Jack Wade (Joe Don Baker)


Character: Jack Wade
Actor: Joe Don Baker
Movie: GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies
Status: Retired
Appearance: Solid build, White/Gray hair, loud southern American accent.
Date of Birth: 12th February 1936
Height: 6' 2½" (1.89m)
Place of Birth: Groesbeck, Texas, USA

"For crying out loud, another stiff-assed Brit... with your secret codes and your passwords."

Pleased To Meet You
Bond arrives in freezing St. Petersburg knowing nothing about Wade except the shape and wording of his tattoo. 007 bullies the normally jovial Jack Wade into "dropping it" and showing him the Muffy tattoo, a remnant of Wade's third wife.

Although he may be a wise-cracking, world weary and cynical spook in pay of the CIA, Jack Wade is a genuinely resourceful ally for 007 on more than on occasion. What he lacks in style he more than makes up for in his efficiency and ability to access top US resources and leave them at the disposal of James Bond. Wade refuses to call 007 "James", feeling it far too formal, and constantly jibes at Bond by calling him "Jimbo" or "Jimmy". Jack, like his British counterpart, James, rarely plays by the rules - much to the annoyance of their respective superiors.

GoldenEye - After the meeting at the car-park and Wade gets his banged-up motor running, Wade reintroduces 007 to an old nemesis, the ex-KGB agent turned mobster, Valentin Dimitreveych Zukovsky. Wade refuses to come into the Zukovsky nightclub but points Bond in the right direction and admires 007 for asking Valentin for a favour. Later, Jack arranges transport for 007 and his girl, Natalya, as they scout the Cuban jungles for a radio satellite transmitter that Janus is using to control the GoldenEye EMP. Bond swaps his BMW for a light aircraft and reminds Jack not to touch any of the buttons.

Tomorrow Never Dies - Jack is on hand on 007's next mission when he needs to harness the might of the US Air Force and make a HALO jump into unfriendly waters. Wade quips his way though the day as James Bond prepares to make a death defying leap. Wade comments that the US is not concerned with trying to stop World War III unless they caused it themselves.

In an interesting reversal, Joe Don Baker took over the role of Bond's CIA contact, having previously starred as the Bond villain Brad Whitaker in The Living Daylights.

Born in Groesback, Texas, in 1936, Joe Don Baker was the son of Edna and Doyle Baker. His first onscreen role was as an extra in Clint Eastwood's "Cool Hand Luke" - which hit the cinemas in 1967. Although he did not receive credit for his bit part, this sparked an interest in the cinema. His big break arrived in 1972 when he appeared in "Junior Bonner", playing the young brother of screen legend Steve McQueen.

His career boomed in the 1970s - what had started out as a few cameo roles was now a prosperous career for Baker. His 1973 role in "Charley Varrick" as the eccentric hit man, Molly, saw him gain popularity. Baker made a household name of himself playing the police detective Earl Eischied in "To Kill A Cop".

Following the success of this one-off crime drama Joe Don Baker was to be offered $1 million for a TV series in 1980. The show was "Eischied", a spin off of his popular character. Regrettably, "Eischied" did not run for long - a short 12 episode season - but it was enough to keep Baker's career at full throttle.

In the '80s, he worked on the political and highly regarded TV-thriller "Edge of Darkness". Directed by Martin Campbell and starring Bob Peck, Ian McNeice and Hugh Fraser, this TV mini-series saw Baker take one of the lead roles of Darius Jedburgh. For this work, Baker was nominated at the British Academy Television Awards.


Shortly after his entrenchment in British TV, Baker was offered the opportunity to play opposite Timothy Dalton in 1987's "The Living Daylights". 1995's "GoldenEye" saw Martin Campbell at the helm and he brought Baker back into the Bond family, this time as Bond's (Pierce Brosnan) American contact at the CIA, Jack Wade.

In 1991, Baker worked with famed director Martin Scorsese on "Cape Fear", where he played another hitman opposite Robert DeNiro. Since the turn of the millennium, Joe Don Baker has slowed his career, still appearing in token productions including "The Dukes of Hazzard" (2005) and "The Commission" (2003).

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