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JIM BACKUS (1913 - 1989) started out acting in New York, vaudeville, and especially radio in the 1930s and 1940s. 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 cast in his other seminal role, as Thurston Howell on Gilligan's Island. He also co-starred (as Mr. Dithers) in the 1968 TV version of Blondie.
An excellent publicity photo of Backus and his cartoon alter ego, promoting the TV special Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol (1962). This 7" x 9" photo is in good condition with some surface wear, creasing, and crop marks.
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