About Leslie David Baker
Born Feb. 19, 1958 in Chicago, IL, Baker originally set out for a career in administration. He attended Loyola University in Chicago, earning a degree in psychology, then Spertus College of Judaica for his degree in Human Services Administration. After college, Baker worked for the city of Chicago in a variety of municipal departments, including the Department of Health on the city's AID program and policies, the Office of Cable and Communications, and the Board of Education. He also consulted for the U.S. Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control, the Academy of Educational Development and the American Red Cross.
Then out of the blue, Baker ventured into performing, first appearing in a number of television commercials before getting his first Hollywood break, playing a cop on a second season episode of "Malcolm in the Middle" called "Halloween Approximately." He went on to appear on an episode of "That 70s Show" (Fox, 1998-2006), where he played a janitor, then had bit parts on "Just Shoot Me" (NBC, 1997-2003), "Judging Amy" (ABC, 1999-2005), "Scrubs," (NBC, 2001-08) and "Line of Fire" (ABC, 2003-04). His first big-screen appearance was in the 2005 Cameron Crowe film, "Elizabethtown," in an uncredited part as an airport security guard.
Baker's everyday looks served him well when he was tapped to join the cast of the runaway hit "The Office," based on the British comedy series of the same name that centered on the drudgery and absurd politics of a typical workplace. Re-imagined for U.S. audiences and set at the fictional Dunder-Mifflin paper company in Scranton, PA, "The Office" got off to a slow start. But gradually it began to creep up the ratings, especially when producers started to expand on the background characters - among them, Stanley, the quietly impatient sales staffer just trying to get through the day and save up for his daughter's college education. And the one Dunder-Mifflin employee with the lowest tolerance for boss Michael Scott's (Steve Carell) weekly shenanigans.
Drawing upon years of working in cubicle environments, under fluorescent light bulbs and often under the supervision of irascible bosses, Baker brought a distinct sense of realism to what in other cases might have been a throwaway character. In a memorable episode, Stanley brings his young teen daughter to work and is mortified when his colleagues - notably his oafish boss Michael Scott - unwittingly make inappropriate remarks in her presence. In another episode, he frowns in exasperated disapproval when a new employee, who is also African American, attempts a display of solidarity and laughs heartily when temp worker Ryan (B.J. Novak) insists on leading a sales call to an office where most of the workers are black. In 2007, the former Chicago City administrator and disease control consultant took the stage and shared a Screen Actors Guild Award with his fellow cast members for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.
|Loyola University Chicago, Chicago , Illinois|
|Spertus College of Judaica, Chicago , Illinois|
|Made appearances on "Malcolm in the Middle" (Fox), "That '70s Show" (Fox) and "Scrubs" (NBC)|
|Cast as Stanley Hudson on the NBC series, "The Office"|