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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 Sam Harris, Clarence Locan, Charles Barry, Professor 'Sully' Sullivan, Col. Homer W. Gooch
Top GenresComedy, Drama, Romance, Musical, Crime, Thriller/Suspense
Top TopicsRomance (Comic), World War II, True Story (based on)
Top Collaborators , , ,
Shares birthday with Zeppo Marx, George Harrison, Helen Jerome Eddy  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:

Mergo: You got a cover idea? What is it?
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!


read more quotes from Jim Backus...



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(1955)
Thu. 28 Feb. 06:00 PM EST

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

Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith. pg. 34-35. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387

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

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