The Snowy Baker Story Cover

The Snowy Baker Story

Snowy Baker, Australia’s greatest all-round sportsman, excelled in 26 different sports. Then there was Hollywood!

Greg Growden

Random House

The Snowy Baker Story is an action-packed romp full of astounding true tales.

Reginald ‘Snowy’ Baker represented Australia in three sports at the 1908 Olympic Games, played in two rugby union Tests, represented his country as a horseman and travelled the world as a champion swimmer, diver and boxer. His life story is entwined with those of major sports figures of the early 20th century: Frank Beaurepaire, Les Darcy, Duke Kahanamoku, H.H. Dally Messenger and Freddie Lane.

Snowy Baker then embraced the life of an entrepreneur, potion maker, publisher and boxing promoter, mixing with many of the major figures in Australian social history before he and his trusty ‘Boomerang the wonder horse’ took up a career in film in Australia and abroad.

His escapades in Hollywood included teaching Rudolph Valentino to kiss, instructing Elizabeth Taylor to ride for National Velvet, playing polo with Walt Disney and Clark Gable, and protecting a philandering Spencer Tracy from his wife.

Greg Growden, chief rugby correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald, gained access to long-forgotten films and images to compile a complete picture of the charming, corruptible, indefatigably ambitious and legendary Snowy Baker.