Who is Simon Baker?
Simon Baker is an Australian actor and director., probably best known for his role as Patrick Jane in the television series “The Mentalist” (2008-2015), among many other popular roles he’s had in his career.
Simon Baker Wiki: Age, Childhood, and Education
Simon was born on 30 July 1969 in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. His mother’s name is Elizabeth Labberton, and his father’s name is Barry Baker, and he has an older sister Terri, two half-brothers, and a half-sister.
Baker’s parents divorced when he was just two years old, and he and his siblings were raised by their mother. According to Baker, his father didn’t maintain contact with the family for many years after the divorce, which was difficult for him as a child. It wasn’t until Baker was in his 20s that he reconnected with his father.
His mother remarried to Tom Denny, a butcher, but with whom Baker didn’t get on well. The family moved to Ballina, New South Wales, where Baker attended high school before pursuing his acting studies in Sydney. Despite the challenges he faced growing up, Baker has credited his mother with providing him with a strong work ethic, and instilling in him a love for the arts.
Baker has been a passionate surfer since he was a teenager, and has spoken about how the sport and the friendships he formed through surfing were an important part of his upbringing; his love of surfing was a major factor in his decision to take on the lead role in the film adaptation of Tim Winton’s novel “Breath”, which is set in the world of surfing.
Baker has also been involved in surfing-related advocacy and charity work. He’s served as a global ambassador for the Australian surfwear brand Rip Curl and has worked with organizations such as Surfrider Foundation Australia, and the Coastalwatch Plus environmental group to promote ocean conservation, and raise awareness about issues affecting the surfing community.
Baker’s first acting role was actually in a commercial – he was waiting for a friend auditioning, when a casting director spotted him and asked him to audition as well. Baker ended up getting the part, and this experience inspired him to pursue acting more seriously.
Baker has said in interviews that he initially saw acting as a way to make some money and have some fun, but that he quickly became passionate about it and wanted to learn more. After his success in the commercial, he began taking acting classes and auditioning for more roles. This eventually led to his breakout role in the Australian TV series “E Street” in the early 1990s.
Baker’s role in “E Street” was actually much more significant than just a few episodes. He played the character of Constable Sam Farrell for over a year, appearing in 88 episodes of the popular Australian soap opera. Farrell was a police officer who became romantically involved with the character of Toni Windsor, played by Kirrily Nolan.
Baker’s performance in “E Street” helped to establish him as a rising star in the Australian television industry, and he went on to appear in several other popular Australian shows, including “Heartbreak High” and “Home and Away”.
Move to the USA and International Success
Baker moved to the US in the mid-1990s with his wife, Rebecca Rigg, and their young daughter. At the time, Baker had established himself as a successful actor in Australia, but was eager to explore new opportunities in Hollywood.
Baker initially struggled to find work in the highly competitive U.S. market, but his breakthrough came in 1997, when he was cast in the critically acclaimed film “L.A. Confidential”, playing the role of Matt Reynolds, the love interest of the character of Lynn Bracken, played by Kim Basinger, and the film went on to win several Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actress for Basinger. Baker’s performance was widely praised by critics, and the film’s success helped raise his profile in Hollywood, and opened the door to more opportunities.
Baker went on to appear in a number of other films and television shows, including “Red Planet” “The Ring Two” and “The Devil Wears Prada”, among other popular films and series.
‘The Mentalist’ Success
However, it was his role as Patrick Jane in the long-running television series “The Mentalist” that cemented his status as a leading actor in Hollywood. The series followed the story of Patrick Jane, a former fake psychic who uses his remarkable powers of observation and deduction to solve crimes as a consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation. The show was a critical and commercial success, with Baker’s performance earning him multiple award nominations, including an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
The series also featured a talented ensemble cast, including Robin Tunney as Jane’s boss and love interest, Teresa Lisbon, Tim Kang as agent Kimball Cho, Amanda Righetti as agent Grace Van Pelt, and Owain Yeoman as agent Wayne Rigsby.
