He was born on August 11, 1950 in Riga, Latvia, the USSR.
In 1967 he came to Moscow to study and entered the State School of Circus and Variety Art, the department of circus and variety genres. He graduated from this circus school in 1971. Upon graduating with a variety number (somewhere between musical eccentricity, clowning and miniature theater), Baskin was assigned to the Utesov Orchestra, and less than a year later he joined the Moscow Miniature Theatre, where he worked until his departure for America.
In 1976 he emigrated to the USA, where he successfully performed as a Hollywood actor.