Jim Backus

Jim Backus

Highest Rated: 100% Sunday in New York (1963)

Lowest Rated: 20% The Opposite Sex (1956)

Birthday: Feb 25, 1913

Birthplace: Not Available

Ohio-born actor Jim Backus's stage career began in summer stock, where, according to his then-roommate Keenan Wynn, he was as well known for his prowess with the ladies as he was for his on-stage versatility. Backus continued acting in New York, vaudeville, and especially radio in the 1930s and 1940s. He was a regular on radio's The Alan Young Show, portraying Eastern Seaboard snob Hubert Updike III, the prototype for his "Thurston Howell III" characterization on the 1960s TV sitcom Gilligan's Island. In 1949, Backus provided the voice of the nearsighted Mr. Magoo for the first time in the UPA cartoon Ragtime Bear; the actor later claimed that he based this character on his own businessman father. Also in 1949, Backus made his first film appearance in Easy Living, which starred his childhood friend Victor Mature. Backus' most famous screen role was as James Dean's weak-willed, vacillating father in Rebel without a Cause. On television, Backus co-starred with Joan Davis on the I Love Lucy-like 1950s sitcom I Married Joan, and played the leading role of fast-talking news service editor Mike O'Toole on the 1960 syndicated series Hot Off the Wire (aka The Jim Backus Show). In the 1960s, Backus continued to provide the voice of Mr. Magoo in several TV projects, and was seen on-camera in the aforementioned Gilligan's Island, as well as the 1968 TV version of Blondie, wherein Backus played Mr. Dithers. Co-starring as Mrs. Dithers was Backus' wife Henny, who also collaborated with her husband on several amusing volumes of memoirs. Jim and Henny Backus' last two books, Backus Strikes Back and Forgive Us Our Digressions, commented humorously on a deadly serious subject: Parkinson's Disease, the ailment which would eventually cost Backus his life at the age of 76.


Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Customs Agent Actor 2011
No Score Yet There Goes the Bride Actor 2004
No Score Yet Surviving Gilligan's Island Actor 2002
No Score Yet Helmut Newton: Frames from the Edge Actor 1989
No Score Yet Prince Jack Dealy 1985
No Score Yet The Enchanted Journey Actor 1984
No Score Yet Slapstick of Another Kind U.S. president 1982
No Score Yet The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island Thurston Howell, III 1981
No Score Yet There Goes the Bride Mr. Perkins 1980
No Score Yet C.H.O.M.P.S. Mr. Gibbs 1979
No Score Yet The Rebels Actor 1979
No Score Yet Angels Brigade Actor 1979
No Score Yet Rescue from Gilligan's Island Mr. Howell 1978
No Score Yet Good Guys Wear Black Doorman 1978
No Score Yet Magic Pony Actor 1978
54% Pete's Dragon The Mayor 1977
No Score Yet The Amazing Cosmic Awareness of Duffy Moon Dr. Flamel 1976
88% Crazy Mama Mr. Albertson 1975
No Score Yet Friday Foster Enos Griffith 1975
No Score Yet Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus Actor 1974
No Score Yet Miracle on 34th Street Horace Shellhammer 1973
No Score Yet The Girl Most Likely to... Prof. David Tilson 1973
80% Now You See Him, Now You Don't Timothy Forsythe 1972
No Score Yet Mooch Actor 1971
No Score Yet Uncle Sam Magoo Actor 1970
29% Myra Breckinridge Doctor 1970
No Score Yet Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County Staunch 1970
No Score Yet Uncle Sam Magoo Actor 1970
No Score Yet Mr. Magoo: Uncle Sam Magoo Actor 1970
No Score Yet Hello Down There T.R. Hollister 1969
No Score Yet Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? Tru-Blue Lou 1968
No Score Yet Don't Make Waves Himself 1967
22% Hurry Sundown Carter Sillens 1967
No Score Yet Mr. Magoo in the King's Service Mr. Magoo 1966
No Score Yet Billie Howard G. Carol 1965
No Score Yet John Goldfarb, Please Come Home Miles Whitepaper 1965
No Score Yet Advance to the Rear Gen. Willoughby 1964
No Score Yet Mr. Magoo in Sherwood Forest Mr. Magoo 1964
No Score Yet Mr. Magoo---Man of Mystery Mr. Magoo 1964
No Score Yet The Wheeler Dealers Bullard Bear 1963
100% Sunday in New York Flight Dispatcher 1963
69% It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Tyler Fitzgerald 1963
40% Johnny Cool Louis Murphy 1963
No Score Yet Critic's Choice Dr. von Hagedom 1963
No Score Yet Operation Bikini Bosun's Mate Ed Fennelly 1963
No Score Yet Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol Magoo/Scrooge 1962
No Score Yet The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm The King 1962
No Score Yet Zotz! Prof. Horatio Kellgore 1962
No Score Yet Boys' Night Out Peter Bowers 1962
No Score Yet The Horizontal Lieutenant Cmdr. Jeremiah Hammerslag 1961
No Score Yet Ice Palace Dave Husack 1960
No Score Yet A Private's Affair Jim Gordon 1959
No Score Yet The Wild and the Innocent Cecil Forbes 1959
No Score Yet Ask Any Girl Mr. Maxwell 1959
No Score Yet Macabre Tyloe 1958
No Score Yet The Pied Piper of Hamelin King's Emissary 1957
38% The Amazing Colossal Man Gen. Willoughby 1957
No Score Yet The Great Man Nick Cellantano 1957
88% Man of a Thousand Faces Clarence Logan 1957
No Score Yet Top Secret Affair Col. Gooch 1957
No Score Yet You Can't Run Away From It Danker 1956
No Score Yet The Girl He Left Behind Sgt. Hanna 1956
20% The Opposite Sex Psychiatrist 1956
No Score Yet Meet Me in Las Vegas Tom Culdane 1956
No Score Yet The Naked Hills Willis Haver 1956
96% Rebel Without a Cause Jim's father 1955
No Score Yet Francis in the Navy Commander Hutch 1955
No Score Yet The Square Jungle Pat Quaid 1955
No Score Yet Deep in My Heart Ben Judson 1954
43% Androcles and the Lion Centurion 1953
No Score Yet Geraldine Jason Ambrose 1953
No Score Yet I Love Melvin Mergo 1953
80% Angel Face DA Judson 1952
No Score Yet Above and Beyond Gen. Curtis E. LeMay 1952
No Score Yet The Man with a Cloak Flaherty 1952
100% Don't Bother to Knock Peter Jones 1952
91% Pat and Mike Charles Barry 1952
86% Deadline - U.S.A. Cleary 1952
No Score Yet Here Come the Nelsons Joe Randolph 1952
No Score Yet The Rose Bowl Story Mike Burke 1952
No Score Yet I Want You Harvey Landrum 1951
No Score Yet His Kind of Woman Myron Winton 1951
No Score Yet Bright Victory Bill Grayson 1951
No Score Yet M Mayor 1951
No Score Yet Half Angel Michael Hogan 1951
67% I'll See You In My Dreams Sam Harris 1951
No Score Yet Hollywood Story Mitch Davis 1951
No Score Yet The Killer That Stalked New York Willie Dennis 1950
No Score Yet Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town Little Joe 1950
No Score Yet A Dangerous Profession Police Lt. Nick/Narrator 1949
No Score Yet The Great Lover Higgins 1949
No Score Yet Father Was a Fullback Prof. Sullivan 1949
40% Easy Living Dr. Franklin 1949
No Score Yet The Best of Mister Magoo Actor


No Score Yet Trapper John, M.D.
Gus 1983
No Score Yet Charlie's Angels
Iggy 1977
No Score Yet CHiPs
Thief 1977
No Score Yet Gunsmoke
Reverend Sims 1975
No Score Yet Marcus Welby, M.D.
Bill 1974
78% The Brady Bunch
Mathews Zaccariah 1974
No Score Yet I Dream of Jeannie
No Score Yet The Wild Wild West
Swanson 1969
90% Gilligan's Island
Mr. Howell Howell Thurston Howell III 1967
No Score Yet The Beverly Hillbillies
Van Ransohoff 1966
No Score Yet Maverick
Joe Wheelwright 1961


Jim's father says: we'll make a list

Jim's father says: We'll make a list.

Jim's father says: Watch out about choosing your pals. You know what I mean? Don't let 'em choose you.