- Harry Baird (actor)
Harry Baird (
12 May 1931- 13 February 2005) was a Guyana-born British actor who came to prominence in the 1960s.
Baird was born in Georgetown,
British Guianaand was educated in Canadaand England. He was given his film break in 1954 as a boxer named Jamaica in the Carol Reedfilm " A Kid for Two Farthings" (1955). A year later he appeared in " Kismet" at the Stoll Theatrein London, and although he had a role in Jean Genet's " The Blacks" in 1961, he subsequently appeared mostly in film and television. His first lead role was as Atimbu, in the " White Hunter" television series in 1958. A series of stereotypical roles followed in low-budget films with generic African or 'jungle' themes.
His most high-profile role, however, was in the
Michael Relph- Basil Deardenracial drama "Sapphire" (1959). Quality roles for a black actor in Britain remained scarce, although he appeared in supporting roles in the Patrick McGoohanvehicle " Danger Man" and the Gerry Andersonseries "UFO" (1970) as Lieutenant Bradley, although he left the series midway through the run. Baird's only true lead role was in the 1968 Melvin Van Peeblesdrama " The Story of a Three-Day Pass" in which Baird played a French soldier who falls for a white Parisian woman. Based on Van Peebles own novel " La Permission", it is arguably Baird's finest performance. Other roles included " The Whisperers" (1967) with Edith Evans, " The Touchables" (1968) (in which he played a gay wrestler named Lillywhite), the Hammer film " The Oblong Box" (1969) with Vincent Price, and " The Italian Job" (1969) alongside his friend Michael Caine, whose wife, fellow Guyanan Shakira Baksh, Baird had appeared alongside on "UFO".
Baird was diagnosed with
glaucomain the 1970s, a condition which ultimately left him blind. He died of cancerin London in 2005.
*imdb name|id=0047872|name = Harry Baird
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