Jim Backus (Gilligan’s Island)

February 25, 1913 – July 3, 1989

No one can pull the wool over my eyes. Cashmere maybe, but wool, never.


Jim Backus
Jim Backus


The Castaways graced our television screens PRIME TIME for a total of three (1964-1967) seasons, but they were forced to live with the identities of their characters for the rest of their lives. Great for us, but must be miserable for them. Can you imagine how Tina Louise will react when someone on the street says, “Hey Ginger!”? Shoes would fly, I’m sure.

So, four of the seven stranded castaways are no longer with us, aka gone to that rescue ship in the sky.

The first to go was our favorite millionaire, Thurston Howell III. Jim Backus lived with his wife Henny, on Bellagio Road.



Their house was at number 10914.



Have any of you seen the film Don’t Make Waves, with Tony Curtis and Sharon Tate? Jim and Henny make a great appearance in it, as prospective pool purchasers. Jim and Henny’s house was just down the street from Alfred Hitchcock‘s, in lovely Bel-Air. Backus was suffering from Parkinson’s for quite some time, and on June 13th, 1989, he was admitted to St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica because he had contracted pneumonia.



He died of complications from the disease on Monday, July 3rd. He was 76.  Henny died in early 2005.

He is buried in Westwood Memorial Park.


View his grave.




4 thoughts on “Jim Backus (Gilligan’s Island)

  • November 6, 2022 at 8:49 am

    It would be a shame if all Jim is remembered for is Gilligan’s Island, because he did so much more. He starred in Rebel Without a Cause, in which he played James Dean’s father, he starred as Joan Davis’s husband in the 50’s TV sitcom, I Married Joan, he appeared in a variety of radio comedies and also in such notable films as Deadline USA, with Bogie, and Pat and Mike with Tracy and Hepburn. And, let’s not forget, he was the voice of Mr.Magoo.

  • January 21, 2021 at 5:53 pm

    Henny died on December 9th, 2004, not early 2005. Love this website!!!

  • August 27, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    Dr Forde was our doctor as well and we once saw Jim in the waiting room of Dr Forde’s office, a long time ago

  • August 18, 2020 at 1:34 am

    Met Henny once; classy, old school elegant. A real Lovey Howell. The afternoon we met she was wearing an understated ’30s diamond & platinum bracelet which I complemented.

    Can’t find now, but you haven’t lived untill you’ve heard Jim Backus singing “Tiny Bubbles”. Fantastic, such a hoot!

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