Job Actor
Years active 1937-1989
Known for Grouchy growlers, over-hearty businessmen; Mr. Magoo, Thurston Howell III on TV's Gilligan's Island
Top Roles Mr. Magoo, Frank Stark, Harvey Landrum, Peter Jones, Carter Sillens
Top GenresComedy, Drama, Romance, Musical, Crime, Thriller/Suspense
Top TopicsWorld War II, True Story (based on), Romance (Comic)
Top Collaborators (Producer), (Director), ,
Shares birthday with Zeppo Marx, George Harrison, Jane Nigh  see more..

Jim Backus Overview:

Legendary character actor, Jim Backus, was born James Gilmore Backus on Feb 25, 1913 in Cleveland, OH. Backus appeared in over 240 film and TV roles -- including LOTs of Mr. Magoo shorts (as Mr. Magoo of course!), and playing multi-millionaire Thurston Howell III on Gilligan's Island (1964-1967), and Judge Bradley Stevens (Joan's husband) on TV's I Married Joan opposite Joan Davis (1952-1955). He also starred as Mike O'Toole in his own show aptly called The Jim Backus Show (1960-1961). His best known films include Rebel Without a Cause (as Frank Stark, James Dean's dad), It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (as Tyler Fitzgerald) and Man of a Thousand Faces (as Clarence Locan). Backus died at the age of 76 on Jul 3, 1989 in Los Angeles, CA .

MINO BIO:

Comedy actor Jim Backus was usually seen either beaming or scowling as there were few half-measures with his characters. After military service in World War II, he became a familiar part of the cinema for 20 years playing grouchy growlers and over-hearty businessmen. He was also popular as the long-suffering husband of Joan Davis in TV's I Married Joan, and as the rasping tones of cartoonland's short-sighted Mr. Magoo.

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Illustrated Dictionary of Film Character Actors).

HONORS and AWARDS:

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He was honored with one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Television. Backus was never nominated for an Academy Award.

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Jim Backus Quotes:

Jim Stark: I don't think I want anything, I'm nervous.
Frank Stark: My first day of school, I was so nervous, Mother made me eat so much, I couldn't swallow until recess.


Clarence Locan: Make it 1001 faces, Lon. This is one I've never seen before.


[in his office, Bear is telling Whitby to fire Molly to save money - she gets up from her desk]
Bullard Bear: Where is she going?
Whitby: Her lunch club, I think.
Bullard Bear: Women shouldn't be allowed to have lunch clubs. We gotta keep 'em off-balance, disorganized, clawing and scratching at each other. Otherwise they might turn on us like mad dogs!


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Jim Backus Facts
Attended the Kentucky Military Institute. One of his classmates was future fellow actor Victor Mature.

Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives." Volume Two, 1986-1990, pages 43-45. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1999.

Used to work as a radio announcer in New York City.

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