Baxter rose to stardom in 1929 with the release of In Old Arizona, winning
1928/29 Best Actor Oscar as the Cisco Kid. He won the part by default
when the original star/director Raoul Walsh (best known for directing White Heat in 1949) lost an eye when a jackrabbit jumped through
windshield of his jeep when the film was in pre-production.
his Oscar win, Baxter's career continued on an upward spiral;
starring in such classics as Forty Second Street and The Prisoner
Shark Island. His career pinnacled in 1936 when he was named the number
one box office star, but it wasn't to last. He suffered a nervous
breakdown in the early 1940s and was reduced to appearing in low budget
B movies, such as the Crime Doctor series. He suffered debilitating
arthritis at the end of his life, and received a lobotomy in 1951 in a
misconceived attempt to relieve his pain. He died of complications of
the procedure shortly afterwards.
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