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 (Director), (Producer), ,
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:

Flaherty: And to show you I have indeed read the book, it says in Ecclesiastes "Money answereth all things".
Dupin: In bitterness, Flaherty, it was said in bitterness!
Flaherty: That's the way I was asking for it.


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


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.


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Jim Backus on the
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Jim Backus Facts
When Backus was doing radio plays, one of his characters "Hubert Updyke III" would become the basis for "Thurston Howell III" in "Gilligan's Island" (1964).

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

He provided the voice of Wally the Bird on the Western Airlines ads of the 1950s. His one-liner was simply "Western Airlines, the O-O-ONLY way to fly." He repeated this line in It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963).

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