Other Projects While on “The Mentalist”
During his time on “The Mentalist” Simon also appeared in several films, showcasing his range as an actor and taking on a variety of roles. In 2009, Baker starred in “The Lodger” a thriller directed by David Ondaatje, based on the novel “The Lodger” by Marie Belloc Lowndes, which has been adapted for the screen several times before. In this version, Baker plays Malcolm Slaight, a mysterious lodger who rents a room from a family in Los Angeles. The family becomes increasingly suspicious of Slaight when a string of murders occur in the neighborhood, and they begin to suspect that he may be the killer. The film also starred Alfred Molina, Hope Davis and Shane West.
Also in 2009, Baker appeared in “Not Forgotten”, a mystery-thriller directed by Dror Soref, in which Baker plays Jack Bishop, a private investigator who helps a father search for his missing daughter in a small Texas border town. The film also starred Paz Vega and Chloë Grace Moretz.
That same year, Baker appeared in “Women in Trouble” a comedy-drama directed by Sebastian Gutierrez; the film follows a group of interconnected women in Los Angeles over the course of one day. Baker plays Travis McPherson, a pornographer who becomes involved with one of the women; the film also stars Carla Gugino, Connie Britton, and Emmanuelle Chriqui.
In 2010, Baker starred in “The Killer Inside Me” a neo-noir crime thriller directed by Michael Winterbottom, based on the novel of the same name by Jim Thompson. Baker plays Howard Hendricks, a wealthy businessman who becomes the target of the protagonist, a small-town sheriff with a dark secret. The film also stars Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson.
In 2011, Baker appeared in “Margin Call” a drama directed by J.C. Chandor, set over a 24-hour period during the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis. Baker plays Jared Cohen, a senior executive at an investment bank who helps to navigate the company through the crisis. The film also stars Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, and Stanley Tucci.
Finally, in 2013, Baker appeared in “I Give It a Year” a romantic comedy directed by Dan Mazer. The film follows a newlywed couple struggling to make their marriage work. Baker plays Guy Harrap, an American novelist who becomes involved with the sister of the film’s protagonist – the film also stars Rose Byrne, Rafe Spall, and Anna Faris.
To speak further of his accomplishments, Simon starred as Nick in the drama film “Here and Now”, a New York-based musician who is forced to confront his past and present. The film, directed by Fabien Constant, also stars Sarah Jessica Parker and Renée Zellweger, and received mixed reviews from critics, but Baker’s performance was praised.
🎞️ Simon Baker as Travis in High Ground (2020) Dir. by Stephen Johnson.
Set and shot in Nothern Territory, Australia. 🇦🇺 Co-starring #HeathLedgerScholarship winner @Ryan_Corr. Premiered at the 2020 @Berlinale.#SimonBaker #RyanCorr #HighGround #HighGroundFilm @HighGroundFilm pic.twitter.com/zaLdT7E5qW
— Heath Ledger (@HeathLegend) July 30, 2020
In 2020, Baker starred in the Australian western film “High Ground” as Travis, a former soldier who helps a young Indigenous man track down a dangerous fugitive in the Northern Territory of Australia. The film was directed by Stephen Maxwell Johnson and also starred Jacob Junior Nayinggul and Jack Thompson.
Most recently, Simon starred in Ivan Sen’s mystery-crime film “Limbo”, co-starring Rob Collins, Natasha Wanganeen, and others. The film revolves around Travis Hurley, a detective who travels to a small Australian outback town to investigate a 20-year-old unsolved murder case involving an Aboriginal woman. During his investigation, Travis uncovers a series of disturbing revelations that bring to light the complexities of loss and injustice experienced by Aboriginal Australians.
According to sources, Simon Baker’s net worth is estimated at $40 million, as of early 2023.
Personal Life, Marriage, Wife, Children
Baker was married to Australian actress Rebecca Rigg from 1998 until 2020. They have three children, a daughter and two sons.
Baker is an agnostic, although raised a Catholic.
Appearance and Body Measurements
Simon Baker has dark blonde hair and blue eyes. He stands at a height of 5ft 10ins (1.78m), while he weighs approximately 165lbs (74kgs). His vital statistics are unknown, but he has an athletic figure.