Ed Bakey (Ed Bakey)

Ed Bakey

Actor.  He was born William Edwin Baekey, Jr on Friday the 13th to William Edwin Baekey, Sr, a railroad man, and his wife Mary C Greenleaf.  Using the stage name “Ed Bakey”, he would become one of the most successful American character actors with the ability for having “over 50 faces”. By 1940, he, his widower father and sister were living in his maternal grandmother’s home in Baltimore, Maryland. A bright student, he was graduated from Baltimore City College at the age of 18-years-old and continued his studies at the Maryland   Institution of Art and, with his tenor voice, Peabody Conservatory of Music.  From 1958 to 1959, he first appeared as a clown on a local Baltimore TV station program, “Pop Pop Show”.  This exposure led him to New York City.   In 1960, at the request of Westinghouse TV, he recorded the “Humorous Folksongs by Greensleeves” album, creating the adult comedy character “Eddie Greensleeves”, a millionaire folk singer who never sang for money.  This character “Eddie Grensleeves” was a frequent guest on the “Mike Wallace PM East” TV show, “Jack Carr Show”, “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson,  the “Mike Douglas Show” in 1964 and “Merv Griffin Show” in 1966.  From 1961 to 1963, he was the main clown host on a New York City daily-aired children’s TV program, “The Tommy Seven Show”.  In 1966, he had a Broadway performance in the six-times-nominated Tony Award musical, “Walking Happy” singing “Think of Something Else”.  After coming to Hollywood, California, one of his earliest TV appearances, which aired April 1967, was a scoundrel in “The Big Valley” season 3 “Time After Midnight”.  He was a tall, very thin man with small dark eyes and pointed facial features and with a change in clothing, he would become any character that was needed for any part. Being recognized for his talent by Director Virgil Vogel, he would appear in three more “The Big Valley” episodes and through the years, many more TV series directed by Vogel.  Vogel said, “Ed’s profile was so strong, it could cut the screen like a knife.” For this reason, he was given the nickname “Blade”.  In 1969, he played the role of the First Fop in the episode “All Our Yesterdays” of “Star Trek: The Original Series”.  He appeared in three episodes of “Gunsmoke”, four episodes of  “Police Woman”, along with two episodes of “Bonanza”, “Love, American Style”,  “Dusty’s Trails”, “The Guns of Will Sonnet” and “Mission: Impossible”.   Just to name a few more of his many roles, he appeared in “Death Valley Days” in 1967, “The High Chaparral” in 1970 “Charlie’s Angels in 1979, “Murder She Wrote” and “Crazy Like a Fox” in 1985, and “Hill Street Blues” in 1989.  He was among the many “Star Trek” actors to appear in the 1978 epic mini-series “Centennial”.  His film credits include parts in “Heaven With a Gun” in 1969, “Barquero” with Lee Van Cleef in 1970, “The Other” in 1972, “The Sting” in 1973, “Zapped”, and “For Pete Sake” in 1974.  He appeared in 1977 with Charles Bronson in “The White Buffalo” and “Telefon”.  In 1978, he appeared in the Disney western, “Hot Lead and Cold Feet” with Don Knox.  Two horror movies, “The Evil” in 1978 and “Dead and Buried” in 1981 are included in his credits. In the latter part of his career, he had roles in four episodes of the TV series, “Bret Maverick” along with a made-for-TV movie “The Georgia Peaches”.  In 1984, his last performance, “The Philadelphia Experiment”, was a Sci-Fi time-travel film.  He was survived by his wife, Anita Susemihl, prominent voice instructor, opera singer, actress, director and writer.  They married in Baltimore, Maryland November 18, 1950 and had two daughters.  He had a long and successful career as “The Man with Fifty Faces”. (bio by: Linda Davis)


  • November, 13, 1925
  • USA


  • May, 05, 1988
  • USA


  • Cremated

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