Biography

Roy Ward Baker is an English film director born in London on 19 December 1916. His best known film is A Night to Remember which won a Golden Globe for best foreign English language film in 1959. His later career was varied, and included many horror films and television shows.

Baker's early career, from 1934 to 1939, was spent working for Gainsborough Pictures, a British film production company based in Islington, North London, famous for its prestige productions. His first jobs were menial - making tea for crew members, for example - but by 1938 he had risen through the ranks to work as assistant director on Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes.

He served in the army during World War II, until transferring to the Army Kinematograph Unit in 1943 in order to make better use of skills developed in his pre-war career producing documentaries and teaching materials for troops. One of his superiors at the time was novelist Eric Ambler. It was he who gave Baker his first big break directing The October Man, from an Ambler screenplay, in 1947. Ambler also adapted Walter Lord's A Night to Remember for Baker's 1958 screen version.

During the early 1950s, Baker worked for three years in Hollywood where he directed Marilyn Monroe in Don't Bother to Knock (1952) and Robert Ryan in 3D film noir Inferno (1953). He returned to the UK for the latter part of the decade, but defected to television in the early 1960s.

He directed episodes of The Avengers, The Saint and The Champions - all adventure series created with an eye on the American market. The low-budget ethic of television production made him well-suited to his next career move into cheaply produced but lavish-looking British horror films. He directed, amongst others, Quatermass and the Pit (1967) The Vampire Lovers (1970) and Scars of Dracula (1970) for Hammer, and Asylum (1972) for Amicus.

In the latter part of the 1970s he returned to television, and throughout the 1980s continued to work in Television.  He retired in 1992.

Roy Ward Baker is an English film director born in London on 19 December 1916. His best known film is A Night to Remember which won a Golden Globe for best foreign English language film in 1959. His later career was varied, and included many horror films and television shows.

Baker's early career, from 1934 to 1939, was spent working for Gainsborough Pictures, a British film production company based in Islington, North London, famous for its prestige productions. His first jobs were menial - making tea for crew members, for example - but by 1938 he had risen through the ranks to work as assistant director on Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes.

He served in the army during World War II, until transferring to the Army Kinematograph Unit in 1943 in order to make better use of skills developed in his pre-war career producing documentaries and teaching materials for troops. One of his superiors at the time was novelist Eric Ambler. It was he who gave Baker his first big break directing The October Man, from an Ambler screenplay, in 1947. Ambler also adapted Walter Lord's A Night to Remember for Baker's 1958 screen version.

During the early 1950s, Baker worked for three years in Hollywood where he directed Marilyn Monroe in Don't Bother to Knock (1952) and Robert Ryan in 3D film noir Inferno (1953). He returned to the UK for the latter part of the decade, but defected to television in the early 1960s.

He directed episodes of The Avengers, The Saint and The Champions - all adventure series created with an eye on the American market. The low-budget ethic of television production made him well-suited to his next career move into cheaply produced but lavish-looking British horror films. He directed, amongst others, Quatermass and the Pit (1967) The Vampire Lovers (1970) and Scars of Dracula (1970) for Hammer, and Asylum (1972) for Amicus.

In the latter part of the 1970s he returned to television, and throughout the 1980s continued to work in Television.  He retired in 1992.

Personal Info

Known For Directing

Gender Male

Known Credits 62

Birthday 1916-12-19

Day of Death 2010-10-05

Place of Birth London, England

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Roy Baker

Directing TV ShowsMovies

1989 Saracen (1 episode)Director
1989 Tales from the Crypt (1 episode)Director
1984 The Masks of Death Director
1983 The Irish R.M. (8 episodes)Director
1982 Q.E.D. (1 episode)Director
1981 The Flame Trees of Thika (7 episodes)Director
1981 The Monster Club Director
1979 Minder (13 episodes)Director
1979 Danger UXB (2 episodes)Director
1978 Return of the Saint (2 episodes)Director
1974 The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires Director
1974 Mission: Monte Carlo Director
1973 And Now the Screaming Starts! Director
1973 The Vault of Horror Director
1972 Asylum Director
1972 The Protectors (1 episode)Director
1971 Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde Director
1971 The Persuaders! (4 episodes)Director
1971 Jason King (3 episodes)Director
1970 Scars of Dracula Director
1970 The Vampire Lovers Director
1970 Foreign Exchange Director
1969 The Spy Killer Director
1969 Moon Zero Two Director
1969 Department S (1 episode)Director
1968 The Fiction Makers Director
1968 Journey to the Unknown (1 episode)Director
1968 The Champions (2 episodes)Director
1968 The Anniversary Director
1967 Quatermass and the Pit Director
1966 The Baron (4 episodes)Director
1965 Gideon's Way (1 episode)Director
1963 Two Left Feet Director
1962 The Saint (18 episodes)Director
1962 The Valiant Director
1961 Flame in the Streets Director
1961 The Avengers (7 episodes)Director
1961 The Singer Not the Song Director
1958 A Night to Remember Director
1957 The One That Got Away Director
1956 Tiger in the Smoke Director
1956 Jacqueline Director
1955 Passage Home Director
1953 Inferno Director
1952 Night Without Sleep Director
1952 Don't Bother to Knock Director
1951 The House in the Square Director
1950 Highly Dangerous Director
1950 Morning Departure Director
1949 Paper Orchid Director
1948 The Weaker Sex Director
1947 The October Man Director
1945 Read All About It Director
1938 The Lady Vanishes Assistant Director

Acting

The Saint Steps In... To Television as Himself
2010 A History of Horror (3 episodes)
2003 Inside the Fear Factory as Himself
2002 Von Werra as Himself
1999 A Profile of Hitchcock: The Early Years
1996 100 Years of Horror: The Count and Company as Himself
1994 Flesh and Blood: The Hammer Heritage of Horror as Himself
1975 Fists of Fire as Himself

Crew

1994 Flesh and Blood: The Hammer Heritage of Horror Thanks

Production

1961 The Singer Not the Song Producer

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