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Jim Backus

December 9, 1990 | SUSAN KING, Times Staff Writer
For anyone who grew up in the 1960s, watching "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol" was probably an annual tradition. Though such award-winning actors as Fredric March, George C. Scott and Albert Finney have played miserly Scrooge in various versions of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," they were outdone by Mr. Magoo . . . actually, by the late Jim Backus, who provided the memorable voice for the befuddled, myopic Magoo. Mr. Magoo as Scrooge? "Bah, humbug," you say?
July 23, 1990
The stars of the 1955 classic movie "Rebel Without a Cause" were James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Jim Backus, Dennis Hopper, Nick Adams--and a 1949 Mercury Sport Sedan driven by Dean. That Merc returns to Southern California Sunday after an absence of 35 years--this time as the silent star of the Beverly Hills Charity Car Show. It will play alongside American classics and European exotics once owned or driven by Tony Curtis, Clark Gable, Steve McQueen and Delores Del Rio.
May 30, 2009 | Lisa Boone
It is an hour before the Bonhams & Butterfields auction house in Los Angeles is scheduled to open for its monthly consignment clinic, and the line is already wrapped around the block. People file in with possessions in milk crates and take a number, waiting for appraisers to estimate the fair market value of paintings, lamps, French art glass or Civil War commemorative medals. It's like "Antiques Roadshow," only on Sunset Boulevard.
December 23, 2011 | By T.L. Stanley, Los Angeles Times
Ebenezer Scrooge was a heartless miser in desperate need of reinvention. It should come as no surprise, then, that he eventually found his way to Hollywood for numerous makeovers spanning more than a half century. Charles Dickens reportedly dashed off the story, "A Christmas Carol," as a way to quickly pay some debts, dreaming up the tight-fisted businessman in 1843. But the writer had more than money on his mind. He was ruminating on heavy issues like consumerism, morality and redemption.
February 28, 2007 | Valerie J. Nelson, Times Staff Writer
Donnie Brooks, a singer with rockabilly roots who had a top 10 pop hit with the love song "Mission Bell" in 1960, has died. He was 71. Brooks, who lived in Burbank, died Friday of congestive heart failure at Mission Community Hospital in Panorama City, said his wife, Penny Brooks. "Rock 'n' roll history in Los Angeles -- that's what he represents," said Steve Propes, a historian of local rock.
It was only last Monday that PBS presented a new production of Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice." Just six nights later, CBS gives us "Surviving Gilligan's Island: The Incredibly True Story of the Longest Three-Hour Tour in History." Ain't TV great? As exercises in nostalgia go, "Surviving Gilligan's Island" (9 p.m. Sunday, CBS) is at least inventive.
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