The fifth known Australian horror host was Ralph Baker.
He was one of the five different actors to play Deadly Earnest in Australia.
The Deadly Earnest character was originated in Western Australia's TVW-7.
Baker's show aired on ATV-0 (Melbourne) from 27 October 1967 until 29 September 1972,
showing 192 episodes in all (the last episode not hosted).

Born 29 July 1939, sadly Baker passed away on 14 July 2020.

Baker began his television career working on the "In Melbourne Tonight" show.
In 1967 he started on Deadly Earnest's Aweful Movies as the host Deadly Earnest.
Baker presented a variety of old horror movies, feeling free to pan many of
the movies as being really bad.

His Deadly character was true Gothic in style.
Deadly had assistants - Claw which was Baker's left hand,
Hoof - Baker's foot, Igor - a devouring sound effect
and Lily the skeleton.

Baker also worked on other shows before,
during and after the show ended, including
"The Magic Circle Club" , "The Go Show",
"Kommotion", "Hey Dad", and produced the 1969
"Good Morning Mr. Doubleday", in which the
Deadly Earnest character was used in the
episode "A Sidecar Named Desire".

Over the year, Baker has made guest
appearance at various events, including
Ballarat Races during the Begonia Festival,
The Sixties Appreciation Society.

In May 2011 at Horrorpalooza at the Astor Theatre.
The below photographs are with kind permission from Russell Devlin

He left the industry in 1974 and has since worked as a
puppeteer forming his own company, The Pinnacle Puppet Theatre.

The Life of Deadly

The Life of Deadly Earnest from The Professor on Vimeo.

Baker's Deadly has been immortalised in wax.
The wax image was in the 1970's by the London Wax Museum
at St Kilda (Victoria). After its closure, waxed Deadly
moved to World In Wax Museum in Echuca (Victoria).

After the closure at Echuca waxed Deadly found a
new home at the Gold Coast Wax Museum;
which also houses Shane Porteous' waxed Deadly.

In 2011 Nigel Honeybone, host of Schlocky Horror
Picture Show, interviewed Ralph Baker.
Also a rare clip from the show.

Deadly Earnest interviewed on The Schlocky Horror Picture Show from The Professor on Vimeo.

Deadly Earnest - ATV O Melbourne Australia - 5th September 1969 from The Professor on Vimeo.

Ralph Baker The Deadly Years
Documentary about Ralph Baker, that was made for
"Con Nine From Outer Space" science fiction convention in 2012.

Ralph Baker The Deadly Years from The Professor on Vimeo.

A colourised verson of a rare clip from the show by Rocket J42.
Also a clip of Ralph Baker as Deadly Earnest at "Horrorpalooza"
the Astor Theatre.

Deadly Earnest - Ralph Baker - ATV-O Melbourne 5 September 1969 (colourized) from The Professor on Vimeo.

Portrait of "Deadly Earnest" by Bradley Beard.
"Deadly Earnest" - biography (taken from Bradley Beard's Facebook page)"
It's day two of our four day visit to Australia. Yesterday I presented Deadly Earnest and today I'm presenting him again. This Deadly Earnest, however, was the host of Deadly Earnest's Aweful Movies on ATV-0 in Melbourne, Australia. After Ian Bannerman's success in the role of Deadly Earnest in Sydney in 1966, three additional cities in the 0-10 TV Network came up with their own versions of Deadly Earnest. Ralph Baker was chosen to be Earnest in Melbourne. He played the role with absolute maniacal intensity; as a viewer, you feel as though you are at the precipice of his sanity and he's about to jump. It's a real a treat to watch the few precious minutes that exist of Baker’s legacy. Baker's Earnest became so popular that a wax likeness was created by the London Wax Museum in Saint Kilda. Do yourself a favor and watch the video link below, you'll be glad you did.

A rare audio of Ralph Baker as Deadly Earnest

Play Clip

Interview with Ralph Baker

Play Clip

Ralph Baker in 2011

Martin Dunne from South Australia (Australia) produced
an indepth publication "The Deadly Earnest Annual"
featuring all the Australia Horror Host "Deadly Earnests",
and other horror hosts.


Internet Movie Data Base
"Aweful Movies with Deadly Earnest"

Internet Movie Data Base
"Ralph Baker"

"Deadly Earnest"

Horror News Net
"Four Faces Of Deadly Earnest"

Rocket's Retro TV Tribute Site
"Deadly Earnest: Victoria - Ralph Baker"

The Age
"The Importance of Being Deadly"

E-gor's Chamber of TV Horror Hosts
"Deadly Earnest (II) Melbourne, Australia"

Facebook: Bradley Beard - Horror Host Artist
"Deadly Earnest"

Back to Australia

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Last modified: December 2020