At age eight, Bob Baker (1924-2014) trained with several different Los Angeles-based companies before giving his first professional performance as a puppeteer for director Mervyn LeRoy. While attending Hollywood High School, he began manufacturing toy marionettes that sold both in Europe and the United States. After graduation he became an apprentice at the George Pal Animation Studios. A year later he was promoted to head animator of Puppetoons.
After World War II, Baker served as an animation advisor at many film studios, including Disney. His puppetry was featured on TV in Bewitched, Star Trek, Land of the Giants and NCIS; and on film in Bluebeard, A Star Is Born, G.I. Blues, Disney’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Baker and partner Alton Wood turned a run-down scenic shop near downtown Los Angeles into the Bob Baker Marionette Theater.
The theater was built in 1953. It is a one-story commercial building of modern Vernacular architecture. The theater is believed to have been built as a workshop for Academy Award-winning special effects artist M.B. Paul. In 1961, Baker and Alton Wood purchased the property for use as a live puppet theater and permanent showcase for hand-crafted marionettes.
The Bob Baker Marionette Theater is reportedly the longest-running puppet theater in the United States.
According to en.wikipedia.org; bobbakermarionettetheater.com; Source of photos: internet