Dylan Baker (born October 7, 1959) is an American character actor. He gained recognition for his roles in the films such as Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987), Happiness (1998), Road to Perdition (2002), Spider-Man 2 (2004) and Spider-Man 3 (2007). and on the television series Murder One (1995-1996) and The Good Wife, the latter of which earned him three Primetime Emmy Award nominations.
In 1991, Baker was nominated for a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for his performance in the original production of La Bête. In 2013, he made his directorial debut with the film 23 Blast.
Early life and education
Baker was born in Syracuse, New York, but was raised in Lynchburg, Virginia. He began his acting career as a teenager in regional theater productions. He attended Holy Cross Regional Catholic School, went on to attend Darlington School, and graduated from the Georgetown Preparatory School in 1976.
Baker attended the College of William and Mary in Virginia and later graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1980. Baker then received a Master’s in Fine Arts from the Yale School of Drama, where he studied alongside Chris Noth and Patricia Clarkson.
Baker’s Broadway theatre credits include Eastern Standard, La Bête (for which he received a Tony Award nomination), Mauritius, and God of Carnage. He won an Obie Award in 1986 for his performance in the off-Broadway play Not About Heroes. The next year, he made his motion picture debut in the feature film Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987).
Baker’s first recurring TV role was on Steven Bochco’s highly acclaimed Murder One (1995). Since then, he has appeared in such TV series as Northern Exposure, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Without a Trace, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The West Wing, and the short-lived sitcom The Pitts.
He garnered major critical attention with his performance as a tormented pedophile in Todd Solondz’s Happiness (1998). In 2000, he portrayed Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in Thirteen Days, a historical drama about the Cuban Missile Crisis. He also held a small role in Requiem for a Dream, where he played a doctor who sees Jared Leto’s character with a severely infected, rotting arm. In 2002 he portrayed Alexander Rance, an accountant for the Chicago Outfit, in Road to Perdition. He played Dr. Curt Connors in Spider-Man 2 (2004) and Spider-Man 3 (2007).
During the short-lived 2007 series Drive, Baker played the role of John Trimble, a father suffering from a terminal illness. In 2009, Baker played William Cross in NBC’s Kings, in which his wife Becky Ann Baker played Jessie Shepherd, the mother of protagonist David Shepherd. Baker also guest starred in an episode of Monk, playing a theater critic in “Mr. Monk and the Critic”. Baker guest starred in the November 2010 House episode “A Pox on Our House”. Baker guest starred in the season four finale of Burn Notice as Raines, an old spy friend of Michael’s. He reprised the role in the season five premiere, and also permitted his likeness to be used in the Burn Notice graphic novel “A New Day”. In 2010, Baker played Hollis B. Chenery in Secretariat.
Baker played Pashto-speaking CIA agent Jerry Boorman in season 4 of the TV series Damages. He guest-starred in “Upper West Side Story” (2012), an episode of the TV series White Collar. He had a recurring role as the father of Katharine McPhee’s character Karen Cartwright on the NBC TV series Smash. He appeared in the USA Network miniseries Political Animals (2012). For his performance as Colin Sweeney on The Good Wife, he was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014.
Baker performed with Helen Mirren on Broadway in The Audience, a play that depicted meetings between Queen Elizabeth II and important historical figures. Baker played former Prime Minister John Major. The play opened on March 8, 2015.
In 2016, Baker had a memorable recurring role as deep-cover KGB agent William Crandall, a morally conflicted biological weapons expert, on Season 4 of FX series The Americans.
In September 2017, it was announced that Baker would be joining the cast of the Showtime drama Homeland for the show’s 7th season, as Sen. Sam Paley, a ‘maverick’ that is leading an excessive investigation of the administration of new President Elizabeth Keane.
He starred in the 2020 series Hunters, in which his wife had a supporting role.
Baker is a prolific narrator of audiobooks, having narrated a wide range of books, from fiction (The Grapes of Wrath, The Corrections) to biographies (Steve Jobs) to Argo.
He garnered the 2002 Audie Award for Abridged Fiction for his reading of The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. Baker has also recorded Franzen’s 2015 novel, Purity.
In 1990, he married actress Becky Gelke, now known professionally as Becky Ann Baker. They have a daughter and reside in New York City.
On September 1, 2015, Dylan Baker tried to save the life of his neighbor, Broadway and movie actress and dancer Vivien Eng, in the high-rise where he lives in New York City when her apartment caught fire, but was driven back by smoke and fire. Firefighters eventually got the seriously injured woman out of the apartment and rushed her to the hospital. However, her injuries were too severe and she died two days later.
