Monday, June 4, 2012

Lenny Baker

Lenny Baker was a major part of the New York City theater scene in the late 1960's and '70's that produced such stars as Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman and a score of others. Hollywood called and he spent his way too brief career dividing his talents between the New York stages, television and the movies.

With small but memorable roles in The Hospital  and The Paper Chase, he then went on to star in what would be his signature film role in Paul Mazursky's Next Stop Greenwich Village in which he played the struggling actor, Larry Lapinsky.

That movie earned him a Golden Globe nomination and although he would do some guest starring roles in such television shows as The Rockford Files  and Taxi,  as well as earning a Tony award for the Broadway musical I Love My Wife, his film career was over, for in just a few short years, 37 year-old Lenny Baker would become an early casualty of AIDS.

Who knows what might have been. His work in Next Stop Greenwich Village is proof that he had star potential, but like so many promising actors before him, talent is not always the ticket to stardom.

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