Dan Baker grew up in a medical family: His father, Dr. Daniel Baker II, was chairman of the department of otolaryngology at Columbia, which is where Dan went to medical school. Now three decades into his medical career, Baker long ago cemented his status as one of the country's most prominent plastic surgeons and has an impressive list of celebs and socialites who can attest to his skills in the operating room—it's rumored that Susan Lucci, Donna Karan, Lorraine Bracco, Barbara Walters, Sophia Loren and Meg Ryan have all visited Baker's office for a little freshening up.
Affiliated with the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, the same institution that is home to fellow celeb sawbones Sherrell Aston, Baker's practice is limited to surgery, which means he doesn't do Botox. (He occasionally works with non-cosmetic patients, though, including people who have been in disfiguring accidents.) If you're looking to save a few bucks, look elsewhere—Baker is believed to be the most expensive surgeon in the city. You should also be prepared to get in line. Patients have been known to wait more than a year for an appointment for a face lift, although top docs' waiting lists have generally shortened lately due to the economic downturn.
In 1990, Baker married for the second time, to thrice-divorced social fixture Nina Griscom. Rumors that the marriage was in trouble surfaced in the press in 1999, and the Upper East Side social scene was abuzz when it was reported that Baker had become so depressed over a split with Griscom that he tried to commit suicide by asphyxiating himself with a plastic bag. (Baker never confirmed nor denied the suicide attempt, but acknowledged suffering from a depressive episode during the break-up.) The tabloids later reported Nina was having an affair with sugar baron Pepe Fanjul, and she and Baker divorced shortly after. Baker has a son with his first wife, Daniel "Danny" Baker IV, a student/actor who was once involved with model Sophie Dahl. Baker Sr. also has a daughter, Lily, with ex-wife Griscom.
In 2005, Baker purchased a five-story townhouse in Murray Hill for $6.8 million, which had previously been the home of Botswana's permanent mission to the UN.