Born Charles William Baker, March 21, 1923, in Honey Grove, TX; died of complications following a series of strokes, October 31, 1995, in Paris, TX. Director. Word Baker is best remembered as the original director of The Fantasticks, the longest-running musical show in theatrical history. The show, a parable about a girl and the boy next door, opened on May 3, 1960 and played to full houses for over thirty years. Baker studied theater at the University of Texas from 1948 to 1951. It was there that he first met Harvey Schmidt and TomJones, who later recruited him to direct their collaborative work The Fantasticks. Baker adopted his mother's maiden name as his first name when he movedto New York in the 1950s. His credits included the Off-Broadway show I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road, and productions of The Crucible and The Pinter Plays, for which he won Obie Awards in 1958 and 1964. He directed the actress Lillian Gish in a television production of Arthur Miller'sThe Glass Menagerie and directed the AT&T Bell Telephone show at the 1964New York World's Fair. In recent years, Baker taught theater at Boston, Carnegie-Mellon, and Purdue Universities.