|1987||Planes, Trains & Automobiles||Owen|
|1988||The Wizard of Loneliness||Duffy Kahler|
|1990||The Long Walk Home||Tunker Thompson|
|The Last of the Mohicans||Captain De Bougainville|
|Love Potion No. 9||Prince Geoffrey|
|1993||Love, Honor & Obey: The Last Mafia Marriage|
|Life with Mikey||Mr. Burns|
|1994||Radioland Murders||Detective Jasper|
|1995||The Stars Fell on Henrietta||Alex Wilde|
|1996||True Blue||Michael Suarez, S.J.|
|1998||Happiness||Bill Maplewood||Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Actor
National Board of Review Award for Best Cast
Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
Nominated—New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
|Celebrity||Priest At Catholic Retreat|
|1999||Simply Irresistible||Jonathan Bendel|
|Random Hearts||Richard Judd|
|Oxygen||FBI Agent Jackson Lantham|
|Requiem for a Dream||Southern Doctor|
|The Cell||Henry West|
|Thirteen Days||Robert McNamara|
|2001||The Tailor of Panama||General Dusenbaker|
|Along Came a Spider||Ollie McArthur|
|2002||Road to Perdition||Alexander Rance|
|A Gentleman’s Game||Mr. Price|
|The Laramie Project||Rulon Stacey|
|2003||Head of State||Martin Geller|
|How to Deal||Steve Beckwith|
|2004||Spider-Man 2||Dr. Curt Connors|
|2005||Hide and Seek||Sheriff Hafferty|
|2006||The Matador||Mr. Lovell|
|Stealing Martin Lane||Parker Banks|
|Let’s Go to Prison||Warden|
|2007||When a Man Falls||Bill|
|Spider-Man 3||Dr. Curt Connors|
|The Hunting Party||CIA Operative|
|Across the Universe||Mr. Carrigan – Lucy’s Father|
|The Stone Angel||Marvin Shipley|
|Trick ‘r Treat||Principal Steven Wilkins||Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|2008||Diminished Capacity||‘Mad Dog’ McClure|
|Revolutionary Road||Jack Ordway||Palm Springs International Film Festival Award for Best Cast|
|2009||Under New Management||Legal Aid Lawyer|
|2012||2 Days in New York||Ron|
|2013||23 Blast||Larry Freeman||Director|
|Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues||Freddy Shapp|
|2014||Turks & Caicos||Gary Bethwaite|
|The Humbling||Dr. Farr|
|Selma||J. Edgar Hoover||Nominated—Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Acting Ensemble
Nominated—San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Nominated—Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble
|2015||Actor Seeks Role||Dr. Freidman||Short film|
|America Is Still the Place||Mr. Bennett|
|Miss Sloane||Jon O’Neill|
|2019||Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile||David Yokum|
|1986||A Case of Deadly Force||Kevin O’Donnell||Television movie|
|1988||The Murder of Mary Phagan||N/A||2 episodes|
|Miami Vice||Lt. Edward Jerell||Episode: “Honor Among Thieves?”|
|Spenser: For Hire||Sam Reynolds||Episode: “Substantial Justice”|
|American Playhouse||N/A||Episode: “Journey Into Genius”|
|1990||Judgement||Father Delambre||Television movie|
|1991||Law & Order||Sean Hyland||Episode: “His Hour Upon the Stage”|
|1993||Return to Lonesome Dove||Nigel Winston, Cattleman’s Alliance||3 episodes|
|Northern Exposure||Jeffy O’Connell||Episode: “Grosse Pointe, 48230”|
|1995–96||Murder One||Det. Arthur Polson||18 episodes|
|1997||Feds||Jack Gaffney||Episode: “Smoking Gun”|
|1998||Law & Order||Aaron Downing||Episode: “Flight”|
|Oz||Schillinger’s Defense Attorney||Episode: “Great Men”|
|2000||Strangers with Candy||Minister Arsenew||Episode: “Is Freedom Free?”|
|2001||Big Apple||Inspector Bob Cooper||2 episodes|
|The Practice||Sen. Keith Ellison||2 episodes|
|CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Father Powell||Episode: “Alter Boys”|
|2003||The Pitts||Bob Pitt||7 episodes|
|The West Wing||Attorney General Alan Fisk||Episode: “Abu el Banat”|
|The Elizabeth Smart Story||Ed Smart||Television movie|
|2004–06||Law & Order||Sanford Rems||3 episodes|
|2004||Third Watch||Councilman Daniels||Episode: “Broken”|
|Life as We Know It||Roland Conner||2 episodes|
|2005||Without a Trace||Brian Stone||Episode: “Manhunt”|
|2006||The Book of Daniel||Roger Paxton||6 episodes|
|2007||Drive||John Trimble||6 episodes|
|2009||Kings||William Cross||12 episodes|
|Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Henry Muller||Episode: “Major Case”|
|Monk||John Hannigan||Episode: “Mr. Monk and the Critic”|
|Ugly Betty||Bennett Wallis||3 episodes|
|2010–15||The Good Wife||Colin Sweeney||8 episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (2010, 2012, 2014)
|2010||House||Dr. Dave Broda||Episode: “A Pox on Our House”|
|2010–11||Burn Notice||Raines||2 episodes|
|2011||Damages||Jerry Boorman||10 episodes
Nominated—Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series
|2012||White Collar||Andy Woods||Episode: “Upper West Side Story”|
|Political Animals||Fred Collier||5 episodes|
|2012–13||Smash||Roger Cartwright||3 episodes|
|2013||Zero Hour||FBI Chief Terrence Fisk||3 episodes|
|2013–14||Chicago Fire||Dr. David Arata||2 episodes|
|2014||Chicago P.D.||Dr. David Arata||Episode: “8:30 PM”|
|2015||The Mentalist||Bill Peterson||2 episodes|
|2016||The Americans||William Crandall||8 episodes|
|Confirmation||Orrin Hatch||Television movie|
|2016–18||Blindspot||FBI Director Pellington||5 episodes|
|2017–18||The Good Fight||Colin Sweeney||2 episodes|
|2017||I’m Dying Up Here||Johnny Carson||3 episodes|
|Difficult People||Tourist||Episode: “Criminal Minds”|
|Little Women||Robert March||3 episodes|
|2018||Homeland||Senator Sam Paley||8 episodes|
|2020||Hunters||Biff Simpson||10 episodes|
|2020||Social Distance||Episode: “Humane Animal Trap”|
|2021||Evil||Father Kay||2 episodes|