Henny Backus

Actress, author

This article was updated on Tuesday, Dec. 28.

Actress and author Henny Backus, widow of actor Jim Backus, died Dec. 9 in Los Angeles after a series of strokes.

Backus, nee Henrietta Kaye, was born in Brooklyn and started in the business as a showgirl in the 1920s Broadway review “Earl Carroll’s Vanities.” She then joined an acting group formed by the WPA that included Orson Welles, John Houseman and Joseph Cotton.

She married Backus in 1943 and the couple moved to Hollywood, where they became known for lavish New Year’s Eve parties at their Bel-Air home.

She was best known for playing Cora Dithers opposite her husband in the 1968 sitcom “Blondie.” She also guested on “Gilligan’s Island” and “The Love Boat” and appeared in films including “Meet Me in Las Vegas,” “Holiday for Lovers” and “Hello Down There.”

With her husband, she wrote five lighthearted books of Hollywood anecdotes, including 1962’s “What Are You Doing After the Orgy.”

She is survived by a sister, a brother and three nieces.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Scene News from Variety