Actor George Baker, who played Chief Inspector Wexford in television series The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, has died at the age of 80. The TV star, from West Lavington, Wiltshire, died of pneumonia following a recent stroke, his daughter Ellie Baker said. Speaking of her father, she told the BBC: "He absolutely loved Wexford and he loved being Wexford... and he loved the whole thing. It was a joy to him." Over a career spanning six decades, the versatile actor starred in countless TV shows including Minder, Bergerac, I, Claudius and more recently New Tricks and Spooks. He also featured in around 30 films including The Dam Busters, The Spy Who Loved Me, The Ship That Died of Shame and The 39 Steps, and formed his own theatre company. But it is his role as Wexford in ITV's adaptation of The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, which ran for 13 years, for which he became best known. Baker, who was married three times and leaves five daughters, was also a talented writer, penning a cookery book as well as award-winning pieces for radio and television. His third wife Louie Ramsay died earlier this year. She played his wife Dora in The Ruth Rendell Mysteries. Baker was awarded an MBE in 2007 for his fundraising activities for his local youth club in West Lavington.
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