Jim Backus

Actor, Author, Vaudevillian
A witty and talented performer who excelled in no less than four mediums - film, television, music and radio - Jim Backus was a character actor whose skill at portraying the idle and addled rich was epitomized by his ... Read more »
Born: 02/25/1913 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA


Actor (98)

Prince Jack 1984 (Movie)

Dealy (Actor)

Slapstick of Another Kind 1984 (Movie)

United States President (Actor)

Gilligan's Planet 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)


Chomps 1979 (Movie)

Mr Gibbs (Actor)

The Rebels 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)


Good Guys Wear Black 1978 (Movie)

Doorman (Actor)

Have I Got a Christmas For You! 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)


There Goes the Bride 1978 (Movie)

Mr Perkins (Actor)

What's New, Mr. Magoo? 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)


Ark II 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)


Pete's Dragon 1977 (Movie)

Mayor (Actor)

The New Adventures of Gilligan 1974 - 1977 (TV Show)


Crazy Mama 1976 (Movie)

Mr Albertson (Actor)

Happy Birthday, America 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)


Friday Foster 1975 (Movie)

Enos Griffith (Actor)

Kolchak: The Night Stalker 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)


Miracle on 34th Street 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)


The Brady Bunch 1969 - 1974 (TV Show)


The Girl Most Likely To... 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)


Now You See Him, Now You Don't 1972 (Movie)

Mr Forsythe (Actor)

Myra Breckinridge 1970 (Movie)

Doctor (Actor)

The Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County 1970 (Movie)

Staunch (Actor)

Blondie 1968 - 1969 (TV Show)


Hello Down There 1969 (Movie)

T R Hollister (Actor)

Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? 1968 (Movie)

Tru-Blue Lou (Actor)

Don't Make Waves 1967 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Gilligan's Island 1964 - 1967 (TV Show)


Hurry Sundown 1967 (Movie)

Carter Sillens (Actor)

Billie 1964 (Movie)

Howard G Carol (Actor)

Fluffy 1964 (Movie)

Sergeant (Actor)

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World 1963 (Movie)

Tyler Fitzgerald (Actor)

John Goldfarb, Please Come Home 1963 (Movie)

Whitepaper (Actor)

Johnny Cool 1963 (Movie)

Louis Murphy (Actor)

Boys' Night Out 1962 (Movie)

Peter Bowers (Actor)

Critic's Choice 1962 (Movie)

Dr von Hagedorn (Actor)

My Six Loves 1962 (Movie)

The Sheriff (Actor)

Operation Bikini 1962 (Movie)

Bosun's Mate Ed Fennelly (Actor)

Sunday in New York 1962 (Movie)

Flight Dispatcher (Actor)

The Wheeler Dealers 1962 (Movie)

Bullard Bear (Actor)

The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm 1962 (Movie)

The King (Actor)

Zotz 1961 (Movie)

Horatio Kellgore (Actor)

Alcoa/Goodyear Theater 1958 - 1960 (TV Show)


Ice Palace 1960 (Movie)

Dave Jusack (Actor)

1001 Arabian Nights 1959 (Movie)

of Uncle Abdul Azziz Magoo (Voice)

A Private's Affair 1958 (Movie)

Jim Gordon (Actor)

Ask Any Girl 1958 (Movie)

Mr Maxwell (Actor)

Macabre 1958 (Movie)

Sheriff Jim Tyloe (Actor)

Matinee Theater 1955 - 1958 (TV Show)


The Big Operator 1958 (Movie)

Cliff Heldon (Actor)

The High Cost of Loving 1958 (Movie)

Paul Mason (Actor)

The Wild and the Innocent 1958 (Movie)

Cecil Forbes (Actor)

Eighteen and Anxious 1957 (Movie)

Harvey Graham (Actor)

Man of a Thousand Faces 1957 (Movie)

Clarence Locan (Actor)

The Great Man 1957 (Movie)

Nick Cellantano (Actor)

Top Secret Affair 1957 (Movie)

Colonel Gooch (Actor)

Meet Me in Las Vegas 1956 (Movie)

Tom Culdane (Actor)

The Girl He Left Behind 1956 (Movie)

Sergeant Hanna (Actor)

The Opposite Sex 1956 (Movie)

Psychiatrist (Actor)

You Can't Run Away From It 1956 (Movie)

Danker (Actor)

Rebel Without a Cause 1955 (Movie)

Jim's Father (Actor)

The Square Jungle 1955 (Movie)

Pat Quaid (Actor)

Deep in My Heart 1954 (Movie)

Ben Judson (Actor)

Angel Face 1953 (Movie)

Judson (Actor)

I Love Melvin 1953 (Movie)

Mergo (Actor)

Deadline U.S.A. 1952 (Movie)


Don't Bother to Knock 1952 (Movie)

Peter Jones (Actor)

Here Come the Nelsons 1952 (Movie)

Joe Randolph (Actor)

Pat and Mike 1952 (Movie)

Charles Barry (Actor)

His Kind of Woman 1951 (Movie)

Myron Winton (Actor)

I Want You 1951 (Movie)


M 1951 (Movie)


Bright Victory 1950 (Movie)


The Great Lover 1949 (Movie)

Higgins (Actor)

A Dangerous Profession (Movie)

Ferrone (Actor)

Above and Beyond (Movie)

Gen. Curtis E. LeMay (Actor)

Androcles and the Lion (Movie)

Centurion (Actor)

Damn Yankees (TV Show)


Geraldine (Movie)

Jason Ambrose (Actor)

Getting Away From It All (TV Show)


Half Angel (Movie)

Michael Hogan (Actor)

Hollywood Story (Movie)

Mitch Davis (Actor)

Magic Carpet (TV Show)


Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol (TV Show)


Never Con a Killer (TV Show)


Of Thee I Sing (TV Show)


One Last Fling (Movie)

Howard Prichard (Actor)

The Gossip Columnist (TV Show)


The Killer That Stalked New York (Movie)

Willie Dennis (Actor)

The Man with a Cloak (Movie)

Flaherty (Actor)

The Rebels (TV Show)


The Return of Joe Forrester (TV Show)


The Rose Bowl Story (Movie)

Mike Burke (Actor)


A witty and talented performer who excelled in no less than four mediums - film, television, music and radio - Jim Backus was a character actor whose skill at portraying the idle and addled rich was epitomized by his turn as Thurston Howell, III on "Gilligan's Island" (CBS, 1964-67). If that pompous, deluded role had been the cultural cap of Backus's career, it would have been a sufficient endnote, as the show remained exceptionally popular for decades after its cancellation. But Backus also provided the voice of the near-sighted Mr. Magoo in countless cartoons, and made memorable performances in everything from "Rebel Without a Cause" (1955) to dozens of television shows. An urbane and bemused presence in real-life who could shift into high insanity at the drop of the hat, Backus was a television favorite whose work stood the test of time.


Henriette Kaye

married on January 14, 1943


Kentucky Military Institute

fellow students included Victor Mature, Hume Cronyn and Tyrone Power

American Academy of Dramatic Arts

New York, New York 1933
classmates included Garson Kanin and Tyrone Power



Played Thurston Howell on "Gilligan's Island"


Film acting debut in "Easy Living"


First TV show, as host of "Hollywood House"


Made film debut with an appearance in "The Pied Piper"


Broadway debut, "Hitch Your Wagon"


Went to NY to act in theater and on radio

Began career on stage (in stock and vaudeville); hit his stride on radio in the mid-1930s (especially on "The Alan Young Show")