Frank "Arnold" Baker of Los Angeles, California, passed away peacefully at home on June 29, 2014, after a long struggle with Parkinson's disease. He was surrounded by his loving family at the time of his passing. He was a caring husband, father, educator, mentor, and a man of faith.
Arnold was born on August 11, 1928 in Frostburg, Maryland, to Rev. Frank Lewis Baker and Nettie (Burdeshaw) Baker. He was very hard working from an early age. He was an Eagle Scout, had a newspaper route in high school and worked at a dairy on his summers away from college.
Following a family tradition, he attended Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky where he double majored in Art & Spanish. While there he was active in gymnastics and enjoyed the Christian environment. After Asbury, Arnold enlisted in the United States Air Force. He served four years as an aerial photographer. While stationed in Panama, he also volunteered at a mission church.
In 1955, after being honorably discharged from the Air Force, Arnold followed his dream and drove across country to enroll in the Department of Cinema Graduate School at University of Southern California. His ultimate goal was to get into the motion picture/television industry. While there, he edited and directed several school productions and was in charge of the 16mm motion picture lab.
During his time at USC, he met Laverne Sorrels, they fell in love and were married in 1958. After receiving his Masters Degree, Arnold worked on getting his general secondary credential to become a teacher. He then taught Fine Arts and Photography at various high schools in Southern California.
Arnold then "got his foot in the door" in the industry working at Jerry Fairbanks Productions and by the time he left four years later he was post-production supervisor. He then got the wonderful opportunity to work at Universal Studios where he spent six years and worked as assistant editor on such features as Two Mules for Sister Sara, Sidecar Racers, Pufnstuf and The Hindenburg. While there, he also worked as assistant editor on the television shows: The Virginian, The Survivors, Joe Forrester, and Columbo. It was at Universal that Arnold received his first credit as editor on the television show Ironside, where he edited three episodes of the long-running series. He followed up his time after Universal with a stint at Columbia Studios where he spent two years working on various television series.
For the next five years beginning in 1977, Arnold worked at 20th Century Fox. Working for Spelling-Goldberg Productions, he worked as an assistant post-production supervisor on popular and well-known Aaron Spelling shows such as Starsky and Hutch, Family, The Love Boat, Charlie's Angels, Fantasy Island, Hart to Hart and Dynasty. He also edited two episodes of Charlie's Angels.
In addition to Arnold's work in the industry, he taught night classes on film editing at Art Center College of Design for 25 years and in 1983 became an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California where he taught beginning film production and advanced editing classes. During this time he also edited the family adventure film Crystalstone.
He was an active member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and belonged to the Motion Picture Editors Guild and Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers.
Arnold was known for his gentle demeanor, kind heart, artistic ability and unselfish dedication to teaching others. He continued his desire to help others learn the craft of editing, and shared his experiences working in the television/motion picture industry by writing the book Pictures In Motion: From An Editor's Point Of View.
In 2011, Arnold was honored by his alma mater, now named Asbury University, for his contributions to the university and the industry by receiving their prestigious Asbury Alumni Association "A" Award; A recognition which meant a great deal to him.
He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Laverne Sorrels Baker; son, David Frank Baker; daughter, Tanya Lee Baker; and sister, Chaucile Baker Snyder.
A graveside service and interment will be held on Friday, July 11, 2014, at 11 a.m. at Burlington Cemetery, Burlington, WV, with the Reverend Daniel Agnew officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Arnold Baker to Asbury University's School of Communication Arts, One Macklem Drive, Wilmore, Kentucky 40390 or The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.
BAKER, Arnold (Frank Arnold Baker)
Born: 8/11/1928, Frostburg, Maryland, U.S.A.
Died: 6/29/2014, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Arnold Baker’s western – film editor:
Two Mules for Sister Sara - 1970