Robert Baker was an American actor known for playing Petrov in the Bruce Lee film "Jing wu men (1972)" aka "The Chinese Connection" also know as "Fists of Fury".
He was given the role of Petrov the sinister Russian due to his height and "tough guy" appearance being the senior student at the Oakland school and a close friend of Bruce.
The key fight sequence between Lee and Baker is a mixture of punishing action and dry humor, as at one point Lee bites Baker on his leg to escape an arm lock and then Lee wipes his mouth just like he was simply finishing a meal). Lee boxes with Baker jabbing him repeatedly in the face whilst wearing a cheeky grin. The fight comes to a dramatic conclusion as Lee side kicks Baker in the head, knocking him senseless, and then Lee delivers a lethal karate chop to Baker's windpipe, terminating his bigger opponent. Baker also had a minor role as a thug in Lee's next film "Meng long guojiang (1972)" (aka "Way of the Dragon" aka "Return of the Dragon").
He did not enjoy the spotlight and was a quiet reserved man. He acted a few other martial arts films such as Machinegunner and "FIST FIGHTER" were Baker re-invents his evil martial arts mercenary role, only this time instead of being a Russian, he plays a nasty nazi who becomes obsessed with capturing an America pilot to prove himself in front of his Japanese comrades.
China's vast landscape is the setting for this Second World War adventure. where four American pilots are forced to parachute into Japanese Army occupied China. Two pilots are killed immediately, one Thomas Anderson is captured and taken to the Japanese headquarters for interrogation. The captured pilot is interrogated by lieutenant Kafka (Robert Baker), a Gestapo officer who has been sent by Germany to help their Japanese allies with any military issues. Kafka is a sadistic and brutal soldier and kills the pilot whilst under initial interrogation.
After that Baker disappeared from the film industry but appeared as himself in documentaries of Bruce Lee.
At the 1964 Long Beach International Karate Championships at the invitation of Ed Parker, Bruce Lee appeared and performed repetitions of two-finger pushups. He also performed the "One inch punch". The description of which is as follows: Lee stood upright, his right foot forward with knees bent slightly, in front of a standing, stationary partner. Lee's right arm was partly extended and his right fist approximately an inch away from the partner's chest. Without retracting his right arm, Lee then forcibly delivered the punch to his partner while largely maintaining his posture, sending the partner backwards and falling into a chair said to be placed behind the partner to prevent injury, though the force of gravity caused his partner to soon after fall onto the floor.
His volunteer was Bob Baker of Stockton, California. "I told Bruce not to do this type of demonstration again", he recalled. "When he punched me that last time, I had to stay home from work because the pain in my chest was unbearable.
Prior to his studies under Bruce Lee, Baker studied under Al Dasascos in Kajukenbo before beginning his studies at the Oakland school in the mid-1960s. Baker himself said he was a regular at the school which was renowned for its hard core training attitude. He became a close friend of Bruce and was considered the most senior student for several years.
However, according to Tom Bleeker's book, "Unsettled Matters," Robert Baker was unknown to all of Bruce's students prior to his role in Fist of Fury, as well to the martial arts community. The reason for his role was that Baker was the one responsible for bringing assorted drug contraband into Hong Kong to support Bruce's drug habits.
Bruce described him half-jokingly as his body-guard.
Baker was devastated by Bruce's death.
He never opened a commercial school and only trained a handful of people over the next 20 years believing what he had been taught wasn't suitable for commercial style classes. His adherence to JKD principles was paramount and he disliked watered down variations of the art which he saw arising during the 1980s.
Different sources report that Baker died between 1992 and 1994 due to ether stroke, cancer, heart attack, or cirrhosis of the liver.
Created by: Lorenzo Brieba
Record added: Sep 02, 2011
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Added: Apr. 12, 2015
Bruce Lee's films were released with extremely little fanfare in San Francisco. I remember as a kid accompanying my big brother and his friend to the theatre on the outskirts of SF's Chinatown, (matinee) and the sign proclaimed "Two Big Hits" ... We knew...(Read more)|
Added: Mar. 30, 2014
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Added: Jun. 30, 2013
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