British Actor George Baker Dies At 80
10/9/2011 1:30pm EDT
British actor George Baker has died of pneumonia. He was 80.
The star, who also recently suffered a stroke, passed away on Friday.
Baker made his name in 1955 war film The Dam Busters and went on to star in The Ship That Died of Shame with Richard Attenborough.
He was courted by Ian Fleming to play superspy James Bond but was unable to take on the role due to contractual obligations.
Baker is most well known for playing Tiberius in a 1970s BBC adaptation of I, Claudius, before landing the lead role of Detective Inspector Wexford in popular U.K. series The Ruth Rendell Mysteries in 1987.
Baker met his late wife Louie Ramsay on the show, which ran until 2000. Ramsay died earlier this year.
The star's daughter Ellie, one of his five children, tells the BBC, "He absolutely loved Wexford and he loved being Wexford... and he loved the whole thing. It was a joy to him."