Simon Baker (raised Simon Denny, also known as Simon Baker-Denny; born 30 July 1969) is an Australian film and television actor. He is currently the star of the CBS television series The Mentalist.
Baker was born to Catholic parents, high school English/Drama teacher Elizabeth Labberton and groundskeeper/mechanic Barry Baker, on July 30, 1969, in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. His parents divorced while he was still young and his mother later married butcher Tom Denny. Baker also has a sister, currently a doctor in Australia, and three younger half siblings. By 1972, they had moved from Launceston, Tasmania to Ballina, New South Wales, Australia, hoping to secure better paying jobs. In 1986, he graduated from Ballina High School.
Baker was a champion sportsman who competed at state level in surfing and water polo. He began acting on Australian television during the late 1980s using the name "Simon Baker Denny". He first appeared in music video clips for Melissa Tkautz ("Read My Lips") and Aussie dance outfit Euphoria ("Love You Right") in 1991 before appearing in the successful series E Street and Heartbreak High. Baker relocated to the United States where he was occasionally known by his stepfather's surname (as Simon Baker-Denny or Simon Denny).