From the Star Wars cantina to Men in Black

Long time readers of TG know we’re big fans of Rick Baker, who’s the best living genre make-up artist still active in the industry. Even if you don’t know the name, you know his incredible make-up designs for An American Werewolf in London, Thriller, Eddie Murphy’s Nutty Professor, Men in Black, Hellboy, and many, many more.

Like Dick Smith (The Exorcist) before him, Baker has inspired a whole generation of fans to become make-up artists and make their own wonderful creatures out of clay and latex, even in the age of CGI. Now Baker has gotten a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in celebration of all his incredible achievements, and it’s very well deserved.

As the Examiner tells us, Baker got his star on November 30, and he’s the 2,485th star on the Boulevard. At the ceremony where Baker got his star were Guillermo del Toro, Men in Black director Barry Sonnenfeld, FX master Dennis Muren (Jurassic Park), Dick Smith, who mentored young Rick when he was just getting started, and actor Andy Garcia. (Also alongside Baker were a number of his alien creations from the Men in Black films, which are quite a sight to behold).

Baker was also rewarded with two Guinness World Records that day, one for most Oscar wins, and another for most Oscar nominations for Best Achievement in Makeup. Baker’s been nominated twelve times, and has won seven times. Wins include An American Werewolf in London, his first win, Harry and the Hendersons, The Nutty Professor, Men in Black, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

This has been a big celebration for the geek elite like ourselves because Baker is not only an incredible make-up artist, but he’s also a hell of a nice guy who’s very helpful to everybody, and he’s always been good to the fans. In fact, the site i09 headlined its report, “About Damn Time Rick Baker Gets a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Another title many know Baker’s work from is Star Wars, because he helped out with the cantina creatures. Right before he got his star on the Walk of Fame, Baker told the Hollywood Reporter he’d love another shot at Star Wars, and it would absolutely be geek nirvana if he could come back and create some wonderful creatures for it.

“So much of the stuff I did in the first Star Wars was very quickly done,” Baker said. “Nobody knew that Star Wars was going to be Star Wars.”