Rick (I) Baker filmography and biography
Date of birth: 8 December 1950, Binghamton, New York, USA
Rick (I) Baker trivia
- In 1981 he was the very first recipient of the Oscar for Best Make-Up for "An American Werewolf in London" when the category was first introduced. Baker appeared in Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video as the hobbling zombie whose arm falls off.
- Interesting details about Baker's career, especially his early fascination with gorillas and his work in three movies featuring them is told in the TV documentary "Gorillas: Primal Contact."
- Formed the Cinovation Studios in 1981.
- As a high school senior he was already experimenting with old age make up and had planned to make up a 14 year old freshman as a very old man trying to pass him off as his grandfather and registering him into an old folks home.
- He attended Northview High School, Covina California. In high school Rick made his own gorilla costume and would sometime be found swinging from the football field goal posts. He also would go to drive-in movies showing Planet of the Apes, secretly change into his ape outfit and sneak up to occupants of cars watching the movie scaring them out of their wits.
- The Michael Jackson song Threatened (2001) is dedicated to him. They worked together on Thriller, Captain EO, and Ghosts.
- Baker owns a framed photo of Jack Pierce applying the finishing touches to Boris Karloff's famous Frankenstein make-up; the photo has been doctored by Baker to appear as if Baker and Pierce are applying the make-up together.
Rick (I) Baker quotes
- Makeup is an additive process, you add to someone's face. It's easy to make someone look fatter or older. It's much harder to make someone look thinner because we can't really subtract from what's already there.
- When I did An American Werewolf in London David Naughton had basically no body hair. 'Benicio Del Toro' is already very hairy so it was much easier to make him up for The Wolfman.
- I learned (makeup effects) on my own face, that's why I look like this.
- The first Make Up Artist I was ever really aware of and became a fan of was Jack P. Pierce. He did all the great classic Universal monsters especially Frankenstein's monster. That make-up hasn't been outdone. It has become this iconic image. Everybody when they think of the Monster thinks of Jack's make-up.
- The thing that I find so fulfilling about my job is I like the fact that you start with something that's just an idea in your head. You read the script and right away you visualize something and you see that thing that at one point was just an idea in your head looking real and alive. It's exciting and is a little bit like being Dr. Frankenstein. I want to scream "It's alive!"
- I was always just fascinated with monsters in movies and when I realized that someone actually did that and you could do it as a job I just became obsessed with it