visit Bethlehem and Mumbai to continue her documentary work for them.
Diane Baker was invited to the Academy of Art University in 2004 to build an acting program for graduate and undergraduate students, and was promoted to Executive Director of the School of Motion Pictures & Television and School of Acting.
She loves teaching and mentoring students, and her dream is to build a film center for serious filmmakers who want to make meaningful films that will inspire, educate, and entertain.