Back to : Westwood Memorial Park - Celebrity Graves
The Final Resting Place of Jim Backus.
25th.February 1913 - 3rd.July 1989.
Actor & voice of Mr. Magoo
Located in the lawned center section.
Cause of Death - Parkinson's disease.
James Gilmore Backus (February 25, 1913 in Cleveland, Ohio - July 3, 1989 In Los Angeles, California). He was a radio, television, film actor, and voice actor. Among his most famous roles are the voice of Mr. Magoo, the rich Herbert Updike of the Alan Young radio show, Joan Davis' husband (a domestic court judge) on TV's I Married Joan, James Dean's father in Rebel Without a Cause, and Thurston J. Howell III on Gilligan's Island.
Backus had an extensive career and worked steadily in Hollywood over five decades, often portraying characters with an "upper-crust", New England-esque air, such as the aforementioned Mr. Howell. For example, he appeared in Father was a Fullback in 1949, The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World back to back in 1962 and 1963, and in Prince Jack in 1984.
Backus and his wife, Henny Backus, co-wrote several humorous books, including Only When I Laugh. He also co-wrote the 1971 family film Mooch Goes to Hollywood, about a dog who tries to become a movie star.
Backus was seen in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Angels Revenge.
In his youth, Backus was a student at the Kentucky Military Institute, but was expelled for riding a horse thru the mess hall.
On July 3, 1989, Backus died in Los Angeles, California from complications of pneumonia, after suffering from Parkinson's disease for many years.