Jim Backus, a colleague of MAE WEST, was born in February — — on 25 February 1913.
• • The Cleveland native had a durable career and was one of the few actors to do it all: vaudeville, summer stock, Broadway, radio, TV, cartoons, and motion pictures.
• • Supposedly as handy with the ladies after the matinee as he was with charming a director at auditions, Jim Backus began getting his radio career going 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 the cast of "Myra Breckinridge" , the 57-year-old Backus portrayed a doctor.
• • Jim Backus reunited with Mae West three years later, attending the Masquers Club's salute to the Empress of Sex as one of her "Gentlemen in Waiting" (along with George Raft, Jack Larue, Steve Allen, Lloyd Nolan, etc.).
• • When the 1973 event was reborn in an audio format as "Mae Day: The Masquers Club Salutes Mae West CD" , Mae-mavens could hear Jim Backus offering an amusing 4-minute tribute [exactly 4 minutes and 16 seconds long, if you want to get technical] to the buxom blonde guest of honor.
• • Jim Backus died in Los Angeles, California on 3 July 1989 of pneumonia.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • none • •