Rupert Baker was born in Folkestone, Kent following his parents' return from a mission field in Nigeria. His father was a doctor and his mother a teacher. He grew up in Deal and, later, the Weald of Kent. At 15, he moved to Hythe, Kent where his love of acting grew during his frequent trips to the local cinema, The Ritz, where he chain-smoked through endless double bills and collected old film posters donated by the Manager, Don Blythe. Due to dyslexia, Rupert was unable to become a pilot in the RAF. He showed talent in art and drama at an early age. Although he considered a career in graphic design and painting, Rupert decided to become an actor. He trained at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art 1979-82, where he attained a Diploma with Merit. He also studied with celebrated drama coach Jack Waltzer, lifetime member of New York's Actor's Studio. To make ends meet, Rupert used his artistic skills to produce storyboards and graphic design work in the early years of his acting career.