Henny Backus

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Henny Backus
Jim and Henny Backus 1969.JPG
Jim and Henny Backus, 1969.
Born Henrietta Kaye
(1911-03-21)March 21, 1911
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died December 9, 2004(2004-12-09) (aged 93)
Los Angeles, California
Resting place
Westwood Memorial Park
Occupation Stage actress
Years active 1952–1981
Spouse(s) Jim Backus (1943–89)

Henny Backus (March 21, 1911 – December 9, 2004) was a Broadway showgirl in the 1930s, where she performed with Earl Carroll's Vanities. Born Henrietta Kaye in Philadelphia, she was the wife of actor and comedian Jim Backus.


Henny co-starred with her husband in the 1960s television series, Blondie, and appeared alongside her husband in the TV sitcom, Gilligan's Island, in the episode entitled "Gilligan's Mother-In-Law", Season 2, Episode 1, 1965. She also acted alongside her husband in a fifth season episode of The Love Boat. She and her husband also co-wrote several humorous books, including Only When I Laugh. Henny wrote Care for the Caretaker, documenting her husband's battle with Parkinson's Disease and offering practical solutions for those facing such dilemmas.

In 1989, Jim Backus died from complications of pneumonia. Upon her own death following a series of strokes in 2004 at age 93, Henny was buried next to her husband in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.[1]


  1. ^ John Reid (2005). Cinemascope Two: 20th Century-Fox. Lulu Press, Inc. ISBN 1-4116-2248-0. 

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