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 .
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:.
Melvin: A girl!
Mergo: Oh joy! Now THERE is an earth-shaking notion! A girl on the cover of a magazine! They'll go mad, I tell you, mad!
Melvin: But this girl's different!
Mergo: What's she got, three eyes?
Jim Cleary: A journalist makes himself the hero of the story. A reporter is only a witness.
Mergo: What are you grinning about?
Melvin: Oh, nothing, just happy.
Mergo: Well, don't let me catch you being happy around me!
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