An Australian actor and director. He is known for his lead role in the CBS television series The Mentalist as Patrick Jane and as Nicholas Fallin in The Guardian.
Simon Baker was born to a high-school English teacher, Elizabeth Labberton, and a groundskeeper/mechanic, Barry Baker, on 30 July 1969, in Launceston, Tasmania. He was raised as a Roman Catholic.
His parents divorced while he was still young. His mother later married Tom Denny, a butcher. Simon Baker also has a sister, currently a doctor in Australia, and three younger half brothers. By 1972, they had moved from Launceston to Ballina, New South Wales, hoping to secure better paying jobs. In 1986, he graduated from Ballina High School as Simon Baker-Denny, after completing his primary school education at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Primary School, also in Ballina.
Baker began acting on Australian television during the late 1980s using the name "Simon Denny". He first appeared in music video clips for Melissa Tkautz ("Read My Lips") and Australian dance outfit Euphoria ("Love You Right") in 1991 before appearing in the successful series E Street, Home and Away and Heartbreak High. As "Simon Baker Denny" he was a co-star of the David Croft/Jeremy Lloyd sitcom pilot, Which Way to the War, which was not developed into a series.
In 1995, he was in an episode of the Australian television (ABC TV) series Naked (episode title: Blindside Breakaway) in the role of a rugby player. His character was an easy going mummy's boy until he met a girl who challenged his safe existence. He called the role "physically demanding" due to the fact most of the extras were actual rugby players.
At the time (1995) he referred to this role as an important opportunity as well as being "the best job I've had in my life". He went on to say it was going to be hard afterwards to want to do anything offered.
He relocated to the United States, where he was cast in a small part in L.A. Confidential, which led to further opportunities in supporting roles in films. In 1998 he starred in a small, independent film by filmmaker Stephen Grynberg titled "Love from Ground Zero", and in 1999 appeared in Ang Lee's Ride with the Devil.
In 2000, he played Michael Scott in Adam Collis's Sunset Strip. He also played an astronaut in Red Planet with Val Kilmer, Carrie-Anne Moss and Benjamin Bratt. He played the male lead in the television series The Guardian for three seasons beginning in 2001, and also appeared in The Affair of the Necklace. He played a distressed husband in 2004's Book of Love. In 2005, he starred as an altruistic hero in George A. Romero's Land of the Dead.
In 2006, he played Brian Kelly in the film Something New, writer Christian Thompson in The Devil Wears Prada, and had a leading role as Jeff in the short-lived television series Smith. In 2007, he was cast as Roderick Blank in Sex and Death 101.
In 2008, Baker received the lead role of Patrick Jane, a consultant to the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in CBS's The Mentalist. In 2009, Baker was nominated for an Emmy Award for The Mentalist.
In late 2009, Baker was also nominated for his second Golden Globe Award (for The Mentalist) and his first SAG Award for his work. He played Howard Hendricks in The Killer Inside Me, which starred Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba and Bill Pullman.
On 6 June 2010, he played in a charity soccer match for The Rest of The World team versus England on ITV's Soccer Aid 2010, coming on as a substitute in the second half. The match went to a penalty shootout; Baker took a penalty which was saved by England celebrity goalkeeper, Jamie Theakston. The Rest of the World went on to win the shoot out and the match for the first time since the tournament started.
On 13 June 2012, Swiss watchmaker Longines introduced Simon Baker as its new Ambassador of Elegance.
In 1998, Baker married Australian actress Rebecca Rigg after five years of living together. They have three children: Stella Breeze (born 8 August 1993), Claude Blue (born 1999), and Harry Friday (born 19 September 2001).
Fellow Australian, actress Nicole Kidman, is godmother to Harry while actress Naomi Watts is godmother to Claude.
Baker and his family resided in Malibu, California, before moving back to Sydney, and then returned to Los Angeles to appear on Smith, and later on The Mentalist. He also owns property in Australia, near Byron Bay.
In January 2009, Baker told Parade Magazine that he and his wife were interested in becoming American citizens. Baker has been a dual U.S./Australian citizen since 2010.
Baker and his sons are fans of the Parramatta Eels in the Australian NRL. His name first appeared in Who's Who in Australia in 2011.
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