Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Humanitarian of the Week: Diane Baker

Well, of course, there's Pepsi.
Diane Baker with Joan Crawford in Strait-Jacket.
Fans of the campy horror films of William Castle know Diane Baker immediately as “Carol Harbin,” the unhinged daughter of the equally unhinged “Lucy Harbin” played by Joan Crawford in Strait-Jacket. In real life, however, Diane Baker is not a mask-wearing, ax-wielding lunatic. She is, in fact, a very pleasant and talented individual who works tirelessly to ensure that people from many different walks of life will be able to reach their potential.

Miss Baker has shared a screen with many of the greatest stars in history from the aforementioned Joan Crawford to Sir Anthony Hopkins with whom Baker starred in Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs. Her work as an actor has led her to great success in both film and television and led to triumph behind the camera as well. As a producer she began her career behind-the-scenes with Ashiana a story of the end of feudalism and the beginning of democracy in India.

Diane Baker
Her work has garnered her 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. Furthermore, Miss Baker holds a position on the Advisory Board of the Documentary Channel.

However, Miss Baker’s efforts don’t end with show business. Diane Baker serves on the Board of Directors of Roots of Peace, an international non-profit organization working to unearth dangerous landmines in war-torn countries. With these efforts, Miss Baker hopes to empower the local communities to build sustainable crops on mine-free land which had been previously been too dangerous to approach. To raise awareness of Roots of Peace, Miss Baker produced and directed a video on the Afghanistan trip made by Founder/Director Heidi Kuhn and Ambassador of Afghanistan’s wife Shamin Jawad.

Diane Baker also has a keen interest in education. She was invited to the Academy of Art University where she began to build an acting program for graduate and undergraduate students. This success led Miss Baker to be promoted to Executive Director of the School of Motion Pictures & Television and Acting. As part of this, Miss Baker states that her, “future dream is to build a film center for serious filmmakers who want to make meaningful films that will inspire, educate and entertain.”

For the many years of entertainment that she’s brought to us, the many years of hope she’s given to hundreds of people and the bright future she’s helping to build with her interest in education, Diane Baker is our “Humanitarian of the Week.” To learn more about Diane Baker, visit her Web site.

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