Fay Baker

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Fay Baker
Fay Baker Portrait.jpg
BornFay Schwager
(1917-01-31)January 31, 1917
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedDecember 8, 1987(1987-12-08) (aged 70)
Sleepy Hollow, New York, U.S.
Years active1938–1963
Spouse(s)Arthur Weiss
(1940–1965; divorced); 2 children
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Fay Baker
Fay Baker Portrait.jpg
BornFay Schwager
(1917-01-31)January 31, 1917
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedDecember 8, 1987(1987-12-08) (aged 70)
Sleepy Hollow, New York, U.S.
Years active1938–1963
Spouse(s)Arthur Weiss
(1940–1965; divorced); 2 children

Fay Baker (born Fay Schwager, January 31, 1917, died December 8, 1987) was an American stage, film and television actress, and a successful author under the pen name Beth Holmes. Her novel, The Whipping Boy, made the Los Angeles Times bestseller list in 1978. She also published, under her own name, My Darling, Darling Doctors.


Fay Schwager's career began in New York with roles on Broadway in the early 1940s.[1] She changed her name to Baker (from her mother's family) in 1944 in Another Love Story at New York's Fulton Theatre. She was "discovered" by Alfred Hitchcock in 1946 and given the role of Ethel in Notorious. While the part was minor, she told her daughter that Hitchcock made her stay on the set for the entire film shoot. The director felt that since he was paying her salary, she should be standing by at all times. She claimed she had had a larger role in the film but that much of her work ended up on the cutting room floor.[2]

Baker remained in Hollywood for nearly two decades, acting in two dozen films with star billing in The House on Telegraph Hill (1950).[3] During her California years, she also appeared frequently on television. She is credited with guest parts on 30 different series beginning with Your Show Time in 1949 up to her final performance on Dr. Kildare in 1963. Her roles included comedy sitcoms (Hazel, The Donna Reed Show), drama (Perry Mason), and westerns (Have Gun - Will Travel). In 1958 she made two guest appearances on Perry Mason, playing Marian Newburn in "The Case of the Demure Defendant" and Stephanie Sabin in "The Case of the Perjured Parrot".

Personal life[edit]

The Whipping Boy (1978)

Baker married writer/producer Arthur Weiss on August 3, 1940, in New York City. They had two children, her son Jonathan being born in 1950, before divorcing in 1965. While Weiss remained in California working for Irwin Allen, she returned to New York City with her two children and began a new career as an author.

After her son Jonathan died from a drug overdose in 1971, Fay dedicated herself to the topic of how parents enable bad behavior in children. This inspired her most successful novel, The Whipping Boy (1978), which focused on the "emotional abuse" of children.[2] She used the pen name "Beth Holmes" to shield her family from being compared with fictional characters in the novel.

My Darling, Darling Doctors (1975)

Fay was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1972 and described the experience humorously in her first published book, My Darling, Darling Doctors, in 1975. She lost her 15-year battle with breast cancer on December 8, 1987, at age 70.

TV appearances[edit]

TV ShowRoleEpisodeYear
Dr. KildareMrs. TuckerA Very Infectious Disease1963
HazelMadeleine Van DykeNumber, Please?1962
The Roaring 20'sCarlotta La SalleNo Exit1961
This Is the LifeThe Sin of Silence1961
The Ann Sothern ShowMiss NortonPandora1961
LouiseThe Roman Hatter1960
Mildred HollidayFive Year Itch1959
77 Sunset StripCaroline KinaresStrange Bedfellows1961
The Donna Reed ShowHopeDonna Goes to a Reunion1960
MaggieAnnie BradleyUnsold Pilot1960
The David Niven ShowSarah WinterThe Promise1959
Have Gun - Will TravelMrs. GraysonLady on the Stagecoach1959
Perry MasonStephanie SabinThe Case of the Perjured Parrot1958
Marian NewburnThe Case of the Demure Defendant1958
M SquadHelen GrevilleDay of Terror1958
The Court of Last ResortMrs. Laura BarclayThe Stephen Lowell Case1958
Mickey Spillane's Mike HammerMargaret GreenLetter Edged in Blackmail1958
San Francisco BeatElsie FolgerThe Jealous Mambo Dancer Case1958
The Life and Legend of Wyatt EarpMarie BurdenBad Woman1957
The Adventures of Jim BowieCharlotte De VauxA Fortune for Madame1957
The Ford Television TheatreLaura Van CleveSingapore1957
Schlitz Playhouse of StarsSylviaThe Girl in the Grass1957
State TrooperJudith AndrewsWeep No More O'Grady1957
Four Star PlayhouseNadineThe Case of Emily Carmeron1956
Claire DumontMan in the Cellar1954
Damon Runyon TheatreAdele SalisburyOld Em's Kentucky Home1955
The Loretta Young ShowPat WadlingtonLet Columbus Discover You1955
The MillionaireMargaret BrowningThe Margaret Browning Story1955
ReboundQuiet Sunday1953
Sky KingLucille BradleyWings of Justice1952
Cavalcade of AmericaA Romance to Remember1952
The DoctorThe Hiding Place1952
Dangerous AssignmentCountess TodescaThe Knitting Needle Story1952
Fireside TheatreDinner for Three1950
Your Show TimeThe Necklace1949


The House on Telegraph Hill, 1951
1957Sorority HouseMrs. Tanner
She DevilEvelyn KendallIMDb
1956Don't Knock the RockArlene MacLaine
1955I Died a Thousand TimesWoman in Tropico Lobby (uncredited)
1954Phffft!Radio Actress as 'Nurse Serena' (uncredited)
1953Invaders from MarsMrs. Wilson (uncredited)
The Blue GardeniaSwitchboard Monitor (uncredited)
1952The StarMargaret's sister
Deadline - U.S.A.Alice Garrison Courtney
1951Reunion in RenoMiss PearsonIMDb
The House on Telegraph HillMargaret
The Company She KeepsTilly Thompson
1950Double DealLilly Sebastian
Father of the BrideMiss Bellamy (Stanley's secretary) (uncredited)
Chain LightningMrs. Willis
1949Tell It to the JudgeValerie Hobson
Black MidnightMartha BaxterIMDb
Manhattan AngelVi LangdonIMDb
Family HoneymoonFran Wilson (uncredited)
1948No Minor VicesMrs. Felton
The Saxon CharmMrs. Noble (uncredited)
The Gentleman from NowhereCatherine Ashton
Trapped by Boston BlackieMargie O'Reilly, alias Sandra DorayIMDb


1946Wonderful JourneyJulia FarnsworthDec 25, 1946 - Jan 1, 1947
1944VioletCrystalOct 24, 1944 - Nov 11, 1944
1943Another Love StoryCelia HaleOct 12, 1943 - Jan 8, 1944
1942The Sun FieldMildred DeagonDec 9, 1942 - Dec 12, 1942
1942Journey to JerusalemThe Greek WomanOct 5, 1940 - Oct 19, 1940
The Taming of the ShrewBiancaFeb 5, 1940 - Feb 10, 1940
1938Danton's DeathVoice in the StreetNov 2, 1938 - Nov 1938


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